Re: License Violation

From: Daniel A. Koepke (
Date: 01/01/00

Just an update:

Mudgik is owned and operated by Goldenline, Ltd. of Gibraltar.  They are
using CircleMUD to some extent -- at least the help files, most likely the
code as well.  They do not have the credits as required by the DikuMUD or
CircleMUD licenses.  I could not get in contact with any sufficiently
knowledgeable or powerful immortal online.  From their "Premium Membership

    Buy House $40.00 [ ]
    Buy Clan Hall $45.00 [ ]
    Buy Guild House (Must have clan hall first) $80.00 [ ]
    Buy Special Coding to plug in to game $40 hour [ ]
    Buy Custom Item (Special)

    ITEM ______________
    Buy Orrins $1 for 100 QTY ______________
    NOTE: Please add $5 for exchange rate and Credit Card surcharge cost.

on their web site,  (BTW, their web site is
very poorly designed; almost impossible to read with Lynx, makes
gratuituous use of Java in Netscape, has low-res graphics blown up way too
large, etc., etc.; if anyone's looking for an example of how NOT TO design
a professional looking and useful site, this is it.  It took me well over
an hour to locate the contact information, which was, oddly enough, on the
Links page.)

The Mud itself is not hosted on a Goldenline, Ltd. computer system (which
makes it more likely, to me, that they just invented Goldenline), but on  As it turns out, Mercia Internet, Ltd. is owned by Chris Hale
of the United Kingdom.  Thus, the Mud is physically housed in the UK.  The
relevant whois information from Network Solutions for is:

    Mercia Internet Ltd (MERCIA2-DOM)
    6a Bolebridge Street
    Tamworth, B79 7PA

    Administrative Contact:
       Hale, Chris  (CH1255)  chris@MERCIA.NET
       01827 69166 (FAX) 018277 61566

Let me reiterate that Chris is NOT (to my knowledge) directly affiliated
with Goldenline, Ltd. or Mudgik: The Gathering, and may not even be aware
of what Mudgik is or that it's operating illegally.

  From my time online, I tracked down the e-mail addresses of Sylvian and
Mek, who are apparently the administrators of the game.  Sylvian, oddly
enough, is from Australia (or, at least, has an e-mail box in Australia).
He's  Mek, who I couldn't find an actual e-mail
address for, might read, which was the only e-mail contact
I could find on their web site.

Sylvian and Mek should be, by now, already aware that I was about looking
for them on the Mud concerning license violations.  I spoke with one of
the immortals, Menorah, but, though nice and understanding, she was of
little actual help.  Since I doubt they'll contact us or make a change
without a lot of prompting, the ball (I assume) is still in our hands.  So
my strategy:

    * Contact Sylvian and Mek.  Attempt to talk to them and convince them
      to obey with the license.  Be nice, but make it clear that this is
      a serious matter and we will pursue it.

    * Should the above fail, contact Chris Hale of Mercia Internet, Ltd.
      and inform him that he is housing an illegal service.  I can't
      imagine that he'd not take action, but...

    * Contact Wizards of the Coast and see how much they like the blatant
      copying of Magic: The Gathering that's going on.

    * If all of the above fails, we'll need a lawyer to get a cease and
      desist to shutdown the Mud and then go through the legal motions.
      This is an ugly and unattractive end, and we might sooner ask for a
      community-wide boycott of the Mud.

I'll end this message with a plea for everyone to keep their cool and go
at this with a level head.  There's no point in making asses out of
ourselves, here.  Please, please, please restrain from sending flame mail
to Sylvian or Mek; from bothering people on the game itself; and,
especially, bothering Chris Hale.  That sort of thing is NOT effective and
generally makes all parties involved agitated, frustrated, and can be
detrimental to handling this situation in a timely and smooth manner.

-dak :

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