Re: Circlemud/diku Licence

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 07/19/00

        Actually, I've got two questions about this license.


        I was curious about, is the dikumud-circlemud license compatiable
with the GPL?

        See, GPL is special.  Especially this part;

"But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a
work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the
terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the
entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it."

        Which basically means that if you use parts of GPL'ed software in
your code (and it's not seperate, like say, zlib), then if you ever wish
to distribute that to others in any way, your code must adhere to the GPL
license, and any restrictions on copying, distribution, and modification
must be voided (GPL is the only thing that can cover it, no sublicensing

        The problem is that while the dikumud and circlemud licenses are
not overly restrictive, they do say you cannot make money from it in any
way.  That means we cannot charge people for source code derived from it.
However, this is a type of distribution.  GPL has to be the only thing
covering distribution neh?  The circlemud/diku licenses restrict the
rights that the GPL insures.  It guarentees your right to charge for
distributing the code.  (it does say you have to include the source code
though - if you _do_ choose to distribute it).

        Of course, this only applies to circumstances where you provide
code/object files/patches to others.  If you keep it for yourself, the
only thing you have to modify that I can see is :

" If the modified program normally reads commands interactively when
run, you must cause it, when started running for such interactive use in
the most ordinary way, to print or display an announcement including an
appropriate copyright notice and a notice that there is no warranty (or
else, saying that you provide a warranty) and that users may redistribute
the program under these conditions, and telling the user how to view a
copy of this License."

        Though, it can be contested as to whether or not that applies to
the end user, or simply the admin who runs the program.  There's an
exception to this rule, but because we display the diku/circle credits in
the opening screen, we void it, and require the GPL disclaimer to be
appended simply for day-to-day usage.  It's also of concern to note that
this implies the above issue - that you will allow redistribution and
source code - however you do not have to do that, unless you're actually
redistributing it.

        Again, this is questionable, if the interaction must apply to the
server usage, or remote login usage.

To throw us back into the real world, lets look at case study:

        I wrote my own AVL tree structure and functions, but I found that
a much better implementation of said data structure was already available
in a set of functions I ripped out of some GPL'ed code.  I'd _rather_ use
that code.  I'd also like to put up the finished product on the circlemud
ftp site so people could use it with whatever functionality was added.

        But I don't think i'll be allowed.

                Any ideas?


        What is the thought behind the combined diku/circlemud licenses?
Why is it such a bad thing to make money from it?  The ability to charge
for any reason is a powerful incentive from the point of a game
developer/admin.  Even something basic and often brought up, like server
costs, or as Jermey stated, providing incentives for programmers... what
if you gave every builder who finished a zone 25$

        The thing is, people won't throw money away like that when they
don't have the ability to make it back in spades.  Because of that, we
probably loose quite a few potential workforce, and through that,
potential players.....

        If a mud had a budget, just think how much more work could be
performed, and how much better that could possibly make it!  Think UO or
EQ, or even DiabloII would have been able to pull up something like 4-6
man-years of just art if they weren't going to pay the artists?

        Frankly, I see nothing wrong with making money.  People will still
continue to contribute to a product that is open source, and very few will
probably require payment.  Circlemud-derived muds simply don't have the
ability to survive and charge players since they haven't made the supreme
leap up to things like Ultima Online and the sort.  More likely, they'll
have pay-up's for equipment/power upgrades, stuff like that.

        In the end, I'm curious if it's possible for the creators of
dikumud and of course, Jeremy, to repeal their licensing scheme?  I think
it would only increase the amount of development, and attraction of

        I'm not very versed in the requirements for a developer to change
the licensing on their own code, if they want to (I don't think it's
possible, with GPL for example, unless you seperate the components very
well).  Assuming developers are interested, is this even possible in this


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