Re: [NEWBIE] Moral Issue.. don't hate me for this.

From: Mark W. Vanness Jr. (
Date: 01/08/01

>I'd just like to know about taking the code of an established mud and putting
>up the copy on a new server.  Is it a moral or a legal issue? CircleMUD itself,
>I know, is copyrighted.  But what about the changes made? Are they owned
>by anyone or are they considered part of the free source.. if you can access
>it, you can use it?

United States Code, Title 17, Chapter Four, Section 404(a) states that a
separate contribution to a collective work may be copyrighted by the author
of that separate work.

Technically this means that the changes that were made ARE owned by the
original author and only the original author or authors can grant you rights to
use the source code he/she created.

Think about it like this.  If I leave my car window open giving anyone access
to my radio, is it legal or morally wrong to jump in my car and help yourself
to my radio?  No offense, but your idea of "if you can access it, you can use
it" needs some real work :)

Two of the most common questions about intellectual property rights are the
following and I leave them with you.

How do I obtain copyright?
You acquire copyright automatically when you create an original work or other

Do I have to do anything to be protected?
No. Since you obtain copyright automatically, you are automatically protected
by law. However, it is still a good idea to register your copyright and to
indicate a notice of copyright on your works.

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