Re: License for Help Files and startup screen

From: Mysidia (
Date: 08/30/01


  Darn tildes and strings!

  Couldn't they think of a better terminating character that builders
  wouldn't want to include verbatim via OLC, ie ^L, ^P, \xFF, whatever!

  And a blanket application of smash_tilde to the line editor is
  an annoying proposal -- mainly because it strips tildes out of urls,
  ie  gets messed up.

  Maybe there should be some kind of quoting mechanism to stick a
  tilde inside a string, ie: \~, &#7E;, $~, or ~~ dunno.

>    Since DIKUMud has been created at DIKU (Datalogisk Institut ved
>    KÝbenhavns Universitet) or Faculty of Computer Science at the
>    University of Copenhagen for English-native persons it is subject
>    to Danish copyright laws, not American, which differ in several
>    instances - as to my knowledge.

Again, IANAL, however...  Copyright stuff only comes into play in the
making of copies, not 'actual use'.  Denmark can certainly establish
whatever rules/norms it wishes within Denmark.

The control a license can effect on users is that without it, the
license a user can't do anything other than use and modify it -- no
distributing, because that would be copyright infringment.

My assumption here is that the user doesn't ever need/want to make
copyies or distribute the program or a deriviative of it -- so copyright
itself doesn't enter the picture.  I don't know much of anything about
how international copyright law let-alone the rules of Denmark work
either, but that shouldn't matter.

>    So according to the Danish law of authoring and copyrights chapter
>    1 paragraph 3 part 1 (translated): The author is entitled to
>    be credited, according to good custom, on examplars of the work
>    as well as when made public.

In the case of software, public operation does not entail 'public
display': running a public server is not the same as reading a
page from the source would be, for example.  Although sure, if strings
covered by copyright are utilized in the source you may be distributing
copyrighted material by operating it.. and that could be copying and
distribution even though it was written to copy and distribute parts of
itself.. heh..

>    To quote:
>    "You are allowed to alter DikuMud, source and documentation as long as
>    you do not violate any of the above stated rules."

That says you can modify it.   That doesn't say you can distribute your

>    If one license limits parts of the other license which aren't to be
>    compromised as to the written requirements in the license you
>    cannot combine the two. This is a violating of the copyright law no
>    matter what country it hails from.

The modifications themselves aren't "DikuMUD" so to speak, only the
whole is, so unless the author of the mods specifically licenses
changes under the "DikuMUD" or some other license, then uh... the
default is "All Rights Reserved", at least in the US... though
with the GPL, they are forced to license under the GPL.

In the case of the GPL, you can only license entire files
under it.. done by placing copyright notices and references to
the license version in the file, AND the GPL license prevents you
from removing any copyright notice that has already been put there:

  1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
    source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you
    conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate
    copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the
    notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty;
    and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License
    along with the Program.

Trivial note that the GPL in fact _does_ make some requirements with
regards to copyright notices -- obviously, you could modify the program
to do otherwise, but then you lose the otherwise license-guaranteed
rights to copy/distribute/modify/use:

    c) 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

>    CircleMUD creators. The 'login sequence' is defined as the text
>    seen by players between the time they connect to the MUD and when
>    they start to play the game itself."

Who gets to decide if a connection is a "player"?

What if the "player" #gags it?

>    So by suppressing the notification you are violating the use of the
>    server and inflicting a violating of the copyright laws as you are
>    knowingly keeping your client user from seeing the material since
>    you must be suppressing specific names and or text phrases. Another
>    "walking on thin ice" matter.

No, suppose the client was written as a different project, probably
by a different group of people.  Maybe it chose to ignore all text
messages from the server and use its own strings.

>    usual $5 charge for 'sending the disk' or 'just for the disk', etc.
>    By breaking these rules you violate the agreement between us and
>    the University, and hence will be sued."
>    So no, your software has to be free, it has to contain the
>    copyright notices of not only the DikuMud license, authors,
>    addresses and whatnot (as according to the license, obviously), but

I am not referring to free as in "free beer", see the free software

DikuMud is clearly not free software because.. it places restrictions
on use, It doesn't allow you to run the program privately, and it
allows people to publish modified copies without sources and without
permitting recipients to distribute.  It really does have most of the
components you would expect to find in a proprietary, commercial
software license.

"``Free software'' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the
 concept, you should think of ``free'' as in ``free speech,'' not as in
 ``free beer.''"

"Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy,
 distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it
 refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

     * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
     * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
       needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for
     * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
       (freedom 2).
     * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements
       to the public, so that the whole community benefits. (freedom 3).
       Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

   A program is free software if users have all of these freedoms. Thus,
   you should be free to redistribute copies, either with or without
   modifications, either gratis or charging a fee for distribution, to
   anyone anywhere. Being free to do these things means (among other
   things) that you do not have to ask or pay for permission.

   You should also have the freedom to make modifications and use them
   privately in your own work or play, without even mentioning that they
   exist. If you do publish your changes, you should not be required to
   notify anyone in particular, or in any particular way.

   The freedom to use a program means the freedom for any kind of person
   or organization to use it on any kind of computer system, for any kind
   of overall job, and without being required to communicate subsequently
   with the developer or any other specific entity.

[snip, see above URL for rest of definition]


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