Re: [Legal] License Agreement

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 02/25/03

        Actually, I've done a bit of investigation on exactly how far the
licensing of Circlemud and Diku in general can be pushed, and to what
extent one can wean themselves of it.

        Assuming you're a moral individual - one who's concerned with
doing what's right, as opposed to what's merely allowed - you should be
able to write an entirely from-scratch code base, without having to be
under the diku-circle licencing, if you simply never look at the source
code for circle at any point between when you start writing code for your
new base, and when you stop.  What a long sentance.

        Further, you should not knowingly reproduce functions from memory,
though it's rather hard to prove that.  If you hack in circlemud long
enough though, you'll easily begin to manage it, inadverdantly.

        In reality, the Dikumud license, and the Circlemud licence after
it are not very .. hmm.. how do we say it ... valid legal documents.  That
is, it's generally agreed that the wording of the documents is not
specific enough to allow it to hold up in a court of law.

        Further yet, the original Dikumud team has lost much of it's
interest in it, and is represented de facto by just a single member
(Hans).  Hans may represent the product in actuality, but not legally;
since the dikumud team as a whole have a shared copyright, I believe they
will need to arbitrate a settlement among eachother before any one of them
could claim the right to press charges of copyright violation or licence
infringment on the behalf of the Dikumud project.

        The 'simple' alternative would be for all of them to agree to
press charges.  I can't even get half of them by email.

        In short, it means that there's no one around with the legal
ability to press charges or do more than send stern email messages on the
dikumud team.

        Jeremy _might_ have some sort of legal standpoint, but since his
addendum to the license is even less ...hmm... legal .. it'd doubtful.  In
fact, I believe that since his license is contingient upon the items
declared in the dikumud license, it would be enough to prove that the
dikmud license is invalid first, and thereby invalidating his additions.

        Wow! Fun, huh?

        So, I suggest that you write it from scratch, don't look at
circle, don't copy code, don't even try to model it after it.  It's not
too hard to do though; in fact, I wrote some sort of offline editor
without looking at circle code, and licensed it under the GPL.

        It's just slower going, of course.


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