Re: License

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 10/01/00

> >A CircleMUD is coded to no longer accept new players from entering
> >the game. Instead, a player must create a new character at the
> >official website of the game.
> >At that website, the player must create an account, and then they may
> >create a character. After the character is made, they check their
> >email to receive a password which then allows them to access their
> >character on the game port.
> >The account the player must create is free, but they must fill out a
> >survey which will then be stored in a database accessible by the
> >advertisers on the website.
> >The Implementors use the ad money to host the game as well as the
> >website.
> >Personally, I feel this is immoral, but does it break the license
> >agreement, since the players never actually pay for anything directly?
>  From license.doc:
> > 1) You must not use CircleMUD to make money or be compensated in any way.
> It says that you can't make money using circle.  It doesn't say that you
> can't make money _from players_ using circle.  It doesn't matter where
> the money is coming from; if you're using circle to do it, that violates
> the license.

> The players are providing the mud with their email addresses, which are
> sold to advertisers.  If you ask me, the players *are* paying.

        Okay, I agree, it's immoral if immoral can be defined as having an
entrepurial spirit, but it's probably not specifically covered under the
license.  We all know you can have a website, and host ads which garner
you between .07 and .12 cents per hit (that's 7/100'th and 12/100'th of a
cent).  That website can also sell tshirts with your mud's name emblazoned
on it.  The above secnario seems like the same sort of 'related to game,
but not of circlemud' that can escape it.

        Now, since it is a requirement to enter the game, it can be seen
as a more serious, and possible conflict.  However, no mud i've ever been
on has had an (even implicit) declaration of privacy for user information.
As a matter of fact, most say things like "Your actions may be recorded at
any time, without warning, etc,etc,etc".  Ignoring then, the fundamental
privacy issues, we're more worried about having a bar to entry which may
net money for the mud owners.

        So, it depends how you look at that barrier.  Personally, I equate
it with the same sort of muds which require a written background and
approved naming scheme before the characters can exist.  Neither costs me
(the player) money, yet both cost time.  As for cost in personal
inconvience via privacy issues (sale of contact information) - the mud
admins have no way of verifying the information provided is correct.
Player inconvience is minimalized to that which is already accepted by
those systems which don't sell the information.

        By the spirit of the license, I'd guess that this was okay -
players aren't being made to suffer/pay/etc.  The entry to the system is
blocked in the same way that other 'acceptable' muds use, frankly, I don't
see the problem.

        To return to the inital example of web advertisment hosting, it
compares nearly equally.  Would you say it was immoral to have these ad
graphics up?  You're forced to download them when you use the page -
further, the web page may provide information, or data which the gaming
system (being text) is incapable of providing.  You're _required_ to visit
the web page for certain information.  So, you're _required_ to download
the ads...yada-yada-yada.

        Now, this is all from a devil's advocate standpoint.  I'd rather
have a box saying 'if you fill out this form, we can continue to provide
high level of service, etc' with a yes/no choice.  Still, I think that
this is a clever way around the licenseing/money problem, and with the
spirit of the license intact - the players are not required to spend


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