[MUD-Dev] Re: My vision for DevMUD

James Wilson jwilson at rochester.rr.com
Tue Nov 3 21:59:43 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998


On Tue, 03 Nov 1998, ApplePiMan at aol.com wrote:
>At 11/3/98 5:37 PM Caliban Tiresias Darklock (caliban at darklock.com) 
>altered the fabric of reality by uttering:
>
>>I've used a license on my own code releases in the past which basically says
>>"If you use this code, you are required to release some of your own code to
>>the programming community." I clarify in the license that it doesn't matter
>>how much of your code you release or what that code does or what language or
>>platform it's relevant to; GPL'd, PD, however you want to release it, just
>>release some code that other people can use. Other than that, you can do
>>whatever you want with my code provided you don't try to pretend you wrote
>>it or conceal the fact that I did.

"some" is probably too vague to be legally binding.

>>So to the list membership in general, does that sound like the sort of
>>middle ground people are looking for? And specifically to ApplePiMan, how
>>would that sort of thing sit with you?
>
>I hate to say this, but I *still* wouldn't use it. See my previous post 
>about why any license at all (short of, and to a degree including, paying 
>a licensing fee) is as much of a problem as the specific terms of the 
>license.
>
>Beyond that, I might not *have* any code (at least as a commercial 
>entity) I was willing to release to the public. For that matter, even as 
>an individual I might not (though, as an individual, I suppose I could 
>satisfy the terms of your license by releasing the modified code for the 
>MUD, which an individual might or might not be willing to do).
>
>I'm afraid if you want serious consideration from commercial users you'll 
>either have to go PD or a paid license. Anything else will be too scary 
>for corporate decision makers to risk their own and their employees' 
>livelihoods on.

*blink* that didn't seem to stop commercial ventures from using BSD-license
code. And what's to stop someone from saying, in the license, "You are hereby
granted rights in perpetuity such that..."? Then there's no issue with
someone switching licenses on you. 

I for one would not contribute anything without some sort of suitably
communist license. I prefer LGPL as I have no interest in whether or not
anything I do appeals to commercial entities, while I DO have an interest 
in keeping anything I write available + alive in a free form. (Trying to
maximize the potential size of the Noosphere.)

But this is one of the good aspects of a modular system - I can decide on terms
for my modules which suit me, and others can decide on terms for their own
modules. (I believe Linux is composed of a patchwork of  code, some PD, some
BSD, some GPL.) If you're not comfortable with LGPL, don't use those modules.

I assume I'm probably a bit further to the left than the norm, tho... (leftmost
being RMS, rightmost being Bill).

James




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