[MUD-Dev] Re: My vision for DevMUD

ApplePiMan at aol.com ApplePiMan at aol.com
Wed Nov 4 01:00:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

At 11/3/98 9:32 PM James Wilson (jwilson at rochester.rr.com) altered the 
fabric of reality by uttering:

>On Tue, 03 Nov 1998, ApplePiMan at aol.com wrote:
>>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. 

OK... so maybe I'm more paranoid than most. =) I'm no lawyer, so I'm not 
sure if such "in perpetuity" phraseology would cover my concerns or not.

>I for one would not contribute anything without some sort of suitably
>communist license. 

You can't *get* more communist than PD. =) By definition, *everyone* has 
an equal claim to ownership of it, and nothing anyone can do can change 

>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.)

PD assures availability and "free-ness" much more than LGPL or BSD. It 
removes all restrictions on usage, and in doing so *ensures* anyone, 
anywhere, can use it without any charge. What you "lose" with PD is that 
there's no way to ensure the original author gets proper credit and no 
way for the author to control who uses it for what purpose. If those two 
issues are vitally important to the author, a license of some sort is 
required. But if the true issue is availability of the source material 
and ensuring there is no fee associated with its usage, PD is simpler to 
maintain (there's no concept of "enforcement" on our part) and 
accomplishes the goals better. Adding usage conditions and other 
restrictions doesn't make you more communistic; it just narrows your 
potential userbase. =)

>But this is one of the good aspects of a modular system - I can decide on 
>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.

Exactly. And if DevCore and the basic set of modules to support it don't 
have a license I'm comfortable with, I won't use those either. I feel 
certain that wouldn't spell the end of either DevMUD or my own plans. But 
I believe this whole discussion started out of trying to come up with a 
license for the core that the fewest number of people would feel 
uncomfortable with. PD is a *clear* winner, as far as that goes (IMNSHO).

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

As with most things, I tend to be centrist (though in this one issue I 
appear to be left of you, actually, in that I *truly* want communal 
ownership of the code). PD, LGPL, BSD and proprietary each have 
situations where they are appropriate. To me, it seems clear that PD is 
the right choice for DevCore and the minimal support modules.


Rick Buck, President and CEO  <mailto:rlb at big-i.com>
Beyond Infinity Games, Inc.
See you in The Metaverse! <http://www.big-i.com>

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