[MUD-Dev] Re: My vision for DevMUD

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Wed Nov 4 14:56:38 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998


On Wed, 4 Nov 1998 14:13:57 -0800 
Jon Leonard<jleonard at divcom.slimy.com> wrote:

> 1) Someone takes DevMUD code and builds a commercial service on
> top of it.
...

> In case 1, it means that there is another commercial MUD, possibly
> an improvement over existing ones.  This sounds more like a
> benefit than a bad scenario.  Also, it would take an unacceptably
> strong license (significantly stronger than GPL) to stop this.

Please note that the GPL does not prohit or even constrain
commercial use of GPL code.  It __only__ comes into play when the
GPL derived product is sold or otherwise transfered to others.
Rendering a __service__ via GPL code does not invoke the infectious
aspects of the GPL, only trying to sell, trade, give away, or
otherwise exchange the GPL product itself invokes the GPL.

Translation:

  1) You can sell GPL binaries for as much as you want, you just
have to provide access to the source (the GPL is invoked by the
transfer).

  2) You can create commercial services which reply on GPL code and
as long as you never sell, give, or transmit any functional part of
those services to anyone else, you can make as much $$$ and charge
as much $$$ as you want.  

Example:

  I take the Linux kernel (which is of course GPL'ed) and hack it
into a MUD server and then charge players $100 a year to play.
Every single line of code in my game server is covered by the GPL.

  My game is wildly popular -- I have hundreds of thousands of
players and make beaucoup bucks.  However I never give, sell, trade
or otherwise transfer the game server to anyone else.  The *ONLY*
access people have (other than me and my representatives in the
company) to the game is to it as a service (ie they connect to and
play the game).

  I never release the server source.  I am compleatly compliant with 
the GPL.  

--
J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at kanga.nu
(Contractor)                              Internet: coder at kanga.nu
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...




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