[MUD-Dev] Proper liscense for MUD source? Perhaps not GPL... (fwd)

Ben Greear greearb at candelatech.com
Mon Dec 20 19:43:13 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


J C Lawrence wrote:
> 
> ------- Forwarded Message
> 
> From: dennis towne <soda at xirr.com>
> Newsgroups: rec.games.mud.admin
> Subject: Proper liscense for MUD source?  Perhaps not GPL...
> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 18:27:25 +0000
> 
> I have been thinking about liscense issues for a while now, and after
> looking at the GPL I'm not sure it is the right liscense to use for mud
> server code.
> 
> The GPL works for linux and apache by guaranteeing that anyone who sells
> thier version of the code has to provide the source along with any
> changes they make.  Since binaries are the most widely used/distributed
> form, anyone intending to sell anything would likely be selling the
> binaries.  The GPL guarantees that the source is available along with
> the binaries.
> 
> The issue I see is that mud servers are not like this - binaries for the
> server are not distributed or sold, so there is no need to release any
> changes you might make to the server.  Any additions to the server
> source that are made may be kept private, and withheld from the
> development community.  As such, the GPL would not work well on mud
> servers.

As soon as someone makes private changes and does not re-distribute them
back into the main branch, ie make them public, they have effectively
forked the code base and will have problems integrating any new features
that the main branch incorporates.  So, there may not be any binding
legal way to force ppl to publish their server code in the GPL, but
it would seem to be in their best interestes to do so....  That assumes
an actively developped main server base however...

That said, a clause equating public connection to the code with binary
release sounds quite fair, and I'd be interested to see such a clause
(addition to the GPL I assume?) if you write one...

Ben

--
Ben Greear (greearb at candelatech.com)  http://scry.wanfear.com/~greear 
Author of ScryMUD:  scry.wanfear.com 4444        (Released under GPL)
http://scry.wanfear.com



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