[MUD-Dev] GPL (was:Libs for 3D Client/Servers)

Joackim Birgersson jbmud at cbasoftware.com
Thu Jul 5 15:24:31 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Travis Casey < efindel at earthlink.net > wrote:

>> I think it would have potential, especially if it was not GPL'd
>> (some other version of the copy-left scheme, that allowed the
>> operators to collect money and even make a profit would be fine).

> The GPL does not prevent either of these things -- if it did, Red
> Hat and other for-profit Linux companies would not be able to
> exist.  You may be thinking of the Diku license, which didn't
> allow running a for-profit mud without permission from the
> copyright holders.

You forget the little fact that Redhat sells other peoples work,
they do very little inhouse themselfs. They have thousands of open
source programmers that basically works for them (kind of) for
free. They have a few inhouse that they pay and a couple of external
projects that they sponsor but for the most part it's a matter of
free labour.

The interresting question is if it would be viable to develop AND
sell such a product. If it's possible for the developer to live on

> In fact, the GPL only requires you to release source code you
> create if you distribute the resulting binaries in some way -- if,
> for example, you took a GPLed server, altered it, and ran it as
> your server, you would not have to distribute your alterations, as
> long as you didn't give away binaries of your server.

That you must release the source code is not the big problem. That
you must let everyone copy and redistribuate it however they want to
(including not paying you for doing so) is. Still, the biggest
problem might be that a big company with a strong trademark can rip
it off, change the name, and sell it instead. Check out the Redhat
database if you want to know what I'm talking about. It's really the
Postgresql database that Redhat ripped and just changed the
name. Great bridge that makes postgresql got really screwed..

In the case of a mud-package that you describe I think that if such
a product shall have any chance of keeping up with new technology it
must have professional paid people to support it continously.


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