[MUD-Dev] Libs for 3D Client/Servers

J C Lawrence claw at 2wire.com
Thu Jul 5 18:33:46 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Thu, 5 Jul 2001 18:17:42 -0400 
Travis Casey <efindel at earthlink.net> wrote:

> Since the protocol is published under the GPL, any derivative work
> of it will also have to be GPL.  

No.  This violates the basic rules on the legality of reverse
engineering and clean room development.

> Your server is not a derivative work, since you wrote it before
> writing the protocol -- the protocol definition was derived from
> it, rather than the other way around.  If anyone tries to make a
> compatible server without using your GPL server, you can argue
> that their server is required to be GPL anyways, since it is a
> derivative work of the protocol.

Per this logic StarOffice, AbiWord, etc are subject to Microsoft's
licensing for Word due to the fact that they reverse engineered and
implemented support for Word format files.  Intellectual property
doesn't work that way (tho it gets close to being as stupid as

> Under this scheme, if your game catches on, you get people porting
> your client for free, and get to use other people's improvements
> to your server -- while being able to make your own improvements
> to the server and not release those.

cf The Apache licenses.

More simply: 

  You get to maintain a closed source branch.  

  Others also get to maintain their own closed source branches.

  Others don't have to reveal their branches (in normal operation)
  as they are not distributing their product it, merely running it.

  You get to see (and take advantage of) any distributed

  All the other closed branches get to see (and take advantage of)
  any distributed changes/patches.

> Any resemblance between this plan and any business plan of Sun or
> Microsoft is purely coincidental.  :-)

Heh.  I assume you've noticed the new  licenses on beta MS dev


Methinks I detect King Canute.

J C Lawrence                                       claw at kanga.nu
---------(*)                          http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/
The pressure to survive and rhetoric may make strange bedfellows
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