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

Jon Lambert tychomud at ix.netcom.com
Wed Jul 11 01:07:24 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Travis Casey wrote:
> On Thursday July 05, 2001 21:33, J C Lawrence wrote:
>> 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.
> According to the GPL itself, this is the case.  Of course, that
> part of the GPL could be (and likely would be) overturned -- but
> in theory, until and unless there's a successful legal challenge,
> this is the case.

> Note that what's a "derivative work" of the protocol is an
> interesting question -- if I rewrite the document, that's
> obviously a derivative work -- but is a program that uses the
> protocol?  *That* could be answered either way... most likely a
> court would say, "no, it isn't", but intellectual property cases
> are being decided in some strange ways these days... see below for
> more.

I'm 90% certain that in order to effectively protect a protocol in
that manner one would need a software patent.  I don't believe
copyright would do it.  A published protocol is an algorithm, a
method, a process.  Neither are copyrightable.  While the published
work itself, the description of the protocol is copyrightable, it
doesn't protect other expressions (aka software programs) of that
algorithm or method.  The only reference I can think of offhand is
the GIF format (owned by Sperry?).
--* Jon A. Lambert - TychoMUD        Email:jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com *--
--* Mud Server Developer's Page <http://tychomud.home.netcom.com> *--
--* If I had known it was harmless, I would have killed it myself.*--

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