[MUD-Dev] AOL Lawsuit

John Robert Arras johna at wam.umd.edu
Tue Sep 4 11:44:45 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Sat, Sept 1, 2001, Mat Mihaly <the_logos at achaea.com> wrote:
> A quote from the prosecution's lawyer:

>  "In light of the growing significance of the Internet, a public
>  chat room should fall within this category as a place of
>  entertainment and therefore should be free of harassment,"

> Almost all MUDs fall into the same category.

Nod, but I disagree with the lawyer's sentiment. This is the kind of
logic that keeps the Klan from marching, and people with unpopular
opinions from being heard just because what they have to say will
offend people.

I think you could argue that MUDs are not public as long as you warn
people that they might not like everything that gets said to
them. Also, you can force people to sign up for your MUD and make it
a private club if you like, like porn-of-the-month clubs on the
Internet. I think the fact that AOL calls themselves a safe service
has a lot to do with this lawsuit. But, OTOH, things could go
downhill and then MUDs will have to become much more legally savvy,
which would be a big shame.


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