[MUD-Dev] Re: Black Snow Revisited

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Mon Apr 1 11:28:27 New Zealand Daylight Time 2002

From: "John Robert Arras" <johna at wam.umd.edu>

>  Even though every little thing they did is perfectly alright,
>  when you put them together, the guy is paying for sex.

When my wife and I were still dating a few years ago, I used to
occasionally get off work and drive to Oregon so I could see her
before the weekend. Then we would go to a hotel, since she was
living with her mother, and we would generally have sex. Afterward,
I would need to leave almost immediately to get back up to
Washington in time to shower and change before work, and she would
usually be asleep -- so I would leave money on the dresser. In the
morning, she would take the money, check out, and go home.

So is your analogy flawed, or is my wife a whore?

Think carefully, now. Imagine that I am standing right in front of
you ready to bash your face in if I don't like your answer. Makes
the question a lot harder, doesn't it?

> You can't just take a multistep process and dissect it until it's
> down to simple little components that you inspect individually for
> soundness when deciding whether or not the whole process is ok.

Not universally, no. That's why it's not a rigorously logical
argument. It is reasonably trivial to demonstrate that composition
is fallacious: two ants have a total of twelve legs, three dogs have
a total of twelve legs, therefore two ants and three dogs have a
total of twelve legs. This is clearly false; the argument about
selling inventory items is *not* universally applicable, because
there are extenuating circumstances which have been left unstated
because it would be time consuming and uninteresting to belabor

<EdNote: Deletia>

> If BSI is collecting items in-game, talking to people out of game,
> collecting money out of game, then transferring those items
> in-game, then they're selling the items.

No they're not. They don't own the items. They are allowed to use
the items, though. And they are allowed to give those items to other
people. And the other people are allowed to use those items. So BSI
is selling the SERVICE of giving the items to other people, which
Mythic does not own. And they are allowed to perform that service,
*provided* they do not accept real-world payment for it.

Or, rather, provided they do not get CAUGHT accepting real-world
payment for it.

And while BSI is overall selling the service, the only thing they
are doing on Mythic's servers is performing the service -- a
legitimate and permissible service, which Mythic has no desire to
prevent. What Mythic wants to prevent is something that happens
outside Mythic's jurisdiction, and therefore *cannot* be
legitimately prevented by Mythic. Mythic is quite simply NOT ALLOWED
to run around outside their game trying to stop people from doing
things they don't like.

> If any part of the transaction takes place on Myhtic's server,
> then Mythic should have some say in it.

Yes, and they do: they have a say in the part of the transaction
that takes place on their server. END OF STORY. They do NOT have a
say in whether I offer to sell things or accept money for things
that *will* happen on their server. If they want to stop me, they
have to stop me ON THEIR SERVER. Not on eBay. If they cannot stop
me, or elect not to stop me, then I do not get stopped -- and an
inability or unwillingness to do what you have the right to do does
NOT give you any right to do something else you are able or willing
to do.

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