[MUD-Dev] Diku & GPL

gmiller at classic-games.com gmiller at classic-games.com
Wed Dec 6 00:53:02 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Note: This message was written via the list web archives.  There is
no guarantee that the claimed author is actually the author.
Original message: http://www.kanga.nu/archives/MUD-Dev-L/2000Q4/msg00385.php

On Tue,  5 Dec 2000 01:06:30 -0800 (PST)
Patrick Dughi <dughi at imaxx.net> wrote:

> <EdNote: Please, no license wars>

For the record, I dislike the GPL. I prefer the MPL/BSD-style license
for reasons that have been stated loudly by various people in numerous
venues without any real resolution. Consequently, I won't waste time
arguing them here.

<EdNote: Phew!>

> Afterall, the owners can always spend money on the mud, it's implied
> (rather, it's required, per above).

As can non-owners, under the terms of the Diku license. The Diku
license (unlike the Circle license) does not prohibit you from
accepting money as long as you do not make a profit. Was that the
intent of the Diku owners? I don't know, but the license is the

> Of course, there's one other problem...lets call it an issue, for
> that's more accurate.  It is rare that someone today would run a
> DikuMUD.  The reason is that it's derivitives offer a more developed
> environment while still maintaining all that which made DikuMUD a
> popular and viable MUD base.  Each of these derivitives is under the
> same licensing scheme as DikuMUD, perhaps in addition to their own.
> They'll have to switch to GPL too, inorder to reap the benfits.  So,
> there has to be a decision by the original distributor about whether
> or not their code base will be switched.

And this is the really hard part. How do you identify everyone who
ever contributed code to a given codebase and get their permission to
switch the license? It can be done, but it's a pain. Not all of them
track where each block of code came from.

<EdNote: Copyright assignment can be a major problem with packages
that wish to become GNU packages (ie be adopted by the FSF et al).
For example, this is probably the single largest item which is
preventing the merge of Emacs and XEmacs>
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