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The question of the Copyright and Terms of Use for the driver is an old
one. Here is what I could salvage from the amylaar-users mailing list.
Important is Jacob's mail I received in 1999 which essentially casts
the current copyright terms in stone.

  -- Lars (not /Lars)

Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1993 03:11:29 +0100 (MET)
From: (Joern Rennecke)
Subject: LPmud Copyright
To: (busey andrew),,, gusar@uniwa.uwa.OZ.AU,,,,,

Motivation of this letter:
There seems to be a potential for muds that run on dedicated machines
that charge fees from player to make the mud economically feasible.
The Copyright file says that LPmud can freely used iff it is not for
monetary gain. Now the debate what constitutes monetary gain and if
an individual license is an license to break the copyright,
is an interpretation of the license in Copyright or gives rights
independent the restrictions in Copyright has become a normal flame
war in the* groups. That is to say, one of the worst

To allow muds to charge fees to cover costs, without going through
such debates every time, I suggest to amend the Copyright file
with terms under witch such a mud is considered to comply to the
'no monetary gain clause' .

Explanation of the recipient list and some individual messages:

Busey Andrew: wants to set up a mud that charges fees to cover costs.
  If the below rules won't make it into the Copyright, you can regard this
  as a license - of course only for the code written by me.
Lars Pensj|: original author.
  Please forward this letter to other authors that have contributed to 3.1.2
  who have a say in the copyright.
Felix A. Croes: wrote the non-corrupting indentation code for ed.
Sean A Reith: wrote Mud-sprintf() .
Lars Duening: wrote the Amiga port.
Reimer Behrends: wrote mergesort based sort_array() .
Herp: wrote get_object_actions() .
Jacob Hallen: is one of the people involved with the CD driver; the email
 address was in the news recently...
  Please forward this letter to the person holding the copyright for the
  UDP connectivity(unless it's yourself :-) .
Alexander Weidt:
  Please try to forward this letter to my brother...

I hope to finally get terms which all autors can agree on that can be included
into the Copyright file. I suggest group replies, so that we can get some
kind of discussion going (unless there is immediate approval from all
authors :-) . When you have objections, please try to point out what is
wrong with these terms. Even better would it be if you had a solution
to the problem.

        Joern Rennecke (Amylaar)

Proposed Terms:
1. A LPmud may charge fees from players to cover running and machine costs.
2. Running costs in these terms are the cost for the network connection,
   electric power to operate the host machine, wear of backup media,
   repair costs for the host machine, and cost for a bank account.
   For the costs of a bank account to be considered runnung costs,
   they must not habe been considered according to 8. , and the
   institute has to be choosen with at least usual consideration on
   terms and costs of the account and that there must be no affiliaton
   with the institute.
3. Money to cover running costs for a maximum of 18 month may be accumulated
   in advance from fees to smoothe fluctation and to ensure stability of
   the mud. The spare money has to be kept separate from personal money
   and should be invested in trustee investment if liquidity allows.
   If the mud is permanently put down, this money has to be refounded to the
4. Machine costs are costs for buying, installation and upgrade of the host
   machine. The costs have to appear on a bona fide purchase / service
   contract with a person/institution that is not affiliated with the
   person who sets up the mud.
   When the host machine is put out of use, or parts of it are removed for
   other than technical reasons, are parts are nor re-inserted after the
   technical resons for removal and not re-inserting have become void,
   the current value of the machine that has put out of use/the removed
   parts is to be subtracted from the machine costs.
   If thus more money has been paid for machine costs than there are
   currently, the surplus amount has to be refounded to the mud players.
5. The machine cost share in the fee may not be more than 1/2400th
   of the machine costs per month. If the mud has less than 100 players,
   it may be up to machine costs / 24 / number of players, but not more than
   1/120th of the machine costs per month.
6. When money has to be payed back to the mud players, only those that
   have payed at least once a fee within the last 24 month are to be
   considered. For these players, the money is distributed in the ratio
   of the all fee shares ever payed to cover machine costs.
7. All players pay equal fees.
8. Banking costs that have to be paid by the mud administration and are
   immediately connected to incoming money transactions can be subtracted
   from the transferred amount before counting it as payment of fees,
   provided that the institute was choosen with at least usual
   consideration on terms and costs of the account, and that there is
   no affiliaton with the institute.
9. The amount of voluntary donations is unlimited. A donation is not
   considered voluntary if it is connected with special features or
   favours in the mud other than an hounarary mentioning of the donor,
   or if the donor is made to believe that such a connection exists.
   Reasonable measures have to be taken that there is no
   misunderstanding on this point.

3. You may not use the money of the mud to bridge personal inliquidity.
   Don't gamble with other persons money, e.g. investing it in junk bonds.
5. Fees should not be arbitrarily raised so that players can be driven
   out. I considered a fixed minimal distributen of the costs to be
   the best means to codify this.
   Absolute figures are bound to become void by inflation.
6. The 24 month period is introduced to allow to erease records of
   clients after two years, and to keep overhead affordable.
7. We don't want favourites to get a free lift, and others grudgingly
   paying extra. If you think somebody needs free access, find someone
   who pays for it, or make a found payed from voluntary donations.

Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1993 17:10:44 +0100 (MET)
From: Lars Pensj| 
Subject: Re: LPmud Copyright
To: (Joern Rennecke)

I agree that fix of the copyright is needed. I would prefer to use the
Gnu Copyleft, as I don't care any longer if anyone makes money from it. The
important thing is that it is free, which means noone will be able to make
much money anyway.

Any thoughts about it ?


Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1993 20:14:10 +0100 (MET)
From: Jacob Hallen 
Subject: Re: LPmud Copyright
To: (Joern Rennecke)

> Jacob Hallen: is one of the people involved with the CD driver; the email
>  address was in the news recently...
>   Please forward this letter to the person holding the copyright for the
>   UDP connectivity(unless it's yourself :-) .

I represent everyone involved in the CD driver. The UDP stuff is to be
considered public domain. All other parts are covered by the non-profit clause.
Code origination from me, Johan Andersson (Commander), Ronny Wikh (Mrpr),
Lennart Augustsson (Marvin) is covered by it. We have no intention of
allowing people to charge money for the usage of our driver, or borrowed
pieces thereof.
We consider the acceptance of volontary donations as fair practice, and we
can accept the charging for the use of extra equipment needed to allow
people to access the mud, as long as there is a reasonable way to access the
mud without being charged. (Providing modem access at a cost while allowing
free access over the internet is an example of such a setup.)

My personal view is that an elaborate setup of terms like the one in the
original letter is unreasonable. It is designed for a very specific set of
circumstances. It is impossible to check and it is very bureaucratic.
It does not have my support.

Jacob Hallen

Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1993 23:35:12 +0100 (MET)
From: Multi User Dungeon 
Subject: Re: LPmud Copyright
To: (Lars Pensj|)
Cc:,, gusar@uniwa.uwa.OZ.AU,,,,

Lars> important thing is that it is free, which means noone will be able to make
Lars> much money anyway.

You are speaking about the GD,correct ? Normally, many a site uses an unmodified
GD based upon which is a more or less heavily or not heavily Mudlib. Based upon
this Mudlib is the work of the `wizards' ... Sorry for repeating known stuff.

This makes most Muds differ from each other. So, the fact that the GD itself
is free, doesn't imply that you won't make money.

Another point to argue: maintainig a Mud takes time .. a LOT of time. Usually,
doing so is not fun at all. I experienced that the more players you have, the
less fun it is fore the adminstrators. You spend a lot of time coding,
searching and fixing bugs ... and I think, this can be regarded as a
service for players (... and players really can be a pain sometimes ...)
Would it be legal to charge money for that ?

Another thought: Internet Muds. They run on internet, usually on computers
owned by a school or university, some with, some without the knowledge of
the site adminstrators. Would it be legal to charge money when you run
a Mud on equipment not owned by yourself ? And, even if you own the computer,
do you pay for the internet link ? If not, I fear you must not charge money
for a Mud without speaking with the network adminstrator since you are using
the network components (router/bridges, even cables :-> ...) for free.

How difficult is charging money in European Muds ? Not that I plan
to do so for HM (it's closed for players currently anyway), but isn't there a
big difference according to the "accounting mechanism" (ugh, bad english :-)
that is used in the States ? I heard that it is much more easy to make
financial transactions within the States. So, I suspect the "Mud money charging"
discussion arrives from the US :-)

Greetings, Herp (

From Sun Oct 24 17:02:53 1999
Subject: Re: Newsgroups
From: (Jacob Hallen)
Date: 24 Oct 1999 16:02:53 GMT

In article <>,
Lars Duening  wrote:
>On Thu, 21 Oct 1999 12:11:36 -0700, Ilya
> wrote:
>>Hey Lars, what hope is there, if any, of getting
>>something going in the LP world, using LDmud or
>>whatever,  that can be used commercially?
>Unfortunately only slim hope: the parts written by the Genesis folks
>are definitely non-commercial; but rewriting is difficult because
>nobody remembers _which_ parts are concerned (and mailed requests
>haven't been answered). And I haven't asked the other contributors
>yet, either.

I have a pretty good idea of who wrote what parts of the early version 3
gamedrivers. All in all there have been about 30 people involved. Unless
you recode the entire gamedriver from scratch, or build from assembled pieces
with known copyright restrictions, there is no way you can come up with
something that does not infringe on the rights of someone who will not
allow commecial use.

Jacob HallÚn


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