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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:23 pm 
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Dang. I never thought of that file format thing.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:34 pm 
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JWPlatt wrote:
Robert The Rebuilder wrote:
If these fan-run servers only contain fan-produced content, then I don't see the need for a license.

Use of the proprietary Plasma platform and file formats requires permission to legalize what has been reverse engineered, even if everything consists of pure, fan-produced software and content. That software and content is based upon a proprietary foundation for which significant investment was made to acquire, develop, and produce it. Chances are that Cyan will release it for free. But I think they should have nominal charges at the very least to address the topic of this very thread. Licensing can provide for that.


Reverse-engineered file formats have not, and hopefully never will, require permission from the original creator when you create compatible software. US and many international copyright laws contain fair-use exceptions specifically to allow reverse-engineering software for the purposes of interoperability.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:13 pm 
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I think I understand what JW is getting at. In the early years of fan-developed tools, we asked permission to develop and distribute the tools - at the request of Cyan. This was done for the PyPRP plugin, UAM and other tools. It wasn't a license - just permission.

Paladin: 'Fair use' is an iffy justificaton, although the forum guidelines do give us permission to discuss the file formats openly... Just to be on the safe side, have you and Zrax sent in a request for permission to Cyan legal?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:26 pm 
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If I write a chat program for MSN, I don't need permission from Microsoft to do so. It is fair use to reverse engineer and implement code for the sake of interoperability. Programs like Pidgin, aMSN, and Adium depend on this.
Microsoft, of course, has the option of detecting my code and preventing it from connect, or trying to obfuscate the protocol so that it is harder to reverse engineer.

Cyan has already implicitly authorised libHSPlasma by allowing a KI chat program (which uses libHSPlasmaNet as a backend).


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:36 pm 
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Any clean room design for interoperability purposes has incredible legal precedent in its favor. US copyright laws would have to be grossly rewritten for this to change.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:28 am 
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OK - that's good enough for me. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:36 am 
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Robert The Rebuilder wrote:
BTW - that's fantastic news about DIRTSAND! Once it matures, we'll finally have a means to test our MOULa-compatible ages.


Actually you can technically already do that... Yes, DS still has its bugs, but if you have any ages you wish to test on MOULa, feel free to send the necessary files to me and I can add them to the DS alpha server :). Just beware that some bugs might be the server, not your ages :P.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:55 am 
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And all bets are off testing ages in PlasmaClient still, naturally :P

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