Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

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Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by ikms » Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:21 pm

I could not help but notice the discussion recently about Game Rules, and could not remember whether I had actually accepted any "terms and conditions" when starting to play TMW on-line.

Just a thought, It is important that the owners/operaters/developers/etc indemify themselves under International Law against any possible misuse of the service that they freely provide.

Just as a really basic starting suggestion, (Laws and wording may vary slightly between Countries), but at least this shows intention
===============================

1. Indemnification

BY DOWNLOADING, INSTALLING, USING OR UNINSTALLING THE MANA WORLD GAME, OR USING THE MANA WORLD FORUM, YOU HEREBY AGREE TO, AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE, INDEMNIFY, DEFEND AND HOLD HARMLESS, ITS OWNER(S), OPERATOR(S), MODERATOR(S), DEVELOPER(S) AND , ANY THIRD PARTY SUPPLIERS, AND ITS AND THEIR RESPECTIVE DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES AND AGENTS (THE "INDEMNIFIED PARTIES"), FROM AND AGAINST ANY AND ALL LOSSES, DAMAGES, INJURIES, CAUSES OF ACTION, CLAIMS, DEMANDS AND EXPENSES, INCLUDING LEGAL FEES AND EXPENSES, OF WHATEVER KIND OR NATURE ARISING OUT OF, RELATING TO OR RESULTING FROM ANY CLAIM AGAINST SUCH INDEMNIFIED PARTIES OR ANY ONE OF THEM, ARISING FROM OR RELATING TO (I) YOUR DOWNLOAD, INSTALLATION, USE OR UNINSTALLATION OF THE MANA WORLD OR THE MANA WORLD FORUM, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY CLAIM OF PERSONAL INJURY (INCLUDING DEATH), INJURY TO REPUTATION, VIOLATION OF PRIVACY, OR DAMAGE TO TANGIBLE PROPERTY OR DATA (INCLUDING LOSS OF PROPERTY OR LOSS OF USE OF TANGIBLE PROPERTY OR DATA).

===============================

2. User Rules

'Users may be banned or accounts suspended or terminated on the entire themanaworld.com website if users use inappropriate langauge or inappropriate behavior as determined by the themanaworld (Hereafter known as TMW) moderators. Inappropriate langauge and/or inappropriate behavior is not allowed on TMW websites. TMW is not responsible for user content, postings, chat, and/or communications. Users are responsible for their own actions.

You agree not to do any of the following:

Post, distribute, or otherwise make available or transmit any data, text, message, or computer file that we deem to be: (a) defamatory, abusive, harassing, insulting, threatening, or that could be deemed to be stalking; (b) bigoted, hateful, or racially offensive; (c) vulgar, obscene, or sexually explicit (language or forum image); or that (d) encourages or advocates illegal activity or the discussion of illegal activities with the intent to commit them;

Post, distribute, or otherwise make available or transmit any data, text, message, computer file, or other material that infringes and/or violates any right of a third party or any domestic or international law, rule, or regulation, including but not limited to: (a) copyright, patent, trademark, or other proprietary rights; (b) right of privacy (specifically, you must not distribute another person's personal information of any kind without their express permission) or publicity; (c) any confidentiality obligation;

Advertise or sell any products, services or otherwise (whether or not for profit), or solicit others or use any Forum for commercial purposes of any kind,
Post, distribute, or otherwise make available or transmit any software or other computer files that contain a virus or other harmful component;
Impersonate any person or entity or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person or entity;

Engage in antisocial, disruptive, or destructive acts, including "flaming," "spamming," "flooding," "trolling," and "griefing" as those terms are commonly understood and used on the Internet;

Delete any legal notices, disclaimers, or proprietary notices such as copyright or trademark symbols, or modify any logos that you do not own or have express permission to modify;

Post, distribute, or otherwise make available or transmit material or make statements that do not generally pertain to the designated topic or theme of any Forum.

We reserve the right to remove any material, and if we deem appropriate, to turn over to law enforcement officials, any material, including message, e-mail, or posting, that is in violation of these Rules. We also reserve the right to remove messages, e-mails, or postings that do not pertain to the designated topic or theme of the service as determined by themanaworld moderators.

We also reserve the right to comply with any order or otherwise cooperate with law enforcement officials regarding the identification of any user alleged to be using The Mana World website or service in violation of the law

=============================================

3 Changes to these Terms and Conditions

You agree that TMW may change these terms and conditions at any time. The current terms and conditions for this agreement will be posted at: http://www.themanaworld.org/termsandconditions.htm

You will be able to check and read the current terms and conditions and if you do not agree with them you may uninstall TMW.

=============================================

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ikms
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by kr0n05931 » Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:33 pm

Are you talking about rules or the code's license? We are under the GNU GPL.
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by sj16936724 » Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:31 pm

I think this is referring to an intrusive license agreement you are required to 'Agree' to when installing or playing the game. If you physically do not click 'Agree', you may not install/play the game. I don't know if the Windows version of the game requires you to do that, but thankfully, the linux version does not.
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by Rotonen » Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:53 pm

On most Linux distributions you agree to GPL on installing the distribution.
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by octalot » Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:40 am

Rotonen wrote:On most Linux distributions you agree to GPL on installing the distribution.
The GPL is a distributor license, not an end-user one. You don't have to agree to it if you just use the software.

But I'm glad that there isn't (currently) a load of legalese needed before playing TMW.
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by kr0n05931 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:54 am

I say we just make you agree to a modified BSD license and go with it :lol:
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by Rotonen » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:01 am

Well, now that I actually think about it, on most distros you agree to stuff being non-GPL when installing. In the same ballpark at least.
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by ikms » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:18 am

Are you talking about rules or the code's license? We are under the GNU GPL
==================================================
I agree the Software licencing seems to be covered,

The suggested "Terms and Conditions" were really more about protecting the people involved in the operation of the server, the developers, and any other 3rd parties from the "stupid actions" of others, over which they have little or no control.

Some examples would be:
1. Someone installs the software on their PC, the PC crashes and they lose some very valuable files on the PC,
they seek damages from the people associated with the TMW project, claiming that they contributed to their loss.
2. Some TMW (Game or Forum) users discuss illegal activities using the game as a method of conversation, with the intent of commiting a crime
3. Someone infringes a copyright/trademark, etc in the game or forum, (which might seem quite harmless, but can be taken very seriously by the copyright owner.)
4. Someone uses the TMW to slander/harass/stalk, or for some other form of activity, to which it was not intended to be used for.

I think the fact that TMW operators and everyone involved in it, would co-operate with law enforcement officials regarding identification of any user alleged to be using the mana world website or associated service in 'violation of the law' - is a gimme.

There are documented cases of people doing crazy things, and then blaming on-line games, for contributing to their mayhem, lets make it quite clear that TMW will not be held accountable for their actions.

However this is probably not the best place to quote actual case studies.

Just because TMW is free, doesnt mean it cannot be used for something it was intended to be used for.

Most importantly - DO NOT PANIC, the chances of a bunch of terrorist(s) creating and using Characters within TMW to plot anything are very very slim.
Basically all you are saying is that you are not part of this, that any illegal activity is banned.

I hope that clears up the suggestion,

i would just suggest seeking independant legal advice in the country in which the server is based, as to what is needed (if required at all) in any "Terms and Conditions" in providing this service (facility) to the general public. (excluding the actual software licencing itself which is covered elsewhere)

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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by kr0n05931 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:06 pm

As far as I know the server we are currently using is under the GPL (BSD?), so we are protected from quite a bit of that.
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by ikms » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:08 am

The GPL does cover a lot of things, but is not a one size fits all blanket for everything.......... for example

Activities other than Copying, Distribution and
Modification are not covered by the GNU (General
Public Licence. They are outside its scope.

The GPL has no indemnification clause explicitly
protecting maintainers and developers from
litigation resulting from unscrupulous
contribution. (If a developer submits existing
patented or copyright work to a GPL project
claiming it as their own contribution, all the
project maintainers and even other developers can
be held legally responsible for damages to the
copyright or patent holder.)

Not wishing to diverge from the topic too far - as I really dont want to cover the "GPL licence flavours" and what is in and what is out,
or "playing the game" rules. But more simple Terms and Conditions (acceptable use policy) only. as distinct from Copyright issues.

Maybe a really basic example might help to explain the differences.
http://www.netbusinessblog.com/legal-re ... a-website/

Some good examples you might use for inspiration:

Typepad terms of service
http://www.typepad.com/legal/terms-of-service.htm

Myspace terms of service
http://www.myspace.com/Modules/Common/P ... tions.aspx
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by kr0n05931 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:13 am

Well here's the thing, we *can't* just change the license of eA like that. I don't even think a terms + conditions would be ok...

EDIT- The next GPL license should really have a clause making people who introduce bad code into the tree as accountable.

Also, can't we just make our own license based on the GPL or GPL-like? It might be a good idea to introduce a clause like that for future purposes. I propose we call it the TMW GPL. TBH though, I would prefer a BSD-Style license with a few extra clauses.
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by ikms » Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:17 am

Maybe that is the answer

"The Mana World" may not be anymore than just its software, and doesn't have an identity in its own right.

Just thinking out loud ....................

The Software doesn't provide the file server
The Software doesnt maintain the website
The Software doesn't control the data content and flow over the internet connection.
The Software doesn't regulate the Forums.

Maybe I have the Cart before the Horse.
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by Crush » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:19 pm

I am against changing the license of the TMW software itself from GPL to something different, but I could imagine to have some additional legalese for a) playing on our official game servers (rules of conduct you have to agree on before connecting to the server) and b) contributing to the project (making contributors liable for copyright infringements in their contributions).
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by kr0n05931 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:29 pm

Crush wrote:making contributors liable for copyright infringements in their contributions
My thoughts exactly. Wouldn't that line do wonders in the GPL?
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Re: Suggestion - TMW basic obligations under International law

Post by ikms » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:26 pm

Yes - I agree wholeheartly

I would leave the GPL alone, and have "some additional legalese for a) playing on our official game servers (rules of conduct you have to agree on before connecting to the server) and b) contributing to the project (making contributors liable for copyright infringements in their contributions)."

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