Diplomacy over the net as it is run today is very much based on the
goodwill of AH. They have given us leave to use the maps, and to
distribute them relatively freely. This newsgroup is the main forum
for discussing net.diplomacy, and as such, much of the activity
here is also dependent upon AH goodwill.
We don't really want to do anything to damage that goodwill. That
is the reason why the rules are no longer made available online.
And that is the reason why I feel strongly that if MacDip has
received a cease and desist order from AH, this newsgroup should
not be used as a forum to circumvent that order. Discuss it,
possibly, maybe even to the point of formulating a reaction
directed at AH. But we should not use r.g.d. as a forum for the
exchange of material AH considers in violation of their trademarks
or copyrights. That just might do more damage to net.diplomacy
than I, at least, like to think about.
It is possible that I could release MacDip as part of the judge software.
I can check into this, carefully, if Jim is interested. I think a
fair argument could be made that it is a tool for making the judges more
As the author of MacDip, there are no flames from here, despite
the fact that I'd like to see it distributed more than anyone. The
original plan to have MacDip sold as a product has died, due to lack
of interest from AH, so basically I've put in a couple of years of
work into what I consider a good product for nothing. This is the
price one pays for playing with copyrighted material, but it still
For the record, the actual cease and desist notice is as follows:
We are writing in reference to software you are offering for on-line
distribution that infringe upon our trademark and copyrights.
Your MacDip software has caused us to write this letter.
Monarch Avalon, Inc. takes care to protect the names, appearances and
content of their games under the Patent, Trademark and Copyright laws
of the United States. It is imperative that you respect our rights to
these intellectual property assets by refraining from appropriating
them in any way, shape, or form.
You are hereby requested to immediately cease further distribution of
Note that this doesn't say that others can't distribute it, but I
think that may be playing loose and fast with the intent of the
document. It is clear, however, that I can continue to develop MacDip
-- but that's like placing a lamp under a bushel basket.
I would be interested in a discussion as to possible means for
releasing MacDip without hurting the hobby. I've considered a lot of
options, but at this point I have no idea as to what to do.
Jim Van Verth Grad Student, UNC Computer Science Department
"Diplomacy is to do and say the nastiest thing in the nicest way."
-- Isaac Goldberg