Trouble's a-brewin'

4 views
Skip to first unread message

Russ Bryan

unread,
Apr 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/17/96
to
I just want to slip in a quick warning to you all. A couple of Activision
reps to slip through this newsgroup from time to time, and they now own
the licenses on all of the old Infocom games.

I do not recommend publically offering to E-mail these games to all
comers. If someone from Activision gets a bug up their ass, you'll be
looking at some fairly significant piracy charges.

Anyway, be careful. I'm off-line for about a week, and I hope everyone's
still here when I get back.

-- Russ

/--- Sphere Discovery: an Interactive Prologue ---\
|----- Interactive Fiction by Russ Bryan -----|
\----- Coming for I-F Contest 1996 -----/

Stephen van Egmond

unread,
Apr 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/17/96
to
Russ-

We -know- that some people at Activiation read the rec.*.int-fiction
newsgroups. Witness their pathetic attempts to advertise before Zork
Nemesis appeared.

Some people say that the Net has no memory. One of the Official Rules of
UseNet Posting is that you can't refer to information that was posted
more than a month ago in any post. I think this is untrue. The hackish
roots of Usenet are still readily apparent in a large portion of the
newsgroups; I can't imagine doing much worse than offering a stolen Infocom
game in areas where hackish memes still live. You could be eaten by a
grue...


Kenneth Fair

unread,
Apr 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/18/96
to
In article <Dq0xo...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca>,

svan...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca (Stephen van Egmond) wrote:

>Some people say that the Net has no memory. One of the Official Rules of
>UseNet Posting is that you can't refer to information that was posted
>more than a month ago in any post. I think this is untrue. The hackish
>roots of Usenet are still readily apparent in a large portion of the
>newsgroups; I can't imagine doing much worse than offering a stolen Infocom
>game in areas where hackish memes still live. You could be eaten by a
>grue...

Weelllllll, unofficial really. The only "official" rules are expressed
by the RFCs (Requests For Comments). The "unofficial" rules can, of
course, be found in news.announce.newusers.

The "one month limit" is quickly becoming stale with the advent of
DejaNews anyway. I'm not sure that's a good thing, though.

--
KEN FAIR - U. Chicago Law | Power Mac! | Net since '90 | Net.cop
kjf...@midway.uchicago.edu | CABAL(tm) Member | I'm w/in McQ - R U?

The Internet was not created for companies to make money from.

Matthew T. Russotto

unread,
Apr 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/18/96
to
In article <4l2oft$s...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,

Russ Bryan <russ...@aol.com> wrote:
}I just want to slip in a quick warning to you all. A couple of Activision
}reps to slip through this newsgroup from time to time, and they now own
}the licenses on all of the old Infocom games.

}I do not recommend publically offering to E-mail these games to all
}comers. If someone from Activision gets a bug up their ass, you'll be
}looking at some fairly significant piracy charges.

}Anyway, be careful. I'm off-line for about a week, and I hope everyone's
}still here when I get back.

Well, if Activision wants to prosecute me for piracy of Infocom games,
I've got a few answers for them:

1) I didn't do it.
2) You didn't see me
3) The statue of limitations has run out
4) I was a minor anyway
:-)
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com russ...@his.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/19/96
to
In article <4l2oft$s...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, russ...@aol.com (Russ Bryan) wrote:
>I just want to slip in a quick warning to you all. A couple of Activision
>reps to slip through this newsgroup from time to time, and they now own
>the licenses on all of the old Infocom games.
>
>I do not recommend publically offering to E-mail these games to all
>comers. If someone from Activision gets a bug up their ass, you'll be
>looking at some fairly significant piracy charges.
>
>Anyway, be careful. I'm off-line for about a week, and I hope everyone's
>still here when I get back.

Whow! A crime that the criminal gets absolutely nothing out of! I'm still
beginning to wonder which idiot made selflessness, charity and generosity a
crime :).

Gord Jeoffroy

unread,
Apr 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/19/96
to
russ...@wanda.phl.pond.com (Matthew T. Russotto) wrote:

>3) The statue of limitations has run out

Nice typo. I'm gonna put this in the first game I code:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
STATUARY MOVES: 26778
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Statuary
The room is filled with nondescript statues of various shapes and
sizes which the programmer has neglected to elaborate upon,
obviously thinking you would never make it this far. One large,
badly carved and not-quite-finished statue in particular grabs your
attention: in your heart of hearts you know that it is the key to
winning this game.

>EXAMINE THE UNFINISHED STATUE
Internal Error #87 -- Saved games corrupted.

*** You have died. ***

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>TEAR PROGRAMMER'S HEART FROM CHEST AND EAT IT

--Gord


Andrew C. Plotkin

unread,
Apr 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/19/96
to
patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) writes:
> Whow! A crime that the criminal gets absolutely nothing out of! I'm still
> beginning to wonder which idiot made selflessness, charity and generosity a
> crime :).

Smile, friend, but don't pirate any software *I* write. Ok?

--Z

(Yes, of course I mean "except freeware and the freely-distributable
parts of shareware.")

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."

Giovanni Maga

unread,
Apr 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/19/96
to
In article <4l6vs7$2...@orb.direct.ca>, patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) wrote:


>
> Whow! A crime that the criminal gets absolutely nothing out of! I'm still
> beginning to wonder which idiot made selflessness, charity and generosity a
> crime :).

...but when they can be called copyrights violation you're in trouble!

Paul O'Brian

unread,
Apr 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/19/96
to
patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) writes:

>Whow! A crime that the criminal gets absolutely nothing out of! I'm still
>beginning to wonder which idiot made selflessness, charity and generosity a
>crime :).

The mistake here is that you're only thinking of yourself as the "criminal."
When you pirate software, there are two criminals: you and the person to
whom you send the pirated work. You get nothing, the other gets a commercial
game without having to pay the author who makes a living from their work.

If you really want to be selfless, charitable, and generous, write your own
game and release it as freeware. Or would you rather get paid for your work?

--
Paul O'Brian obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu
"The brain is wider than the sky,/ For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include/ With ease, and you beside."
-Emily Dickinson-

bonni mierzejewska

unread,
Apr 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/19/96
to
On Fri, 19 Apr 96 03:07:06 GMT, patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) wrote:

>Whow! A crime that the criminal gets absolutely nothing out of! I'm still
>beginning to wonder which idiot made selflessness, charity and generosity a
>crime :).

<snort>

ENGLISH 101

You see a $40 textbook and a course syllabus here. You note that only 3
short stories in the textbook are required reading in the course. In a
spirit of selflessness, charity, and generosity, you wish you could do
something about that.

>Get textbook.
Taken.

>Copy textbook.
You make 30 copies of the 3 required short stories.

>Give copies to students.

*** You have broken the law ***

While in jail, you ponder the connection between charity and honesty.

bonni
coming soon - 1996 IF Competition entry
__ __
IC | XC | bonni mierzejewska "The Lone Quilter"
---+--- | u6...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu
NI | KA | Kelly's Creek Homestead, Maidsville, WV

tv's Spatch

unread,
Apr 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/20/96
to
And thus did obr...@ucsu.Colorado.EDU (Paul O'Brian) spake, speaking:

>patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) writes:

>>Whow! A crime that the criminal gets absolutely nothing out of! I'm still
>>beginning to wonder which idiot made selflessness, charity and generosity a
>>crime :).

>The mistake here is that you're only thinking of yourself as the "criminal."


>When you pirate software, there are two criminals: you and the person to
>whom you send the pirated work. You get nothing, the other gets a commercial
>game without having to pay the author who makes a living from their work.

Just out of curiosity's sake, how are the great Infocom imps getting along,
royalty-wise, with Activision and their re-re-re-(whatever)-releasing of those
CD collections such as the Adventure Collection and whatnot? I'd sure like to
see Steve M. et al see some pennies from my purchasing an Activision-released
collection and not just watch some company who thinks all games should be
created for Windows 95 only, amen, et cetera, take my money and run.

>If you really want to be selfless, charitable, and generous, write your own
>game and release it as freeware. Or would you rather get paid for your work?

Excellent point. Freeware is a beautiful thing, as long as it's rightfully
known all around that said game one is distributing freely is freeware and not

just an Infocom .DAT file zipped up and passed around.

(However, if someone actually offered to pay me for PUTPBAD, quite easily the
dumbest thing I've ever had the misfortune to write, I'd really have to think
for a moment before deciding _I_'d be the criminal for accepting the money...
but I digress...)

--
tv's Spatch, MSTie #43790. My mother was a Bozoette in high school.
"Hey! There's no food here! You tricked me, you big dumb liar cat!"
- 2 Stupid Dogs
Big dumb liar cats abound at: http://uptown.turnpike.net/S/spatula


Sarinee Achavanuntakul

unread,
Apr 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/20/96
to
bonni mierzejewska (u6...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu) wrote:
: On Fri, 19 Apr 96 03:07:06 GMT, patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) wrote:

: ENGLISH 101

: You see a $40 textbook and a course syllabus here. You note that only 3
: short stories in the textbook are required reading in the course. In a
: spirit of selflessness, charity, and generosity, you wish you could do
: something about that.

: >Get textbook.
: Taken.

: >Copy textbook.
: You make 30 copies of the 3 required short stories.

Man, this sounds *sooooo* familiar....

-Sarinee
(not to mention the cramp and colorful dots I saw after standing
3 hours straight in front of the machine, trying not to look at the
flash.........)

Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/21/96
to
In article <wlRlfyO00...@andrew.cmu.edu>, "Andrew C. Plotkin" <erky...@CMU.EDU>

<4l6vs7$2...@orb.direct.ca> wrote:
>patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) writes:
>> Whow! A crime that the criminal gets absolutely nothing out of! I'm still
>> beginning to wonder which idiot made selflessness, charity and generosity a
>> crime :).
>
>Smile, friend, but don't pirate any software *I* write. Ok?

Don't worry. I don't pirate shareware. I have the registered version of TADS
and I am NOT giving it away. But when a company puts out five different
packages, each containing a CD-Rom formatted to one meg each, it's a different
story. No shareware author would ever be this evil.

Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/21/96
to
In article <obrian.8...@ucsu.Colorado.EDU>, obr...@ucsu.Colorado.EDU (Paul O'Brian) wrote:
>patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) writes:

>If you really want to be selfless, charitable, and generous, write your own
>game and release it as freeware. Or would you rather get paid for your work?

If I'd written a game then I'd rather be paid via recognition, i.e. with
reviews sent to Spag and articles in Xyzzy.

But there's a big difference between doing it with shareware and doing it with
commercial software.

Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/21/96
to

>ENGLISH 101
>
>You see a $40 textbook and a course syllabus here. You note that only 3
>short stories in the textbook are required reading in the course. In a
>spirit of selflessness, charity, and generosity, you wish you could do
>something about that.
>
>>Get textbook.
>Taken.
>
>>Copy textbook.
>You make 30 copies of the 3 required short stories.

>>Give copies to students.

>*** You have broken the law ***

Exactly what the heck was wrong with that? Another example. I buy a music
album. I see a whole bunch of people who say they really want it. So I offer
to copy it for anyone who wants it.

Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/21/96
to
In article <4l65c7$e...@wanda.phl.pond.com>, russ...@wanda.phl.pond.com (Matthew T. Russotto) wrote:

>Well, if Activision wants to prosecute me for piracy of Infocom games,
>I've got a few answers for them:
>
>1) I didn't do it.
>2) You didn't see me

>3) The statue of limitations has run out

>4) I was a minor anyway

If you got the game from *me*, then you can also truthfully say:

1) I didn't get any documentation.

2) I didn't get any copy-protection

3) The copy-protected games were not cracked.

4) I didn't even get an EXE file

5) Many of the games are unplayable without copy-protection/documentation
(Lurking Horror...)

6) At least some of the games are impossible to even start playing without
documentation (A Mind Forever Voyaging and Suspended)

7) Many of the games are impossible to finish without documentation (Beyond
Zork...)

8) All I got was a DAT file

9) Most of the games cannot be enjoyed to the fullest extent without the
documentation that I didn't get.

Now that you know THAT, people, you are making a more informed decision when
you E-mail me to say "please send me a game". But if you still want it, I'll
send it to you.

Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/21/96
to
In article <obrian.8...@ucsu.Colorado.EDU>, obr...@ucsu.Colorado.EDU (Paul O'Brian) wrote:
>patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) writes:

>The mistake here is that you're only thinking of yourself as the "criminal."
>When you pirate software, there are two criminals: you and the person to
>whom you send the pirated work. You get nothing, the other gets a commercial
>game without having to pay the author who makes a living from their work.

Look, people. Activision is *not* making a living with the "___" Collections.
Their money is coming from their graphics games. I think it's blowing this out
of proportion a heckuva lot to say that I'm depriving Infocom of anything
signifigant. So far, I must add, no-one has ever asked for every game in a
Collection. ONE person did ask me to send him LTOI2 so he could play it until
he finds a legitimate copy.

Andrew C. Plotkin

unread,
Apr 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/21/96
to
Excerpts from netnews.rec.games.int-fiction: 21-Apr-96 Re: Trouble's
a-brewin' Cth...@Direct.CA (688)

> >Smile, friend, but don't pirate any software *I* write. Ok?

> Don't worry. I don't pirate shareware. I have the registered version of TADS
> and I am NOT giving it away.

Don't *worry*?

My "real" job is with a company that sells computer games. Commercially.
There is a commercial game out there with my name under the programmer
heading. I buy food and books and Macintosh hardware with the salary
they pay me. I write freeware IF at home on my Macintosh, in my spare
time.

I can give bigger hints if you need them. Goddammit.

--Z

Joe Frank

unread,
Apr 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/21/96
to
patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) wrote:

>>>Give copies to students.

You spend 6 months everyday, sometimes 16 hours a day putting together
a music album. You have a wife and kids to feed, and somehow have to
keep a roof over your head.
Your release your music album. One person buys it. As you walk down
the street, you here the music you spent thousands of hours on being
played through the headphones and boomboxes of forty people.
Your stomach hurts from lack of food, the landlord throws you out
and your wife a kids leave you because you can't feed them.

***you have starved to death***

Too bad nobody paid you for your work, things might be a little
differant for you now.


Richard G Clegg

unread,
Apr 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/22/96
to
Cthulhu (patr...@Direct.CA) wrote:

: Whow! A crime that the criminal gets absolutely nothing out of! I'm still

: beginning to wonder which idiot made selflessness, charity and generosity a
: crime :).

Perhaps some *idiot* thought that programmers who write worthwhile
and intelligent software should be rewarded for their efforts rather
than ripped off... Just something you might like to consider - if everyone
pirated Infocom games then the company might, for example, go under and
be swallowed by a software giant who would sit on the label and milk it
for all it was worth by releasing games based upon the original and hoping
they can up sales by playing upon nostalgia.

oops - too late.

--
Richard G. Clegg There ain't no getting round getting round
Dept. of Mathematics (Network Control group) Uni. of York.
email: ric...@manor.york.ac.uk
www: http://manor.york.ac.uk/top.html


Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/22/96
to
In article <YlSfnT600...@andrew.cmu.edu>, "Andrew C. Plotkin" <erky...@CMU.EDU>

<4lc88m$i...@orb.direct.ca> wrote:
>Excerpts from netnews.rec.games.int-fiction: 21-Apr-96 Re: Trouble's
>a-brewin' Cth...@Direct.CA (688)
>
>> >Smile, friend, but don't pirate any software *I* write. Ok?
>
>> Don't worry. I don't pirate shareware. I have the registered version of TADS
>> and I am NOT giving it away.
>
>Don't *worry*?
>
>My "real" job is with a company that sells computer games. Commercially.
>There is a commercial game out there with my name under the programmer
>heading. I buy food and books and Macintosh hardware with the salary
>they pay me. I write freeware IF at home on my Macintosh, in my spare
>time.

So, knowing this, how am I going to avoid pirating any game *you* write if you
don't tell me which ones you wrote?!!

Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/22/96
to
In article <4lg5fn$8...@netty.york.ac.uk>, ric...@manor.york.ac.uk wrote:
>Cthulhu (patr...@Direct.CA) wrote:
>
>: Whow! A crime that the criminal gets absolutely nothing out of! I'm still
>: beginning to wonder which idiot made selflessness, charity and generosity a
>: crime :).
>
> Perhaps some *idiot* thought that programmers who write worthwhile
>and intelligent software should be rewarded for their efforts rather
>than ripped off... Just something you might like to consider - if everyone
>pirated Infocom games then the company might, for example, go under and
>be swallowed by a software giant who would sit on the label and milk it
>for all it was worth by releasing games based upon the original and hoping
>they can up sales by playing upon nostalgia.
>
> oops - too late.

Last I checked it was because of a bad investment in a database product, not
because of piracy.

Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/22/96
to
In article <4leflv$3...@news.cais.com>, joef...@ahoynet.com (Joe Frank) wrote:
>patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) wrote:

>>Exactly what the heck was wrong with that? Another example. I buy a music
>>album. I see a whole bunch of people who say they really want it. So I offer
>>to copy it for anyone who wants it.
>
>You spend 6 months everyday, sometimes 16 hours a day putting together
>a music album. You have a wife and kids to feed, and somehow have to
>keep a roof over your head.
> Your release your music album. One person buys it. As you walk down

^^^^


>the street, you here the music you spent thousands of hours on being
>played through the headphones and boomboxes of forty people.

Only ONE person buys it?!!

> Your stomach hurts from lack of food, the landlord throws you out
>and your wife a kids leave you because you can't feed them.
>
> ***you have starved to death***

Actually, that would also have happened if ALL forty people paid for it.

> Too bad nobody paid you for your work, things might be a little
>differant for you now.

Whoa! Forty people make the difference between life or death in real life,
correct? And people really would make copies of music albums for forty people
in real life, correct?

May I suggest that your analogy is flawed?

Gord Jeoffroy

unread,
Apr 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/23/96
to
patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) wrote:

>Whoa! Forty people make the difference between life or death in real life,
>correct? And people really would make copies of music albums for forty people
>in real life, correct?

>May I suggest that your analogy is flawed?

Come on, don't play stupid. You know exactly what he's talking about.

If only one in forty owners of that album -- or that book, or that
Infocom game that someone pirated out of the goodness of his heart --
pays for the product, that's a 97.5% loss in potential revenue to the
producer. Even if "only" every other person pays for their stuff,
that's still a 50% loss in revenue.

From the sounds of your morals, you won't mind taking even a 50% cut
in your income. So how's about you REALLY be generous and give us all
half your money.

--Gord, wondering what they're teaching kids these days...


Tim Hollebeek

unread,
Apr 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/23/96
to
Cthulhu (patr...@Direct.CA) wrote:
: >
: >My "real" job is with a company that sells computer games. Commercially.

: >There is a commercial game out there with my name under the programmer
: >heading. I buy food and books and Macintosh hardware with the salary
: >they pay me. I write freeware IF at home on my Macintosh, in my spare
: >time.

: So, knowing this, how am I going to avoid pirating any game *you* write if you
: don't tell me which ones you wrote?!!

Here's a hint. If you don't pirate any games, the probability of
pirating one of his is low.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Hollebeek | Disclaimer :=> Everything above is a true statement,
Electron Psychologist | for sufficiently false values of true.
Princeton University | email: t...@wfn-shop.princeton.edu
----------------------| http://wfn-shop.princeton.edu/~tim (NEW! IMPROVED!)

bonni mierzejewska

unread,
Apr 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/23/96
to
patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) wrote:


>>*** You have broken the law ***

>Exactly what the heck was wrong with that? Another example. I buy a music


>album. I see a whole bunch of people who say they really want it. So I offer
>to copy it for anyone who wants it.

You don't get it, do you? That would be theft. That bunch of people who
say they really want the album should go and buy a copy so the artist can
receive the money for their work.

I think we should drop this thread, folks. This guy sounds *very* young.
Perhaps he'll gain wisdom with age - if he doesn't get sued by a
corporation first.

Stourly Kraklite

unread,
Apr 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/23/96
to krak...@wavefront.com
This is a very intersting thread. Lots of people standing up for copyright
laws. Especially those who write games. The writer of a prior post might
be "*very* young" but that doesn't fully explain the reasons he might be unsure
about the morality of copyright infringement.

I wonder; how many of you game writers have a web page up that has ZERO
copyright infringements on it? The whole internet is one big copyright
infringement. Maybe I've just turned over the rock where all the 100% law
abiding computer types are hiding, but I doubt it.

I'm not saying that everybody should be free to copy anything (a view which has
quite a few proponents). But it is clear that copyright law is completely out
of date and unrealistic in the age of the net.

So I ask all of you: Is it immoral for you to knowingly download and
redistribute that porn picture, photograph, logo. Is everybody that does so
amoral scum? Or does this just apply to computer games. Or do we need a whole
new way of considering copyright.

I say the latter. I say our young friend has every reason to be confused.

krak...@wavefront.com

bonni mierzejewska

unread,
Apr 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/24/96
to
On Tue, 23 Apr 1996 15:39:01 -0700, Stourly Kraklite
<krak...@wavefront.com> wrote:

>I wonder; how many of you game writers have a web page up that has ZERO
>copyright infringements on it? The whole internet is one big copyright
>infringement. Maybe I've just turned over the rock where all the 100% law
>abiding computer types are hiding, but I doubt it.

Why is it so hard for you to believe that there might be a large number of
folks who are 100% law abiding computer types? I happen to be one. I
don't currently have a web page, but when I did, it had ZERO copyright
infringements on it. I happen to be more willing to believe than you seem
to be that there are more people like that. Perhaps this is a matter of
personal perspective affecting our respective opinions?

>I'm not saying that everybody should be free to copy anything (a view which has
>quite a few proponents). But it is clear that copyright law is completely out
>of date and unrealistic in the age of the net.

Should we make crimes legal just because there are plenty of criminals who
indulge in them?

>So I ask all of you: Is it immoral for you to knowingly download and
>redistribute that porn picture, photograph, logo. Is everybody that does so
>amoral scum? Or does this just apply to computer games. Or do we need a whole
>new way of considering copyright.

Immoral and illegal are two separate issues. It is certainly illegal to
knowingly download and redistribute copyrighted material. I'm not making
a moral judgment call here; that is simply a fact.

>I say the latter. I say our young friend has every reason to be confused.

Unfortunately, in the US at least, ignorance is no excuse before the law.
And since a number of people, both here and on rai-f, have endeavoured to
educate him, he doesn't have even that excuse.

There's no way for us to know if an investigator from Infocom hasn't
already requested a pirated game from him, either. Large companies do
things like that.

Aquarius

unread,
Apr 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/24/96
to
Cthulhu (patr...@Direct.CA) wrote:

: >*** You have broken the law ***

: Exactly what the heck was wrong with that? Another example. I buy a music

: album. I see a whole bunch of people who say they really want it. So I offer
: to copy it for anyone who wants it.

Nothing, apart from the fact it's a copyright violation and therefore
against the law. when you make an album and then only get 10p in
royalties 'cos only one person buys it, you'll know why, won't you?
*** Do not pass GO, do not collect $200 ***

Aquarius

PS. Working on a TADS adventure - at the current rate of progress, I'll
probably enter it in the 1999 competition. :)

--
"The grand plan that is Aquarius proceeds apace." - 'Ronin', Frank Miller.
s.i.la...@durham.ac.uk | http://www.dur.ac.uk/~d4f8bu/ | Mail for PGP key
"I do believe in God. And the only think that scares me is Kaiser Sosek."-TUS

Stourly Kraklite

unread,
Apr 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/24/96
to krak...@wavefront.com
bonni mierzejewska wrote:

> On Tue, 23 Apr 1996 15:39:01 -0700, Stourly Kraklite
> <krak...@wavefront.com> wrote:
>
> >I wonder; how many of you game writers have a web page up that has ZERO
> >copyright infringements on it? The whole internet is one big copyright
> >infringement. Maybe I've just turned over the rock where all the 100% law
> >abiding computer types are hiding, but I doubt it.
>
> Why is it so hard for you to believe that there might be a large number of
> folks who are 100% law abiding computer types? I happen to be one. I
> don't currently have a web page, but when I did, it had ZERO copyright
> infringements on it.

Well, good for you. I submit that you are in the minority. I've done a more
or less random scan of non-commercial, non-institutional web pages and found
very few that appear to have ZERO violations. I suggest that the majority of
images circulating on the net are illegal. Ditto for sound bytes and just
about everything else. I can't prove it but seems a safe guess based on my
observation.

And for the most part, I don't feel this has too much to do with the decline
of moralality or criminals. Rather, it is due to the fact that many people
are making creative and practical use of a new tool and that the law is out of
date. I think the law should be changed to reasonably accomodate the reality
of the 21st century and ignored until that happens. But it hardly matters
what I think. That's just the way it's gonna be.

> Should we make crimes legal just because there are plenty of criminals who
> indulge in them?

Some, Yes. Not sure in the case of game piracy. And in the case of software,
I am also a programmer so I do have an interest here. But for example, look
at any CD in your collection. Did you know that it is illegal to LOAN a CD to
another person, regardless of whether they copy it or not. Don't take my word
for it. Look yourself.

Many people do not consider this to be a reasonable law and don't feel too bad
about breaking it. I'm one of them. How about you? Have you ever lent out a
CD? Will you stop now that you know it is illegal? How about the infamous
internet censorship bill. Will you comply BECAUSE it's the law? Maybe you
will, but I won't. I will comply because I'm not interested in the restricted
subject matter. At the point at which I might become interested in the
subject matter, I will break the law.



> Unfortunately, in the US at least, ignorance is no excuse before the law.
> And since a number of people, both here and on rai-f, have endeavoured to
> educate him, he doesn't have even that excuse.

If you are merely giving our friend advice about how to avoid legal problems,
your point is well taken. But my point was that the law is way behind reality
as far as copyright goes. And most people don't govern their actions because
of what's legal or what's not anyway. Only a few grannies from Wisconsin.

The primary reason I don't kill my neighbor is because I don't want to. The
second reason is that it's immoral. The third is that I might be punished by
society. The idea that I don't kill my neighbor because it is illegal and I
must obey the law is not even on the charts.

As I hope is clear, none of this is meant to endorse theft of games. Just to
point out that the law is a poor guide to conduct and that hippocracy is
widespread on the copyright issue.

kraklite

Russ Bryan

unread,
Apr 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/24/96
to
A couple of notes:

1) NEVER has any thread I have started extended to thirty replies -- thank
you, one and all, for providing me with this validation of my (yada yada
yada) ...

2) When nearly everyone says you're wrong, you might want to consider the
possibility that you might not be 100% right.

3) Not too long ago, you could consider me a regular pot smoker. I smoked
nearly every day for three years, and never once questioned its legality.
If you're educated in drugs, you probably realize that pot is quite
harmless, particularly when compared with tobacco or alcohol, both of
which are legal and are highly addictive. About two months ago, I
stopped smoking pot -- no withdrawl symptoms, no cravings. On the other
hand, I don't think I can ever stop smoking cigarettes.

So, in regard to the use of CDs and other written media:

> Many people do not consider this to be a reasonable law and don't feel
too > bad about breaking it. I'm one of them. How about you?

I'd just like to throw something out there for you all to chew on. I am a
writer, myself. Does the existence of the internet mean that YOU don't
believe I should ever be fairly paid for it? Should all creative and
intellectual property be in the public domain? Lending CDs is fine by me,
but tell me -- how many times have you borrowed a CD, really liked it, and
then NOT copied it?

Just some shit to chew on.

-- Russ

/--- Sphere Discovery: an Interactive Prologue ---\
|----- Interactive Fiction by Russ Bryan -----|
\----- Coming for I-F Contest 1996 -----/

Julian Arnold

unread,
Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
to
Damn, I told myself _not_ to post to this thread, but the following has got
to be the most idiotic post I have ever seen in this newsgroup:

In article <4lh4ot$k...@orb.direct.ca>, Cthulhu


<mailto:patr...@Direct.CA> wrote:
>
> In article <YlSfnT600...@andrew.cmu.edu>, "Andrew C. Plotkin" <erky...@CMU.EDU
> >
> <4lc88m$i...@orb.direct.ca> wrote:
> >Excerpts from netnews.rec.games.int-fiction: 21-Apr-96 Re: Trouble's
> >a-brewin' Cth...@Direct.CA (688)
> >
> >> >Smile, friend, but don't pirate any software *I* write. Ok?
> >
> >> Don't worry. I don't pirate shareware. I have the registered version of TADS
> >> and I am NOT giving it away.
> >
> >Don't *worry*?
> >

> >My "real" job is with a company that sells computer games. Commercially.
> >There is a commercial game out there with my name under the programmer
> >heading. I buy food and books and Macintosh hardware with the salary
> >they pay me. I write freeware IF at home on my Macintosh, in my spare
> >time.
>
> So, knowing this, how am I going to avoid pirating any game *you* write if you
> don't tell me which ones you wrote?!!

(Would anyone mind if I made this into my .sig?) ;)

Jools


Perry Israel

unread,
Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
to
Stourly Kraklite (krak...@wavefront.com) writes:

> But for example, look at any CD in your collection. Did you know
>that it is illegal to LOAN a CD to another person, regardless of whether
>they copy it or not. Don't take my word for it. Look yourself.

> Many people do not consider this to be a reasonable law and don't feel


>too bad about breaking it. I'm one of them. How about you? Have you
>ever lent out a CD? Will you stop now that you know it is illegal?

Just a small technical point:

Is it really illegal? It's in violation of the contract--or at least so
the argument would come from the "licensee" of the CD Rom. (By the way,
based upon the license, maybe you don't have a CD collection: you just
are in possession of a medium (which you own?) that holds intellectual
property that the software company owns.) The real question seems to me to
be whether the contract is overreaching on the part of the company or
whether you are actually bound by it.

I suppose if the contract were found to be enforceable, the company might
(in addition to suing your pants off) be able to argue to some DA that you
should be prosecuted for criminal conversion or some such thing.


--
Perry Israel | "That does not keep me from having a terrible need of
Sacramento, CA | --shall I say the word--religion. Then I go out at
pis...@crl.com | night to paint the stars." --Vincent van Gogh


Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
to
In article <4lh81s$f...@news.istar.ca>, crs...@inforamp.net (Gord Jeoffroy) wrote:

>Come on, don't play stupid. You know exactly what he's talking about.
>
>If only one in forty owners of that album -- or that book, or that
>Infocom game that someone pirated out of the goodness of his heart --
>pays for the product, that's a 97.5% loss in potential revenue to the
>producer. Even if "only" every other person pays for their stuff,
>that's still a 50% loss in revenue.

Unless, of course, you've already left that company and you're *already* not
getting royalties. I'm referring, of course, to the people who wrote the
Infocom games.

>From the sounds of your morals, you won't mind taking even a 50% cut
>in your income. So how's about you REALLY be generous and give us all
>half your money.

Activision's money is not coming from the Infocom games. They made it
abundantly clear with LTOI1 and LTOI2 that they don't care. The utter
contempt for Infocom fans is even more abundant in the five Collections that
it recently released. It's money is coming from games like RTZ and Zork
Nemesis.

Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
to
In article <317ccdf0...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu>, u6...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu wrote:
>patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) wrote:

>You don't get it, do you? That would be theft. That bunch of people who
>say they really want the album should go and buy a copy so the artist can
>receive the money for their work.

Unless, of course, the artist (to continue the analogy) is *already* not
getting money for his work, and his work is being repackage and resold by his
record company again and again while he is not getting a penny in royalties.


Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
to

>There's no way for us to know if an investigator from Infocom hasn't
>already requested a pirated game from him, either. Large companies do
>things like that.

It's called entrapment.

Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
to

>Here's a hint. If you don't pirate any games, the probability of
>pirating one of his is low.

Here's another. I don't think that too many people are ever going to spend
their lives without pirating a single game.

And BTW, let me put something into perspective. I am only offering to give out
the games in various Collections. This offer will be off as soon as the
original offer is taken down (don't know when that will be). I'd say the
probability of giving out one of his games is already pretty low.

Cthulhu

unread,
Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
to
In article <4lmpfu$t...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, russ...@aol.com (Russ Bryan) wrote:
>A couple of notes:

>I'd just like to throw something out there for you all to chew on. I am a
>writer, myself. Does the existence of the internet mean that YOU don't
>believe I should ever be fairly paid for it? Should all creative and
>intellectual property be in the public domain? Lending CDs is fine by me,
>but tell me -- how many times have you borrowed a CD, really liked it, and
>then NOT copied it?

Zero times. But I can think of three times when I've borrowed a CD,
liked it, recorded it, listened to it until the recording wore out, and then
finally bought it.

>Just some shit to chew on.

Yuck!!

Adam J. Thornton

unread,
Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
to

In article <4lmpfu$t...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,

Russ Bryan <russ...@aol.com> wrote:
>Lending CDs is fine by me,
>but tell me -- how many times have you borrowed a CD, really liked it, and
>then NOT copied it?

A bunch. Tapes sound crappy. If the music's good, I'll buy the CD.

Too bad software doesn't work this way.

Adam
--
ad...@phoenix.princeton.edu | Viva HEGGA! | Save the choad! | 64,928 | Fnord
"Double integral is also the shape of lovers curled asleep":Pynchon | Linux
Thanks for letting me rearrange the chemicals in your head. | Team OS/2
You can have my PGP passphrase when you pry it from my cold, dead brain.

Julie Brandon

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

Hiyas,

On Thu, 25 Apr 96 23:11:10 GMT, patr...@Direct.CA (Cthulhu) wrote:

>In article <4lh8i9$4...@cnn.Princeton.EDU>, t...@wfn-shop.princeton.edu wrote:
>
>>Here's a hint. If you don't pirate any games, the probability of
>>pirating one of his is low.
>
>Here's another. I don't think that too many people are ever going to spend
>their lives without pirating a single game.

Here's another....

In the UK... where care volunteers get paid 1UKP an hour at best for
their 35 hour a week stint, I can't AFFORD to spend 40 pounds for each
game. For many people, it is pirating or absolutely nothing - there
is not a CHOICE to buy the game.

For me, I buy games that I am reasonably sure of when I can manage to
budget for such a thing. In between, I have been known to scrounge
for stuff if I want anything. Having said that, the only things that
I have gathered that are pirated over the last year was one
(overpriced underprogrammed) pinball game from the net, LGOP, a swap
of an Amiga Zork Zero for a PC version with someone, and a rather
popular word-processor that would have cost many many times what I
struggle to live on each weak.

Pricewise many products are so off-the-planet that it makes many types
of products and packages totally unrealistical for many people...

...and I speak as someone with 15 years of experience with computing
from assembly language programing and wiring serial interfaces to 'C'
etc. with a Bachelor of Engineering honours degree in the subject...

...and now I can't continue in the subject, because I can't even
afford or run my own computer now.

Hence I am now a carer (well it works out 12 UKP better off than
attempting to get by on income support) and live on the edge, often
not even being able to afford some fairly basic things - like new
clothes or shoes.

To Mr Plotkin... Don't you dare tell me how any of *my* "piracy" is
taking money away from the industry!

It is interesting to note that many of the prices now *force* piracy,
i.e. affording a full purchase just simply isn't an option. What
about formats which, when new, were difficult to pirate, such as
CD-ROM's when they came out - were CD-based products any cheaper...
not in a million years! CD's still are difficult to "home" or
"personal" pirate.

I sat and watched as the industry got *at least* as greedy as the
pirates did.

Love,
Julie.

PS Before anyone asks; this machine, this dial-up account, and this
newsreader I am writing on are not mine, are not payed for by me, but
are owned by a close friend. I couldn't begin to afford to own any of
this.

PPS Yes I know my qualifications are not particularly unusual or good;
my purpose of including those details was not to brag, but to prove
the point that this was the industry I had trained for for many years,
and now cannot afford to get the first steps to work in.

PPPS I mention the names of the products above because even if a
company did want to sue me they'd find it pointless - without savings
or assets I'd have nothing to pay them with, and hence nothing to
lose. ;-)


Jarle Brinchmann

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

In article <317EC6...@wavefront.com> Stourly Kraklite

<krak...@wavefront.com> writes:
as far as copyright goes. And most people don't govern their
actions because of what's legal or what's not anyway. Only a few
grannies from Wisconsin. The primary reason I don't kill my neighbor
is because I don't want to. The second reason is that it's immoral.
The third is that I might be punished by society. The idea that I
don't kill my neighbor because it is illegal and I must obey the law
is not even on the charts.

You are not really arguing against obeying the law here. Killing a
person is such an extreme case, that very few would question your
judgement here. A society has laws to be able to punish those who do
not comply with what the society (or the ruling class in some
situations :-/) see as reasonable. You are therefore supposed to
follow the law, not because of its wording per se, but because it is
supposed to agree with the society's sense of right and wrong.

However, in some situations you might feel yoourself so detatched from
what your actions might lead to that you do not feel compelled to
comply with the laws/regulations. (Personally I do this quite often
:-) _Then_ the laws are a kind of guideline for you; or rather
instructions from the society on what kind of behaviour is
acceptable.

Personally I used to dislike all kinds of laws and regulations when I
was younger, not wanting to follow them unless I saw a reason for
it. As I grow older, I more and more understand that in many
situations the actual reasons for laws are so complicated and
many-faceted that I personally cannot come to grips with why the law
is as it is. It is just one of the rules of the society, this law
thing.

Jarle.

Stephen van Egmond

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

Stourly Kraklite <krak...@wavefront.com> wrote:
>I wonder; how many of you game writers have a web page up that has ZERO
>copyright infringements on it?

Infringements? Me.

> The whole internet is one big copyright
>infringement.

How? Where? Certainly, it can be *used* as a tool for copyright
infringement, just as a telephone or a radio or a photocopier or a
standalone computer could be. The fact it's networked doesn't make it
any moreso.

> Maybe I've just turned over the rock where all the 100% law
>abiding computer types are hiding, but I doubt it.

You happen to have found a place where the hacker ethic is quite strong.
So: yes, you did.

>I'm not saying that everybody should be free to copy anything (a view which has
>quite a few proponents). But it is clear that copyright law is completely out
>of date and unrealistic in the age of the net.

Nonsense. The presence of the Net lowers the barrier to copyright
infringement. In the case of piracy, I used to have to scrounge around
on a local BBS, now I would just find a warez group and post a request.
The presence of the Net does not render moot concepts such as fair use,
parody, copyright, etc.

Two aspects where the Net or digital media strongly intersect copyright
issues are:

1. Sampling, i.e. using a portion of someone else's work as part of your
own. Current copyright doesn't say much about this, and the current
arrangement of having-to-get-permission can be burdensome for people who
want to sample a work that itself uses samples, that [etc.]. Which leads
to the notion of ...

2. Pay per use. In a world where evefry computer is wired up to a
high-speed digital network, Microsoft would be able to charge you $.25
for each hour of using the latest Microsoft Word instead of $400 for a
one-time, one-version licence. Again, current law says squat about this.

There are probably more and besides, I just made the above up.

>So I ask all of you: Is it immoral for you to knowingly download and
>redistribute that porn picture, photograph, logo. Is everybody that does so
>amoral scum? Or does this just apply to computer games. Or do we need a whole
>new way of considering copyright.

In what other ways can you consider the statement, "I made this, so I get
to decide in what ways it may be used, and in what ways I will be paid
for its use." with the force of the legal system to back it up?
Pictures, games, porn, books, it doesn't matter. (Logos are trademarks,
which belongs elsethread.)

>I say the latter. I say our young friend has every reason to be confused.

I think you need to think about what makes the wired world so different
from the old one that this need be so.

/Steve
who reads Wired, unsurprisingly

Berek Halfhand aka John Bowlin

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

> Lending CDs is fine by me, but tell me -- how many times have you borrowed
> a CD, really liked it, and then NOT copied it?

Every time I've borrowed a CD and liked it I've gone out and bought the
CD. (I assume we mean music here). The reason is simple -- CD music
sounds a lot better on CD than on tape. I don't have a DAT tape player.
If I did, and I could make perfect digital copies of CD's, I would
probably end up "owning" a lot of CD's on DAT and not running out to pay
for the CD. Maybe the really special ones I would buy. Simply because I
collect CDs and like to have all of the CDs from certain artists I
enjoy. But if it were a "one shot" artist with a few songs I liked, I
would probably reproduce the CD onto a DAT in full or in part, if I had
the right equipment.

> I'd just like to throw something out there for you all to chew on. I am a
> writer, myself. Does the existence of the internet mean that YOU don't
> believe I should ever be fairly paid for it? Should all creative and
> intellectual property be in the public domain?

I believe that an author deserves a decent living for what he's written
if enough people like it. This could be accomplished in several ways on
the net -- donations by patrons, subscription service to e-zines or
web-zines, "shareware" writing where the reader gets the rest of the
story once he's paid for it. That kind of thing.

But software piracy is different from other forms of copyright
infringement. It is well within reason for an individual without special
equipment to make practically unlimited, unflawed copies of the
software. You can't really do that with traditional printed material.
You can do it on the web, so it's starting to become an issue in areas
other than computer software publishing. I don't think that individual
software piracy (copying between friends) is costing the software
industry as much money as the SPA and other anti-piracy groups
statistics claim. But it probably has some effect on inconvience to
legitimate purchasers, increased prices, etc. In other words "if
everyone who used this program paid for it" may mean a whole lot less
people use it, but probably more people would pay for it than are
currently. A lot of people will resort to piracy when they don't intend
to use a product very much, or if they want to "try-before-buy" on a
commercial product. While it is definitely illegal, I personally don't
find it morally offensive. And yes, I am a programmer. :)

What I find morally offensive is people who make a living pirating
software (selling copies). They are really stealing from the authors,
because they money their customers are willing to pay for the software
should be going to the authors.

Stourly Kraklite

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to krak...@wavefront.com

Jarle Brinchmann wrote:

> However, in some situations you might feel yoourself so detatched from
> what your actions might lead to that you do not feel compelled to
> comply with the laws/regulations. (Personally I do this quite often
> :-) _Then_ the laws are a kind of guideline for you; or rather
> instructions from the society on what kind of behaviour is
> acceptable.

This is what I was trying to say. I think most people do the same. The
best example from my prior post was "CD loaning" and not "murder". I notice
that I don't see ANY repsonses that claim they don't loan CDs, think the
loaning prohibition is a good law, a rush of people who plan to turn
themselves in :), etc. We make judgements about the laws we CHOOSE to
follow. We don't follow laws BECAUSE they are laws. Just about everybody
breaks laws on purpose at some time or another and aren't kept up at night
about it.

It's illegal to run a natural gas lamp in my town (holdover law from energy
crisis). Mine burns brightly. My neighbor runs huge floodlights. I'm
violating the law, he isn't. His energy useage for the same purpose is
higher and its production is dirtier. It's also ugly. Who out there would
prefer I follow my neighbor's example?

On the other hand, I stole a bicycle when I was 12. I didn't get caught but
I still feel guilty about it today.

My point was that breathlessly stating something to be ILLEGAL (gasp!)
doesn't cut much to most people. They gotta have a better reason than that.

BTW, I got a message from somebody who doubted my statement that loaning a
CD to a friend is illegal, regardless of whether they copy it. I assure you
all that it is true. I scanned my CD collection for declarations on a CD
that a lot of people might have. My collection is a little esoteric but I
did find two popular titles where this is stated explicitly:

Blues Traveler - four
Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun - Maxi-Single

Look for yourselves! If you have ever loaned a CD, you have violated the
law! (gasp again!) This was done as a bi-partisan favor to the recording
industry. It is another reason I don't feel too compelled to obey the law
without question: It's for sale.

kraklite

Matthew T. Russotto

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

Entrapment by the copyright owner isn't a defense for copyright
violation, unfortunately.
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com russ...@his.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

ct

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

In article <318154...@wavefront.com>,
Stourly Kraklite <krak...@wavefront.com> wrote:

> The best example from my prior post was "CD loaning" and not
> "murder". I notice that I don't see ANY repsonses that claim they
> don't loan CDs, think the loaning prohibition is a good law, a rush
> of people who plan to turn themselves in :),

> BTW, I got a message from somebody who doubted my statement that


> loaning a CD to a friend is illegal, regardless of whether they copy
> it. I assure you all that it is true.

Just because it is stated on the CD, this does _not_ make it illegal.
It is entirely possible/probable that the condition is illegal itself,
so you are quite entitled to ignore it. Of course, I'd hate to argue
that one in a court of law.

> My point was that breathlessly stating something to be ILLEGAL
> (gasp!) doesn't cut much to most people. They gotta have a better
> reason than that.

Actually, I'd say for the majority of people this holds in the
contra-positive(?) - Most people need a good reason to _break_ the
law. Given one of course, most people would ignore the law quite
happily.

regards, ct

Russ Bryan

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

>> There's no way for us to know if an investigator from Infocom hasn't
>> already requested a pirated game from him, either. Large companies do
>> things like that.

Patrick:

> It's called entrapment.

Don't fall into the old "I was entrapped" cry. Entrapment would be like
if a cop wandered up to you on the street and said "Hey, buddy, want to
buy some coke?" and you said "Sure!" and then you got busted. If you put
an ad in the paper saying "Free Drugs, Just Call 555-COKE," then you
better bet some cop is going to give you a call, and you'll have one hell
of a time calling it entrapment.

Russ Bryan

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

Julie:

It is interesting to note that many of the prices now *force* piracy,
i.e. affording a full purchase just simply isn't an option.

The internet has a wealth of inexpensive or free entertainment available.
The reason I am here and active on the internet is because I usually can
not afford to buy the games I'd like to play. I can't afford a sports
car, either, but I'm not going to steal one because I've accepted my
place.

The only reason any of us feel differently here is because we don't have
to walk into the store and steal the package. Somehow, since we don't
have that physical impediment, stealing becomes OK.

I don't want to sound obnoxious, but I have to admit that I can not accept
a lack of resources as an excuse for piracy or stealing in any form. We
all have to learn to live within our means. As an unemployed struggling
writer, that means I often can't go out on weekends unless I have a couple
of friends who can help pay for the beer. It sucks, but unless I want to
start ripping off six packs from the corner deli, it's just the way it is.

-- Russ

Dsurfr

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

I was just reading your posting about the typo and your "game". Extremely
Funny. It just really made me laugh. Have your really written an IF game?
How long did it take?

Matthew Russotto

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

In article <4loq7m$l...@crl3.crl.com> pis...@crl.com (Perry Israel) writes:
}Stourly Kraklite (krak...@wavefront.com) writes:
}
} > But for example, look at any CD in your collection. Did you know
} >that it is illegal to LOAN a CD to another person, regardless of whether
} >they copy it or not. Don't take my word for it. Look yourself.
}
} > Many people do not consider this to be a reasonable law and don't feel
} >too bad about breaking it. I'm one of them. How about you? Have you
} >ever lent out a CD? Will you stop now that you know it is illegal?
}
}Just a small technical point:
}
}Is it really illegal? It's in violation of the contract--or at least so
}the argument would come from the "licensee" of the CD Rom. (By the way,
}based upon the license, maybe you don't have a CD collection: you just
}are in possession of a medium (which you own?) that holds intellectual
}property that the software company owns.) The real question seems to me to
}be whether the contract is overreaching on the part of the company or
}whether you are actually bound by it.

Most of these licenses have a "self-destruct on violation" clause, where if
you violate the license you no longer have a right to use the copyrighted
material yourself. With a particularly vicious lawyer, you could
probably get hit for $100,000 in damages for each and every time you used the
CD after loaning it out. Far as I know, even the recording industry goons
haven't tried that one yet. For an even more fun one-- say you have a site
license for 50 copies of software, and you make 51 copies. Your site license
could evaporate in a puff of orange smoke, and you could be using 50 illegal
copies of software, which subjects you to felony (read: Say "hi" to your
new cellmate, Bubba) penalties. Even the SPA hasn't tried that one yet.

IMO (and I'm definitely not a lawyer) shrink-wrap licenses are worthless.

Matthew Russotto

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

In article <4lmr9c$n...@cnn.Princeton.EDU> ad...@tucson.princeton.edu (Adam J. Thornton) writes:
}In article <4lmpfu$t...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,
}Russ Bryan <russ...@aol.com> wrote:
}>Lending CDs is fine by me,
}>but tell me -- how many times have you borrowed a CD, really liked it, and
}>then NOT copied it?
}
}A bunch. Tapes sound crappy. If the music's good, I'll buy the CD.
}
}Too bad software doesn't work this way.

Say hello to the writable CD -- and with the price of CDs the way they are,
the music industry may indeed have to worry about them.

And perhaps the music DAT won't stay down, though the music industry does
appear to have succeeded there.


John Francis

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

Cthulhu wrote:
>
> In article <317e231f...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu>, u6...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu wrote:
>
> >There's no way for us to know if an investigator from Infocom hasn't
> >already requested a pirated game from him, either. Large companies do
> >things like that.
>
> It's called entrapment.

That's another thing you've got wrong.

It's only entrapment if they entice you to make an illegal copy of a game
*before* you have offered to do this. Once you have made the offer it is
perfectly reasonable for them to respond to your offer to collect evidence.

You may believe that you haven't broken the law. (If so, you are wrong).
You may believe that the law is unjust, and you are morally entitled to
break it. You may believe that being a minor entitles you to break the
law with impunity. you may believe that you are a whole lot smarter than
the employees of any game company responsible for enforcing copyright
violations. Just remember that the law doesn't care what you believe.

Kenneth Fair

unread,
Apr 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/27/96
to


Well, presumably the flat fee the artist gets makes up for the lack
of royalties on an expected present value basis.

Offer #1: I'll give you $100,000 right now for your work. I get all
of the rights and royalties.

Offer #2: I'll give you 10% of all the profits. If there are any.
You keep the rights.

If you think there's a really good chance your work will make more than
$1 million in profits, you'll want to go for the second version. If not,
you'll want to go for the first.

(Okay, this is a very large simplification. But the point still holds.)

--
KEN FAIR - U. Chicago Law | Power Mac! | Net since '90 | Net.cop
kjf...@midway.uchicago.edu | CABAL(tm) Member | I'm w/in McQ - R U?
"Your grasp of science lacks opposable thumbs."
- B. Waggoner

bonni mierzejewska

unread,
Apr 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/27/96
to

On 26 Apr 1996 22:00:54 GMT, c...@ecs.ox.ac.uk (ct) wrote:

>> My point was that breathlessly stating something to be ILLEGAL
>> (gasp!) doesn't cut much to most people. They gotta have a better
>> reason than that.
>
>Actually, I'd say for the majority of people this holds in the
>contra-positive(?) - Most people need a good reason to _break_ the
>law. Given one of course, most people would ignore the law quite
>happily.

Depends. But I would agree that most people need a good reason to _break_
the law. A few hours passing amusement doesn't cut it for me. To feed my
children, I probably would, but even then, only after exhausting legal
alternatives.

Maybe my generation was taught more respect for Law than yours, I don't
know. It's not a knee-jerk reaction; it's well-thought-out respect. It
actually is rather distressing to know that pointing out the illegality of
an action isn't enough to deter many people these days. Whatever happened
to honour?

bonni
coming soon - 1996 IF Competition entry
__ __
IC | XC | bonni mierzejewska "The Lone Quilter"
---+--- | u6...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu
NI | KA | Kelly's Creek Homestead, Maidsville, WV

Adam J. Thornton

unread,
Apr 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/27/96
to

In article <31825ed3...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu>,

bonni mierzejewska <u6...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu> wrote:
>Maybe my generation was taught more respect for Law than yours, I don't
>know. It's not a knee-jerk reaction; it's well-thought-out respect. It
>actually is rather distressing to know that pointing out the illegality of
>an action isn't enough to deter many people these days. Whatever happened
>to honour?

This has little or nothing to do with Interactive Fiction, so I'll keep it
brief. Illegality is not necessarily immorality. Thus it is perfectly
possible, even with a well-developed sense of honor, to feel no remorse for
breaking the law.

For instance, I feel no guilt about driving 75 on open highway.

On the other hand, copyright law, in general, strikes me as both moral and
reasonable. If you want something, then either you want it bad enough to
pay for it, or you don't get it.

This does raise an interesting point: what to do about those things still
covered by copyright but out-of-print? We've had this discussion on RAIF
before; no clear consensus has emerged, but I'll bet that someone offering
to pirate "Cyborg" would be less likely to inspire the sort of loathing
that our buddy from AOL has.

We do seem to be mostly united here in the belief that if you want it, and
it is commercially available, than you should buy it rather than pirating
it.

Steven Howard

unread,
Apr 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/28/96
to

In <4lqltj$2...@news.multiverse.com>, russ...@ariel.ct.picker.com (Matthew Russotto) writes:
>In article <4loq7m$l...@crl3.crl.com> pis...@crl.com (Perry Israel) writes:
>}Stourly Kraklite (krak...@wavefront.com) writes:
>}
>} > But for example, look at any CD in your collection. Did you know
>} >that it is illegal to LOAN a CD to another person, regardless of whether
>} >they copy it or not. Don't take my word for it. Look yourself.
>}
>}Just a small technical point:
>}
>}Is it really illegal? It's in violation of the contract--or at least so
>}the argument would come from the "licensee" of the CD Rom. (By the way,
>}based upon the license, maybe you don't have a CD collection: you just
>}are in possession of a medium (which you own?) that holds intellectual
>}property that the software company owns.) The real question seems to me to
>}be whether the contract is overreaching on the part of the company or
>}whether you are actually bound by it.
>
>Most of these licenses have a "self-destruct on violation" clause, where if
>you violate the license you no longer have a right to use the copyrighted
>material yourself. With a particularly vicious lawyer, you could
>probably get hit for $100,000 in damages for each and every time you used the
>CD after loaning it out. Far as I know, even the recording industry goons
>haven't tried that one yet. For an even more fun one-- say you have a site
>license for 50 copies of software, and you make 51 copies. Your site license
>could evaporate in a puff of orange smoke, and you could be using 50 illegal
>copies of software, which subjects you to felony (read: Say "hi" to your
>new cellmate, Bubba) penalties. Even the SPA hasn't tried that one yet.
>
>IMO (and I'm definitely not a lawyer) shrink-wrap licenses are worthless.

There seems to be some (deliberate?) confusion in this discussion between
music CD and CD-ROMs. I own hundreds of music CDs, none of which came with
any "license agreement" whatsoever. I own these CDs. I can sell them, I can
give them away, I can lend them out. The only things I can't do are make copies
which are not for my own personal use or charge people to listen to them
without paying royalties.

I own a dozen or so CD-ROMs, each of which came with a written license
agreement. Typically, this agreement allows me to run one copy of the software
on one computer. I can also sell these CD-ROMs or give them away, which
transfers the license to the new owner. In most cases, I can even lend them out,
provided that the program cannot then be run on two computers at the same
time (if the original CD were required to run the program, for example, or if I
had deleted the program from my hard drive).

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.

========
Steven Howard
bl...@ibm.net

What's a nice word for "euphemism"?

Jerry Foster

unread,
Apr 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/29/96
to

Julie Brandon (ju...@merp.demon.co.uk) wrote:
: To Mr Plotkin... Don't you dare tell me how any of *my* "piracy" is

: taking money away from the industry!

Its not? Where would it go if you actually purchased the game?

:
: It is interesting to note that many of the prices now *force* piracy,
: i.e. affording a full purchase just simply isn't an option. What

Oh, what logic. Buying that Ford Mustang I've always wanted is not an
option for me because I feel the price of cars these days is ridiculous
and puts them out of my reach. Obviously its ok for me to steal one
instead? The "its not my fault" undercurrent in this world continuous
to produce incredible arguments like the one above. To claim that
you are *forced* to pirate games is ludicrous. If someone feels that
prostitutes charge too much money can he claim that he was *forced*
to rape one? Sheesh.


----------------------------- | ---------------------------------------------
Jerry Foster ---+--- "I am opposed to abortion, and to
Plexus Systems FEAR | NOT government funding of abortions."
jf...@plex-sys.com | -Gov. Bill Clinton, 9/26/86
----------------------------- | ---------------------------------------------

Matthew Russotto

unread,
Apr 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/29/96
to

}Maybe my generation was taught more respect for Law than yours, I don't
}know. It's not a knee-jerk reaction; it's well-thought-out respect. It
}actually is rather distressing to know that pointing out the illegality of
}an action isn't enough to deter many people these days. Whatever happened
}to honour?

Respect for the law disappeared a short time after laws become unworthy of
respect. I start my day with a some speeding, rolling through stop signs,
and running of red lights, perhaps fail to put a seat belt on. Later maybe
I'll do a little jaywalking. At the office, someone might play a radio so
anyone can hear it (an illegal copyright violation). If I'm on a business
trip, I might rent a car though I'm under 25 (just a violation of policy, like
a violation of those license agreements on software). When I get home (after
some more speeding and perhaps an illegal U-turn) I'll take out the trash
without separating recyclables (there goes another ordinance). Then I'll
use some bug spray in a manner inconsistent with its labelling, tear the tags
off a mattress, and wait for the police to come and get me. While I'm
waiting I'll dial up my ISP and post bits of a news article.

You want me to have respect for the law, stop making it into such a
strait-jacket that following them takes a supreme effort.


Jacob Solomon Weinstein

unread,
Apr 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/29/96
to

russ...@ariel.ct.picker.com (Matthew Russotto) writes:

>Respect for the law disappeared a short time after laws become unworthy of
>respect. I start my day with a some speeding, rolling through stop signs,
>and running of red lights, perhaps fail to put a seat belt on.

I've seen a few posts in this thread along the line of, "Hey, don't
criticize software piracy if you break the law yourself." Aside from a
logicial fallacy or two, the problem with this is the assumption that (1)
when the law inconveniences you, it becomes unneccessary to obey it; and
(2) everybody feels this way.

For the record, my New Year's resolution last year was to stop breaking
the law. Not just the bigs laws-- all laws. I no longer cross against the
light or go 35 MPH on a 25 MPH street. Being a human being, I don't
always stick to this; I still speed sometimes, or jaywalk when I'm not
paying attention. (And, obviously, if I'm in a situation where I must
break a law to save a life, of course I'll do it.) But I've done pretty
much as good a job as I can, and
guess what? I haven't been terribly inconvenienced. I haven't died, or
been more likely to be late to appointments, or withered away from the
lack of affordable entertainment.

My reason for my resolution was that I realized that Socrates was
correct--that if we live in a society, we have an obligation to accept
the rules of the society that we consider just and to fight actively
against the unjust ones. Passively violating the ones we consider unjust
is immoral.

I'm not trying to brag. I certainly don't consider myself morally
superior to people who have made a thoughtful decision not to obey all
laws. I'm just responding to anybody who is tempted to justify their
piracy by saying, "Hey, does anybody really obey all laws?""

Speaking of obeying the rules of one's society, I'm going to try
desperately to bring this issue on-topic. The issue of when/if it's
justifiable to break the law is one that seems to me to be a natural for
Interactive Fiction; IF is a medium that allows the author to force the
player into making a moral choice. A clever game might allow a player to
choose at a certain point to break a seemingly useless law, and show the
consequences of that choice. (Obviously, depending on one's philosophy,
those consequences might be good or bad.)

Indeed, as has been noted here before, the conventions of IF games often
involve breaking laws--stealing everything that isn't nailed down, for
example. Can anybody think of an IF game that gives real weight to moral
choices? "AMFV" comes to mind. ("Trinity," I think, doesn't quite count.
The question isn't so much whether or not you should stop the nuclear
bomb--the question it asks is, "Can you?")

-Jacob

Adam J. Thornton

unread,
Apr 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/29/96
to

In article <4m36a4$n...@castor.usc.edu>,

Jacob Solomon Weinstein <jwei...@castor.usc.edu> wrote:
>Can anybody think of an IF game that gives real weight to moral
>choices? "AMFV" comes to mind. ("Trinity," I think, doesn't quite count.
>The question isn't so much whether or not you should stop the nuclear
>bomb--the question it asks is, "Can you?")

SPOILER


REALLY!

"Planetfall," of course. You _must_ sacrifice Floyd to advance the plot.
This is a choice that has caused a number of players some angst.

Another one is the ending of "The Horror Of Rylvania."

I'm thinking of including such a choice in my IF Competition Entry, if I
write it.

Paul Lyon

unread,
Apr 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/30/96
to

Jacob Solomon Weinstein (jwei...@castor.usc.edu) wrote:

: Speaking of obeying the rules of one's society, I'm going to try

: desperately to bring this issue on-topic. The issue of when/if it's
: justifiable to break the law is one that seems to me to be a natural for
: Interactive Fiction; IF is a medium that allows the author to force the
: player into making a moral choice. A clever game might allow a player to
: choose at a certain point to break a seemingly useless law, and show the
: consequences of that choice. (Obviously, depending on one's philosophy,
: those consequences might be good or bad.)

: Indeed, as has been noted here before, the conventions of IF games often
: involve breaking laws--stealing everything that isn't nailed down, for

: example. Can anybody think of an IF game that gives real weight to moral

: choices? "AMFV" comes to mind. ("Trinity," I think, doesn't quite count.
: The question isn't so much whether or not you should stop the nuclear
: bomb--the question it asks is, "Can you?")

I have played two Sierra games that had a bit of that to them. The first is
King's Quest I, in which there is at least one puzzle in which violence doth
not pay, even tho' it would seem the natural choice. Depending on the order
in which you do things, you can come into possession of a dagger and then
later be confronted with a dragon in its cavern. If you do the obvious, you
will never get out of that cave :-)

In a more substantive way, Christy Marx's game ``Conquest of Camelot'' gives
points for moral choices as well as for fighting skill and puzzle solving
cleverness. To be sure, virtue---in this game---gets properly rewarded, but
you still have to ``do the right thing'' to win.

Ciao,

Paul

--
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-