GUIDE: Your server and the LAW

LeoCrasher

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Leo's guide to server emulation law with regards to Legend of MIR
=================================================================

Notes:
(7a) Brackets with numbers refer to sections of the EuroMIR EULA
DCMA: Digital millenium copyright act (USA)
L2J: Lineage 2 Java
RE: Reverse engineering
IP: Intellectual property
EFF: Electronic frontier foundation (really good people that deserve lotsa hugs)

1. Leaked server files (1.4)
--Operation is illegal
--Distribution is illegal
--Possession is illegal

2. Use of sources and source compilations (1.9emu/GameOfMir/DiamondM2)
--Operation is legal
--Distribution is legal
--(see L2J)
--Branding as or advertisment of "legend of mir" is trademark infringement
--Inclusion of ANY original code illegal
--(EU) AFC test (abstraction, filtration, comparison) of emulated codebase

3. Use of client
--EULA prohibits use with unauthorised servers (1c)
--EULA prohibits reverse engineering (1c)
--Distribution is illegal (copyright infringment, DMCA in USA, proposed software patent act in EU)
--Modifying the client is illegal (as above + no right to wemades IP)
--Untested element allows you to convince the judge, see below

3a. Likely defence to use of client
--Client adds no value to the game, since the game server is where the value is
--No charge is made for the client itself, but payments are made for SERVICES (as said in EULA)

3b. Workaround for distribution
--Distribution is illegal, modified or not.
--Server owners should leave the onus of acquiring the client to players
--Distribution of EMULATED client legal provided later terms regarding emulation in this article are met (ie No works from wemade such as mob images)

4. Original development of sources
--EULA obligation untested worldwide
--Original development may have broke client EULA (7a,7c)
--Any user which has played EuroMIR via downloading and playing the official client, is bound by the EULA
--How similar is the code? AFC Test
---What, if any, reverse engineering methods were used
--Lotus v Borland ('recreating' the methods of operation is legal)

5. Use of trademark
--Passing any 'legend of mir' as your own is trademark infrigement

6. Effect of Blizzard v Bnetd (june 2005)
--Bnetd was a like-for-like 100% copy of the appearence and operation of orginal (infringement?)
--Blizzards complaint was towards EULA violations and CD-KEY circumvention
--8th circut found in Blizzards favour
--Court found Bnetd was a 'circumvention device'
--Likely that LOM source compilations which differ from original will be exempt from the Blizzard precedent (due to 'added value')
--Likely that LOM source compilations that are like for like or add no value, or are incomplete may be a copyright infringement
--Attempting to copy quests, items, AI etc is a good way to land in court
--LARGE amount of critisms surrounding this ruling. High chances of avoiding.

7. Differences between 'simulator' and 'emulator' legally
--Not relevant. Developers that go on about emu's being illegal because they use original components (which they may not) are crackpots. Don't listen to them.

8. Reverse engineering of protocol
--Digital Millenium Copyright Act (USA): There is a specific clause to allow for RE for purposes of interoperability
--Work must be 'independant' (no interaction with forbidden elements) - see black box RE
--I/O with official services forbidden by EULA

9. Effect of use on the market
--Possible that court will look at the effect on the market;
---Is it damaging profitability?
---Is it damaging the brand name?

10. Useful links and documents
(UK) Belfast Uni on EU Software Emulation: http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:dZl0g6NYINAJ:www.bileta.ac.uk/Document%20Library/1/Software%20Emulation%20in%20the%20Light%20of%20EU%20Legislation.pdf+software+emulation+legality&hl=en&gl=uk&ct=clnk&cd=1
(USA) Northwestern Uni on Emulation with regard to Vid games: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/journals/njtip/v2/n2/3/index.htm#IDAWCDU

11. Strategic foresight (completely made up by LeoCrasher)
--Bringing court action against 1.4 owners would likely involve the discussion of how they became available and what else was made available. Discussion may also likely include the unauthorised access of EuroMIR databases by certain individuals through passwords acquired by similar means. Such a revelation is likely to harm WEMADES public image and peoples trust in them to handle financial data (credit cards). Thus WEMADE are unlikely to sue publically through this route. Saying this they are likely to apply pressure, but not go through with it.
--Bringing court action over emulated sources likely to result in developers favour, thus resulting in a ruling which could harm future and current revenue streams. They are likely to avoid this.
--Bringing court action over copyright/trademark/patent infringement much more likely to succeed. Obvious route to take. Server owners have little defence other than to remove infrigning elements.


Feel free to question or provide furthur information to this guide.

/Leo
 
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Ash

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Mar 13, 2004
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The editing tools have been made by us (i think), or translated from chinese. I am not exactly sure on this, some may have been taken from wemade though.

@dannyboy: I think they do have a case on this, because all servers use wemades images & names etc, and all this is copyrighted. And i think if they WERE going to take action against scorp, or any other server host, they would look at sueing them for using images & names, rather than the serverfiles themselves.
 

LeoCrasher

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@Scorp
Depends who made them. If they're made by other people then I guess its covered by interoperability. If they're made by WEMADE and they intended to keep them private then your stuffed.

Obviously the modification and use of the client files with such tools is forbidden under the EULA. And the distribution of derivitive works such as new maps protected under copyright.

The only way around such usage would be new tiles, new maps, new mob images and so on and so forth.

Good luck to them proving you used such devices though ;).

/Leo
 

Liandrin2

Golden Oldie
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Jan 14, 2004
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Something that needed figuring out a long time ago imo, at least now everybody knows where they stand.

n1 leo
 

joe112

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sorry to sound dumb but if we are adding more items to the client we can done for that??(Im thick as ****) im using Foundation files is that illagel??
 

TrueADM

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Jan 16, 2004
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joe112 said:
sorry to sound dumb but if we are adding more items to the client we can done for that??(Im thick as ****) im using Foundation files is that illagel??
Yep, that's illegal.
 

Tahriel

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dont this mean that basically all mir private servers are illegal in some shape or form? lol
 

daydie

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All private servers are illegal But they dont do much about it since it will cost them alot in court Fee's and theres a few out there so it will cost them a canny bit.

If They did take action LOMCN wud b no good reli, Private servers its main Priority of The forum
If they were going to Take anyone to court id say they wud take the providers of the files (Who is currently giving them out) Which is LOMCN giving SVN files and also thedeaths ETC.

Anyways Hope Non of this happends. Play on ;)
 

kerano1

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What about if u used all new graphics, names etc and changed the game considerably using dm2. Would they have a case, assuming the game wasnt a direct copy like woool but a game with a different atmosphere and plot.
The movement mob movement and how items stats work would be similar.
 

DarkKnight

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Jan 15, 2005
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You'd still be running the game "Legend Of Mir" so yea running any exe program or text file involved with LOM is illegal except programs made by LOMCN Members (ie Nick ect)

Anyone simply re-coding LOM gates ect so it says made by whoever made will be copyright infringement
 

Lone

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Mar 15, 2007
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i've said it before Leo you do seem to have tomuch time on your hands!

but its good to see your putting it to good use, Was a very interesting read.

for the record does anyone know if any server hosts have actually had action taken against them?

i knew on ragezone forums that a section was shut down due to pressure from a game company, i cant remember exactly which it was but i think it might of been the RFOnline section, it would be useful to see what actions they took on that and see if there were similarities between that case and others. (not sure if thats me being a little to geeky considering i dont currently run a server, but you know what they say, knowledge is power!)

nice guide leo :p now take a break!
 

Andreas

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i am keeping a legend of mir 2 server , thats ilegat ??? what will be the consicinses?