Wolvereness Got Letter from Mojang's Attorney

Discussion in 'Bukkit Discussion' started by rcade, Oct 10, 2014.

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    Wesley Wolfe (Wolvereness) showed up on the BukkitDev IRC channel today and talked about the DMCA dispute.

    He says he has received a letter from Alex Chapman, an intellectual property attorney from the law firm Sheridans who represents Mojang.

    Link to IRC chat

    Some highlights:

    <alureon> Wolvereness: what are you hoping to achieve with the DMCA?

    <Wolvereness> alureon: I intend to enforce my copyright.

    <alureon> Wolvereness: right, but why? In all the posts I've read on the forums about people leaving, or legal issues, I haven't really seen the question of what led you to do it.

    <Wolvereness> alureon: IANAL, but from what I'm aware of, any 'motivation' past that of what I'm legally entitled could be used against me if it came down to a lawsuit.

    <Wolvereness> alureon: The word "extortion" has already been used in a letter from Mojang to myself, but exercising legal rights cannot be extortion.

    <Wolvereness> alureon: Wait, no, I phrased that wrong

    <Wolvereness> alureon: It was in a letter from Mojang's lawyer.

    <Wolvereness> alureon: I got a letter from Mojang, and a letter from Sheridans (Alex Chapman)

    <Wolvereness> alureon: I'm still waiting for someone who would rather discuss things with me instead of suggest "prosecuting authorities" (read, as per my lawyer: criminal law) for exercising my legal rights

    <Wolvereness> alureon: I was actually told not to communicate directly with anyone from Mojang and instead send all communication to their lawyer

    <Wolvereness> alureon: So, seeing how their lawyer hasn't communicated with me at all, even after forwarding my response to someone I believe was "Grum" harassing me, there's not much to be done on my part. They have my email.

    <alureon> Wolvereness: I find the fact that nobody pushed for a quick resolution odd, but they must have their reasons..
    <Wolvereness> alureon: I did suggest a resolution before filing the takedowns, which is where that quote of Vu Bui's came from (the response).

    <AdamQpzm> Wolvereness, Was that a suggestion for them to officially allow mc code in cb or something else?
    <Wolvereness> AdamQpzm: "I hereby demand distribution of CraftBukkit in source and in binary form cease, or the terms of distribution found in the GPL (described later in the email) become met."
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    mojang are scum
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    Wolvereness was playing in the big leagues when he filed that DMCA. It's one thing to throw your weight around to get unpaid open source coders to do what you want -- like he did with Spigot. Doing that to a two-billion-dollar software company with top-tier IP lawyers is another.
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    This thread has really put things into perspective for me. I am now finally realizing how serious this is. All I'd previously known was that it was illegal to distribute more copies of CB, but the police won't break down your door for doing so. I didn't realize that Wolvereness was in a legal battle against Mojang--at least not one of this size.
  5. Thanks for this reference.

    The DMCA forced discussion onto the realm of law, so i wouldn't complain about not receiving a phone call about "resolving it", i also have not heard of Wolverness contacting Mojang to suggest resolving potential issues before filing that DMCA. I wouldn't like my coding/community-efforts+bungling to end up a collateral damage to this DMCA thing, hopefully they can resolve it. At least something is happening in the background.
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    Yes at least something is going on.
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    Wolvereness Bukkit Team Member

    Just to clear things up on something I didn't mention in IRC: the letter from Vu Bui was on September 1st, and the letter from Alex Chapman (Mojang's lawyer) was on September 4th. This is over a month ago. I am not aware of any other emails I have received directly from Mojang or their legal representation.

    Edit: Period -> Colon
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    Wolfe if you are reading this: sorry if i ever spoke bad about you on the forums. I am just very frustrated to see craftbukkits end. I dont understand why you filed a dmca but i hope you will find a way to change the situation and come back to the fun purpose of the whole thing. :( i understand that you are pissed but i dont see what the goal of this is. What could you reach? If you manage to enforce your copyright they wont pay you. It just means the end of bukkit which is realy sad.
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    Thanks for the clarification and the answers on IRC. Two questions:

    1. Would you share those two letters and your response, so people can better understand the dispute?

    2. I've looked at the CraftBukkit code and you made 63 commits to net.minecraft.server code during the 30 months you contributed. You knew the nature of that code and made improvements to it. On what basis can you treat code you worked on as an infringement of your own copyright?

    I hope that too.

    Realistically, Wolvereness only has the power to end the project if Mojang chooses to let it end. If the company filed a counter-notice to his DMCA, he'd have 14 days to sue Mojang. If he didn't, the software would go back online.

    Filing an email to assert a copyright claim is a lot easier than filing a lawsuit against a big company. I've received an aggressive letter from an IP lawyer before during a software dispute. They play hardball.

    EDIT by Moderator: merged posts, please use the edit button instead of double posting.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2016
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    What i want to say is: like it or not but wolvereness can only damage his own work and the work of the community. Its sad but there is no way to reach something good by filing this dmca. Especially because its not a one man project. If mojang doesnt want to fight they will just sit back and ignore wolfe and wait for sponge. Grum is already member of the sponge community and he already helped them out.
    Source: http://forums.spongepowered.org/t/small-status-update-10-october-2014/3541/8

    So all you can reach is the destruction of you own project :/ i know it sucks but you should face it.
    Dont forget: the reason for it was fun and nothing but fun.
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    Wolvereness Bukkit Team Member

    The email from Alex Chapman included this footer:
    Personally, I'd love to share the contents of the email as a warning to anyone that intends to violate Mojang's copyright. At least as of consulting with a lawyer, I would deem "modding" for Minecraft as extremely dangerous and would actively discourage any prospective modder. If Mojang wants that email to go public, they have the opportunity to upload it somewhere or grant me explicit permission to do so myself. I think I'm still legally able to disclose the contents, but I am choosing not to. The email from Vu Bui was fairly brief, and one quote from it was already provided in the DMCA takedown(s). It included a statement that instructed me to direct any further communication to their lawyer. It also included a piece of information that might to contradict what Jeb said on twitter:
    Past that, it has some crossover with what Vu Bui put into his announcement, and some language that may imply they were not pleased with my original communication to them. I sent a response to their lawyer that concluded with:
    Mind you, I've omitted facts of my communication to them and their responses, so don't interpret this as a definitive resource (there is not enough here to form an argument of who is right and wrong). If you really want the entirety of the communications, it should be with both parties' consent (of which, I consent to anything I sent them being public if they'd do likewise for everything they sent me). Just plainly posting it myself doesn't really help the public at large in any way (it would be too self-serving for my tastes).
    (Half serious, half joking)
    Objection! Counsel is testifying.
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    Sustained. I was half asking and half testifying.

    I respect that you are asserting rights you believe you have.

    But as someone with a lot of time invested in a project based on Bukkit -- teaching beginners Java so they can write Minecraft mods -- I naturally want the code to remain available. I chose to rely on the Bukkit API and CraftBukkit because long-time, well-supported open source projects don't disappear. Even if companies involved in the projects shut down or all the contributors quit, as a user you can still share the code with others so it continues to be useful.

    From my perspective, you're trying to make an open source project disappear by calling your own contributions an infringement of your rights. That seems like shaky ground on which to take this project and its source code away from everybody, particularly since you joined it 14 months after it began.

    Personally, I'd like to see you take the win you already have achieved -- Bukkit's contributors quit en masse and Sponge, Spigot and Glowstone all have more active contributors than it does now -- and withdraw the DMCA. Bukkit would live or die based on whether Mojang wants to do the massive job of supporting Minecraft 1.8 now that almost all the volunteers are gone -- and the current version of CraftBukkit could be shared in the meantime by those of us whose projects relied on it.
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    Wolvereness please do it :( please withdraw the dmca and allow us to continue our own projects. Its not just about mojang. So many good people are affected by this case. Please withdraw. Or please tell us what you want for your part of the code. For example we could collect some money and pay you. Please help us and tell us what you want. :(
  14. rcade ScuroK The only thing he's asked for is to make the CraftBukkit license valid. Surely that's not too much to ask for? Open source is a good thing, yes. But invalid open source is not.
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    I think that depends on what solution he's willing to accept.

    There's an enormous body of work built atop net.minecraft.server -- open source projects, mods, servers and tutorials. It's not something Mojang or any other party could replace overnight, if it decided to take a different approach that addressed all licensing concerns.

    If Mojang told him today, "we agree with you that the net.minecraft.server code is not the right way forward, but we'd like Bukkit to be available while we develop a replacement," is there room for a compromise?

    (Along those lines, I read on Reddit's Admincraft subreddit today that the official Minecraft 1.8 server code contains a lot of API work.)
    ScuroK likes this.
  16. rcade That would be up to him, but that sounds like a good way to encourage them to say they're going to do something and then do nothing about it since distribution is allowed again. So would there be a time limit? If there was, Mojang would insist on a really long deadline.

    Over 4 years since it was "planned in some capacity", over 3 years (and about 29 releases) since the original planned release, "a lot of work" is still incredibly far behind schedule.
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    True, but the controversy over the DMCA has helped promote the idea that Mojang's lack of an official modding API is a big deal. Maybe Vu Bui and the other execs are looking at the situation differently than they did when Bukkit was firing on all cylinders and updates were frequent.

    I agree with you that if Mojang were to announce a replacement is coming, there should be a date attached to that pledge.
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  18. In my opinion 1.6 ... 1.8 show that a modding API is not that far away anymore, of course with a little bit of guessing and interpreting things stated by Mojang developers, e.g. huge amounts of server-side code changes without many features added. However as we can learn from the positive side of the Bukkit project, it's quite a big deal to have an overall concept, so before they throw some API at people and say "that's it", they might consider things like plugin repositories and how those "unfold" server-side, signatures, processes, whatnot. Of course miracling up a sane API isn't trivial, so one can keep guessing...
  19. asofold I'm not saying it's not close, I'm just saying that after 3/4 years it's no longer impressive. Even if it was released tomorrow, it's been far too long with no releases at all for it to be. :)
  20. Absolutely. It would have been impressing if they had brought it on back when they said they might, but frankly... i never thought that to be much realistic. I think it isn't that easy to keep balance between new features and the necessary massive refactoring after the "garage phase", the idea behind Mojang probably also wasn't to inflate Minecraft to whole-planet size :p.
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    Well, after reading this thread, I think a few things have been summed up for me. I just hope that this all works out for the better for everyone; the Bukkit community, the rest of the Minecraft community, Wolvereness, Mojang, even Microsoft.
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    It seems it not was my reply that helped sum it up for you.

    Yes I'm sure its going to get much better now, yup everything clear now [sheep]
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    Rexel Lol, I suppose your reply has reason to sum things up. But if you despise Mojang so much, why are you even on Bukkit? Without Mojang, there's no Minecraft (and kind of the other way around, too), and without Minecraft, there's no Bukkit. Or do you just dislike what Mojang has become?
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    I think there handling of things is absolutely effing appalling.
  25. pookeythekid Credit undoubtedly has to go to the creators of something that you really like. However, this credit is not infinite and at some point the creator really doesn't deserve to get by solely on the credit of their creation alone, they need to do other things as well, in order to maintain a positive image.

    As a side note, this is true of people as well. Let's imagine you did one good thing in your life. People would be grateful for what you've done for a certain amount of time, but eventually the gratitude will run dry. If you start doing bad things instead of doing nothing, this time will come even faster. The only way to remain seen as a 'good person', is to continue doing good things, to refresh the image. :)
  26. While you're probably right, whom to apply that perspective to?
    If you move from people to real humans, it'll start to look more complex, though.
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    Wolvereness Thanks for contributing in the past and making minecraft more fun for me this past year :D
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    AdamQpzm You got a point. But I suppose I could use a recap on what terrible things Mojang has done. Sure, they made one very, very bad move with messing with Wolvereness' copyright, but to invert your statement, just one bad thing doesn't last forever, either; unless Minecraft totally dies out after the death of Bukkit. That would be really bad.
    AdamQpzm likes this.
  29. That would give Mojang an active part in this. I don't see objecting the DMCA as "messing", then it would be hard to find a term for what to call issuing that DMCA in the first place...
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    I'm still not 100% sure the license is actually invalid.
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