This isn't "copyright infringement". It isn't "nostalgia for legacy servers".
The people who run servers like these steal art, client code (and sometimes server code when they can find someone to leak it), and all the hard creative work of actually building a functioning online world, slap their own name and take on it, take money, and say they're providing a service.
Call it what it is - theft. Or do you call watching satellite TV on hacked recievers "legacy entertainment video from people who support movies", too?
You don't say Lum?
Anyone else think Tracy Hickman looks like a human thumb and Garriott sounds like Dr. Ian Malcolm's uncool brother?
Let's actually call it what it is, not theft, not nostalgia, not copyright infringement (ok, maybe a little copyright infringement), but abandonware. You may as well tell me that I'm stealing from Bach when I download the score to his mass in b minor. If the IP holders wanted to enforce their copyrights, then they could, but since they don't for obvious reasons, their game lives on through free shards. What a tragedy that we aren't all forced to play UO Stygian Abyss.
SotA was billed to release years ago, and yet all we've seen since then is a clunky combat system, glorified housing, and a gigantic add-on store, and yet free shard admins are the ones not providing a service? Lum, my friend, look at SotA before you criticize the vile non-profit shards. You're willingly taking $10,000+ from single players, and with the knowledge that they probably can't afford such lavish spending, you've ripped the KS up with unlimited housing, instanced lands, and other overturned promises, and now you're criticizing people for hosting UO servers? If we're here to talk about stealing assets, lets talk about pre-alpha and Chris' promise to reward those whose assets were used. Now you guys are stealing my assets, and I don't mind, but man the hypocrisy is strong with this one.
Digital rights are an important issue, but Lum hardly has the moral high ground to preach about such matters. You can't use free shards for advertising when convenient and then condemn them later, and nor can you assume that free shard admins do nothing simply because they didn't write every line of code (even SotA uses unity store assets). Some admins build new worlds, write new code, create new systems and graphics, and manage the community in ways that Portalarium can only dream of, all for free.