[opensource-dev] TPV - Nope

Nicholaz Beresford nicholaz at blueflash.cc
Sat Apr 3 06:51:10 PDT 2010

Hi All!

Since the TPV and new TOS seems to be in effect now, I'd like to finally 
comment on it too.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm the person who started the first 
thrird party viewer (in fact I made the original Wiki page
and as it appears I'm still the person with the most accepted patches to 
the viewer (except maybe SnowGlobe commits, I'm not sure if or how they 
are counted) and the winner of the year 2007 Linden OpenSource Award.

I have not made viewers in quite some time and have basically resigned 
over gripes about how the Lindens handle open source and the OS 
community in general, so I'm not sure if my words still have any weight 
(not that any resident's words have any weight with the Lindens, except 
Stroker Serpentine's maybe, when they are voiced through a lawyer or 
court).  So just take my words as coming from the elder statesman armchair.

However, I still had my account and a couple of alts, but this new 
TOS/TPV, now that's it's out of the box about to be in effect soon, puts 
the final nail into the coffin.

I'm not going to try to dissect what's written there or what the 
practical legal impact is.  Living in Germany with strong customer 
protection laws, legal impact in fact is most likely zilch, but what the 
TOS and the TPV does, is to show the Linden's view of their relationship 
beween themselves and their residents and OS developers.

While it's not a secret that I have been less than thrilled by their 
views and actions in the past, I find the TPV taking it to a new level.

It is their servers, their assets, their business.  But trying to use 
their power in a way like this, dictating the terms, making far reaching 
demands and lightly brushing off concerns is unacceptable.

Of course a viewer maker needs comply with the law, no TOS is needed for 
that.  But making demands like the branding (as if the word "Life" was 
their invention) or demanding disclosure like section 8d which goes far 
beyond any legal obligations is just way over the top for me.

I took their sources based on GPL once and at that time alternate 
viewers seemed to be welcome and later I even jumped through a few hoops 
to meet their new whims (e.g. complying with their trademark policies). 
  In the recent past, I have still used SL on occasion as a regular user 
and now, trying to use SL as a user, I'm finding myself being presented 
with new demands because my past viewers are still out there for download.

Am I going to agree to that?  No frigging way.  I certainly do not want 
to have any relationship with a company who is trying to use their 
position of power in a way like that, no matter if it's legally valid or 
not.  The new TOS/TPV defines who LL thinks they are and who they think 
their users are and what kinds of demands and claims LL thinks they can 
make or what they think is acceptable and fair.

I can only recommend to every viewer maker and contributor to have a 
look at this broader picture and evaluate if their contributions in time 
and efforts are worthwhile.   Mine where fun when LL was a different 
company, but there I no way I would have made contributions under the 
current terms.  In fact I won't even log in again under the new terms 
and have canceled my accounts today.


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