[opensource-dev] TPVP Discussion

aklo at skyhighway.com aklo at skyhighway.com
Sat Apr 10 12:53:51 PDT 2010


i've been watching this TPVP discussion go round 'n round since it got
started and just biting my tongue 'cause i don't "have a dog in the race,"
as they say.  That doesn't mean i haven't had an opinion i've wanted to
share, though.  So, if you don't mind, i'd like to make a respectful
submission, please?

Despite some awfully emotional claims to the contrary, i don't think LL
has any intention of hunting developers down and sucking the marrow from
their bones!  Really, there's little point unless somebody deliberately
causes problems, which i think is what most of us agree is the intent? 
Well, that and the need for LL to deal with pressure from people who can
legally claim they've been ripped off or whatever and that LL has some
responsibility to "pay for it."

If somebody makes a viewer (or any other product) with the idea of
exploiting SL, harming the residents, and reducing the fun and utility of
the site for others, then they deserve whatever grief they get for it!  Do
we disagree on that point?  Surely not?  i think that no reasonable person
would want to excuse somebody who deliberately developed malignant
software and gave it to others to use even if they never used it that way
themselves (or at all), or even if they never advertised its evil
capabilities, relying instead on malevolent users to discover them.  i
mean, proving anything in some of those cases would really be a challenge,
but that's not the point.  The point is, SL is like, big and juicy enough
that it's already a target.  Because i *like* SL and want it to succeed, i
even hope that it gets even bigger, juicier, and that a bunch of you share
my enthusiasm!  Maybe the issue is just how far into the trade off between
security and freedom we want to get, especially realizing that both are
really il

Once i had a famous lawyer who had argued several cases before the US
Supreme Court explain to me that i needed to be aware that the state of
law in the United States - and most other places - was written so that
those promoting and enforcing it could theoretically arrest anyone,
anytime for *something*, and even make it stick - *provided their interest
and resources exceeded the abilities of the accused and their supporters
to complain about it.*  Like, obviously, right?

LL is invoking the law.  i think that's kinda sad, but i can't say that
it's not inevitable.  It's the kind of world we've allowed to develop.  We
have to live with that in so many ways!

My background includes a long time spent working for everyone's favorite
company, SCO.  It was a great place at first!  Really, i admit the reason
why i was so attracted to it in the beginning was 'cause the company
hottub was a big part of SCO's culture - actually, right in the middle of
the building where all the engineers worked!  There was also all the free
beer.  Many Mondays there'd be the remains of the weekend's keg in some
breakroom for breakfast chasers or whatever.  As far as i was concerned,
any place that was gonna provide a bubbling tub full of people so
comfortable with each other they could be naked together and complimentary
alcohol as part of the compensation package was my kind of place!  i do
hope you understand?

FYI, there really was once a memo from SCO's CEO asking everyone to please
wear some kind of clothing in the work areas of the building during
business hours.  It was due to the "surprise" expressed by a sortie of
suits from IBM (how ironic is that?) one day to see just exactly what it
was they were being asked to invest in.

As we know, mismanagement by the investors that eventually bought SCO
pulled it in other directions.  As tragic as the mismanagement was, and
despite what some may say, i talked in person like to enough of the people
who reviewed the relevant code - in some cases its authors, people i knew
personally, friends, to know that SCO really was ripped off by people
whose concerns were not so much promoting open source as the personal
compensation packages they were intent on cultivating by (for eample)
leveraging free labor in the open source community.  There, i said it.

i don't know any of the people reading this message at all, really.  i
think i like some of you - i know i like LL (a lot) and that i'm an avid
supporter of its employees, even though i don't know them, either.  As far
as i'm concerned, LL's people are developing an amazing tool with
incredible potential!  Well, we all are in our own ways.  i'm just willing
to go a little farther and support the idea that the Lindens are
well-intentioned, intelligent, and deserve the benefit of a doubt.

Unlike SCO & the argument it got into with IBM, and then Novell, i don't
think the possibility of a $6 billion argument exists here.  i'm not sure
what everyone is afraid of?  Where are the deep pockets that are going to
try and throw someone in jail, or suck them so dry they end up on a street
corner with a "Please Help" sign?  And what are the chances that kind of
thing would happen, anyway, unless the target had some real problem that
needed attention, anyhow?

If there was some way to do it, i would happily offer to sign all the
responsibility for all the decent people i've heard on this list so that
they could get back to work doing the things that they enjoy most so that
all this legalistic frustration could disappear from the conversation.  A
long time ago when i arrived in the city where i live now i had no
friends, almost no money, and no where to stay.  My first few weeks
included lots of dumpster dinners and camping.  i mean, let whoever sue
*me*!  The risks are worth it!  i'd just like to see peace here, the
distracting noise go away, and the roadblocks to the flow of rad
technology removed.

Please accept my apologies for the interruption, and my thanks for your time.




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