[opensource-dev] Fwd: [gnu.org #566095] Possible Licensing Conflict

Ron Festa overdrive at dceo.rutgers.edu
Tue Apr 20 12:55:36 PDT 2010


As Joe explained in the brown bag currently going on at the time of this
writing, you'd be required to end distributing the version that connects to
SL. In other words you will be required to remove support for SL.

Ron Festa
Virtual Worlds Admin
Division of Continuing Studies at Rutgers University
PGP key: http://bit.ly/b1ZyhY
Phone: 732-474-8583


On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 3:51 PM, Jason Giglio via RT <licensing at fsf.org>wrote:

> I don't think Brett fully considered the implications of:
>
> "You acknowledge and agree that we may require you to stop using or
> distributing a Third-Party Viewer for accessing Second Life if we
> determine that there is a violation."
>
> Which is clearly in conflict with the GPL.
>
> Ron Festa wrote:
> > Since people wanted to see it here it is right from the Free Software
> > Foundation.
> >
> > Ron Festa
> > Virtual Worlds Admin
> > Division of Continuing Studies at Rutgers University
> > PGP key: http://bit.ly/b1ZyhY
> > Phone: 732-474-8583
> >
> >
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > From: *Brett Smith via RT* <licensing at fsf.org <mailto:licensing at fsf.org
> >>
> > Date: Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 1:00 PM
> > Subject: [gnu.org <http://gnu.org> #566095] Possible Licensing Conflict
> > To: ronfesta at docs.rutgers.edu <mailto:ronfesta at docs.rutgers.edu>
> >
> >
> >  > [ronfesta at docs.rutgers.edu <mailto:ronfesta at docs.rutgers.edu> - Thu
> > Apr 15 12:02:18 2010]:
> >  >
> >  > Company name: Linden Research, Inc
> >  > Product: Second Life Viewer
> >  > Contact Info: http://lindenlab.com/contact
> >  >
> >  > <http://lindenlab.com/contact>Possible Violation: The Second Life
> > Viewer is
> >  > released completely under the GPLv2 with exception to the commercial
> > binary
> >  > blobs which have been replaced with opensource equivalents. Recently
> they
> >  > have released a Third Party Viewer Policy (TPVP) in regards to viewers
> > made
> >  > from their source code that connect to their service. In this policy,
> >  > section 7a appears to be in conflict with sections 11 & 12 of the
> > GPLv2 in
> >  > which their source code is licensed under.
> >
> > Ron,
> >
> > Thanks for getting in touch with us with your concerns. It's always
> > good to know that people like you take the GPL seriously enough to ask
> > these sorts of questions.
> >
> > My understanding is that Linden Labs' Third-Party Viewers Policy,
> > despite the name, sets out policies for connecting to Second Life's own
> > servers. Other services might call this kind of policy a Terms of
> > Service. This statement from the policy's preamble explains their intent:
> >
> > "This Policy does not place any restriction on modification or use of
> > our viewer source code that we make available under the GPL. Rather, the
> > Policy sets out requirements for connecting to our Second Life service
> > using a Third-Party Viewer, regardless of the viewer source code used,
> > and for participating in our Viewer Directory."
> >
> > The freedoms granted by the GPL and other free software licenses are
> > never absolute -- they are limited by law and other legal agreements.
> > For example, just because the license allows you to use the software
> > for any purpose does not mean you are allowed to use it to DoS a
> > server, or undertake other illegal activities.
> >
> > Linden Labs has the right to set policies for clients connecting to its
> > servers, and that is what it has done with this policy. They do not put
> > direct limits on the freedoms you have under the GPL: viewers that don't
> > follow the policies could be used to connect to alternative servers as
> > they become available, to make an entirely new game, or in completely
> > unrelated projects. I am sympathetic to concerns that some of these
> > policies may have chilling effects on development of third party viewer
> > applications, but the policies are not in any inherent, direct conflict
> > with the GPL's terms.
> >
> > I hope this helps clear up our position on the matter for you. If you
> > have other concerns, please feel free to contact us.
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > --
> > Brett Smith
> > Licensing Compliance Engineer, Free Software Foundation
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
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