[opensource-dev] Third party viewer policy

Morgaine morgaine.dinova at googlemail.com
Tue Feb 23 20:30:46 PST 2010

Gigs is totally right that http://secondlife.com/corporate/tpv.php is
completely incompatible with the GPL.

Specifically, TPV clause 1c is incompatible with GPLv2 clause 6.

GPLv2 has a FAQ that elaborates on this point, highlighting from clause 6

   - "*You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients'
   exercise of the rights granted herein.*"

TPV 1c adds massive further restrictions on Developers that fall under the
condition of "*If you are a Developer who distributes Third-Party Viewers to

Please note the word "*distributes*" in the condition above, because it is

GPLv2 is a *distribution license*, in other words it triggers at the point
of distribution of GPL-licensed code.  The freedoms that GPLv2 grants apply
at that specific point in time, allowing a developer to *distribute* his
code freely downstream to the next recipient, who can then modify the code
again and *distribute* it to others downstream, and so on.

It is this distribution that TPV 1c specifically entangles with a mass of
restrictions.  This cannot be done with the GPL of any version.  TPV is
dramatically GLPv2 non-compliant.

I fully expect that LL did not intend to make TPV 1c apply so broadly and to
be GPL non-compliant.  Rather than this being intentional, it's more likely
(I think) that the document was drafted by someone not very good at legal
language and ignorant of the GPL.  Unfortunately, the words stand as
written, so unless they are rewritten, no Linden-derived viewer will be
distributable under GPL.

GPL cannot be used to grant fewer freedoms than the GPL specifies.

Lindens are of course entirely within their rights to determine how their
service is used.  What they cannot do is use the GPLv2 license while at the
same time imposing on the developer "*further restrictions on the
recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.*"



On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 8:16 PM, Gigs <gigstaggart at gmail.com> wrote:

> http://secondlife.com/corporate/tpv.php
> You all realize this is massively incompatible with the GPL, right?
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