[opensource-dev] "Resposibility" - Third party viewer policy

Morgaine morgaine.dinova at googlemail.com
Fri Feb 26 02:14:11 PST 2010

Colin, there is a problem in the way that you are reading the TPV.

You are using commonsense.  That is not how law works.  It deals in what is
actually written down.  And what is written down is not commonsense.  The
actual words in the TPV, separate from any sane person's interpretation of
what they SHOULD refer to, *explicitly state* that a developer must do X, Y,
Z in order to be allowed to distribute her modified GPL program, and that is
incompatible with GPLv2 (in fact, with all versions of GPL).

One Linden defined the problem very well in group chat yesterday:  The TPV
talks about developers and users *simultaneously*, which causes confusion,
and as a result of that confusion there are restrictions imposed on
developers which should apply only to users.

It is those restrictions, which are very sensible when applied to users,
that are not GPL compatible when applied to developers, because they are an
additional restriction on the GPL-granted freedoms to modify and distribute
a GPL program.  Such additional restrictions are expressly forbidden by
GPLv2 clause 6.

Apparently those restrictions on developers were not intentional.

The TPV should never have been written by someone who doesn't understand
deeply the details of the GPL and who does not have a good command of
legal-type language, which requires high precision in wording.  They didn't
even understand the meaning of "NO WARRANTY", written in capital letters in
the GPLv2 license.

Allegedly that's the only problem with the TPV, an incompetently written
document, not evil intent.

Of course there is also the insanity of Linden Lab trying to claim trademark
domain over the word "Life".  For that, the Linden lawyers deserve nothing
but a good kicking.  (Do it now!)  Just because lawyers throughout the US
behave like idiots doesn't mean that Linden lawyers must follow in the
footsteps of idiocy.



On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 6:30 PM, Colin Kern <colin.kern at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:35 AM, Vex Streeter <vexstreeter at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > GPL also specifically disclaims warranty and liability unless you choose
> to
> > provide such for your code or distribution.  Policy sections 1.c.i and
> > 1.c.ii are redundant w/rt GPL but_requiring_ such statements of
> downstream
> > distributors conflicts with GPL.  Policy section 7.d is even worse as it
> > directly contradicts GPL liability disclaimers.
> >
> Nothing in the TPV contradicts or violates the GPL, because the GPL is
> all about distribution of software, and the TPV is about whether or
> not LL will allow a viewer to connect to their servers, not whether
> you'll be allowed to distribute it.
> Colin
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