[opensource-dev] FAQ posted for Third Party Viewer Policy

Maggie Leber (sl: Maggie Darwin) maggie at matrisync.com
Sun Feb 28 08:23:00 PST 2010

It seems to me that this incessant desire to use software licencing
and a "viewer whitelist" as a lever on downstream viewer developers is
an attempt to reduce the costs of managing the behavior of Linden
Research's customers.

Obviously Linden Research management believes that doing this
wholesale (by bullying developers into crippling functions in their
code) rather than retail (detecting and responding to individual
customer acts of ToS noncompliance) is a heck of a lot cheaper and
easier. The problem with this strategy is that the GPL is specifically
designed to prevent such bullying.

It further seems clear to me that these policies were announced at the
same time as the release of Viewer2 beta in order to distract
attention from the power grab. Guess that didn't work as well as

"An entirely sufficient case for open-source development rests on its
engineering and economic outcomes—better quality, higher reliability,
lower costs, and increased choice." --ESR, in "The Magic Cauldron".

We should note that the first three benefits he cites are implicitly
not available without the fourth, from which they arise.

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