An Important Announcement Regarding the Third-Party Viewer Policy

One month ago, Linden Lab announced its Third-Party Viewer Policy, which sets the rules for connecting to Second Life via third-party viewers such as the Imprudence Viewer.

Although we, the Imprudence developers, agree with the stated goals of the policy, we believe the policy document itself was poorly crafted and had a number of serious problems. However, Linden Lab soon assured the developer community that the policy would be revised, so we waited to see the final version before deciding what to do about it.

This past weekend, it was revealed that the policy had been silently updated sometime in the past two weeks, and that Linden Lab has no plans to further revise it. Unfortunately, the revised Third-Party Viewer policy still has most of the problems of the original. But, because this is apparently the final version, the Imprudence team met earlier this week to discuss the matter and decide how to proceed.

Let me state clearly that we believe the policy was well-intentioned, and that its stated goals are laudable. However, as a consequence of how the policy is currently written, certain parts of it would place the Imprudence project and its developers under unacceptable constraints, obligations, and legal risks. Specifically:

  • Section 2(b) requires that all content export features must verify that the creator name for all exported content is the same as the name of the user exporting it. Although that restriction is well-intentioned, it would prohibit exporting even when the user has a legitimate right or license to export the content. The content export tools in Imprudence already perform creator checks similar to those described in the policy, but we do not want to discard the possibility of finding a better way to discourage illegal copying in the future.
  • Several sections require that we agree in advance to comply with various requests from Linden Lab:
    • Section 4(a)(i) requires that we agree to update or delete any data received from Second Life, at Linden Lab’s request.
    • Section 4(b)(iii) requires that we agree to modify our privacy practices at Linden Lab’s request.
    • Section 8(c) requires that we agree to stop using or distributing the viewer at Linden Lab’s request.
    • Section 8(d) requires that we agree to add, modify, or remove parts of the viewer at Linden Lab’s request, within a time frame dictated by Linden Lab.

    In effect, those four sections require us to promise to obey Linden Lab’s every future whim. We are unwilling to make such broad promises, not knowing what they may request. If and when Linden Lab makes any request of us, we will use our own judgement to decide how best to handle that particular request.

  • Sections 7(a) and 7(d) require that we assume all responsibility (i.e. legal liability) for everything in the viewer. That would make us responsible not only for our own work, but even for bugs that were created by Linden Lab and that are also found in the official viewer. Furthermore, agreeing to those sections would potentially nullify the legal protection granted to us under section 12 of the GNU GPL, and thus place an unacceptable amount of legal risk over our heads. [Update April 22: The policy has been amended recently, and our concerns described in this paragraph no longer apply.]

Because the parts of the policy described above are unacceptable, we cannot agree to the policy as a whole. This has several consequences for our users, ourselves, and the future of the project:

  • Effective immediately, we no longer officially support using the Imprudence Viewer to connect to Second Life. The viewer is now intended to be used only with OpenSim-based services, such as OSGrid, ReactionGrid, and the 3rd Rock Grid.
  • Accordingly, we will remove the Second Life main and beta grids from the viewer’s default grid list. Any individual who chooses to use the viewer to connect to Second Life anyway, does so without our knowledge or encouragement.
  • Because we have not agreed to the policy, we are not allowed to connect to Second Life with any third-party viewer. Therefore, we are relocating our weekly developer meetings to a grid that does not have this restriction. The new location will be announced on the developer mailing list once arrangements have been made.
  • Even though we do not agree to the policy as a whole, we will honor the parts of the policy that we consider to be reasonable and fair to our users and ourselves. To that end, we are drafting a privacy policy to describe our practices regarding user data, and we are making several minor changes to the viewer to address potential issues.

This was not an easy decision to make, nor one made lightly. We realize, and sincerely regret, that this will cause a considerable amount of inconvenience for our users, as well as ourselves. However, we believe that these steps are necessary to preserve the project’s integrity and our ability to continue developing the viewer.

We hope that Linden Lab might some day revise the policy so that we can once again support using the Imprudence Viewer to connect to Second Life. But, we must proceed now under the assumption that the policy will stand as it is currently written. We therefore encourage our users to take any steps necessary to adjust to this new state of affairs.

[April 24 update: Looking to the Future]

54 Responses to “An Important Announcement Regarding the Third-Party Viewer Policy”


  1. Peter Stindberg

    I was waiting for this announcement, having read the meeting minutes a few days ago. I understand this is a very painful decision, and I congratulate you and the team on taking it.

    Unfortunately I think Imprudence has a too small userbase to make a difference and get LL to reconsider the debatable parts, especially the liability. Now if Emerald would take a similar apporach…

  2. Bart

    Frankly, there seems to be much left in the mist regarding the TPV policy. Some others shut down development of their viewers completely, others like Boy Lane are still wondering about the impact.

    Well, there is an official FAQ for the TPV namely here: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Third_Party_Policy_and_Viewer_Directory_FAQ .

    If I read that FAQ I come to other conclusions than you in the end, namely:

    You do not have to participate in the viewer directory program or registrr your viewer, thouhj registering might become mandatory in the near future because they want an unique identifier for each client.

    Developers are not being held responsible for all the actions of the users of the viewers. But they expect that the developers do not craft prohibited features like e.g. NeilLife into their viewers.

    Though this read a little bit more balanced, the TPV is still way too much, right???

  3. Opensource Obscure

    My support to the Imprudence development team for their hard decision, and appreciation for the reasoned analysis of this issue.

    My suggestion would be that different viewers teams should now cooperate, and leverage on their users communities, in order to have LL rectify the policy.

  4. Fred Rookstown

    Luna viewer “team” here. Great job, you definately handled this better than I did.

    Are there any Open Source office hours on the OSGrid or some other opensim based grid?

  5. Boy Lane

    I can’t say I did not know this would come, still I feel pretty sick about the circumstances. Circumstances that force enthusiastic people that have worked hundreds of hours in their spare time to stop to develop legitimate viewers. To develop for a commercial entity, Linden, that has proven themselves to be limited in their capabilities to address needs of their customers. It’s sad. It’s sick. It’s ridiculous. There will be only one loser, the residents.

    It does not pay off to shut down critics on their own work if exactly those critics offer solutions *for free* to improve and fix existing problems. Viewer 2.0 is not what is needed nor wanted.

    I wrote that in SLU; hopefully this whole TPV drama helps other projects like OpenSim based worlds to move ahead with more support and more people joining and using them. More, better and faster developments and a healthier competition would certainly be very advantageous for everyone interested in virtual worlds. And I certainly hope the shot in the foot proves painful for LL.

  6. Zauber Paracelsus

    As me and several others have said, Micky Kingdom seems intent on killing off Second Life’s original user base. Driving outside developers away is just one small part of it.

  7. Maria Korolov

    For a list of the top OpenSim grids and their region counts:

    http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2010/03/opensim-grids-grow-10-this-month/

    There are almost 10,000 regions (possibly more, by now) on just the top 40 OpenSim grids. There are hundreds — possibly thousands — of private grids as well. These grids are growing at an average rate of 10% a month over the last few months.

    About half of these grids are hypergrid enabled — you can teleport from one grid to another with your avatar, and have access to your belongings. You can even buy things on another grid, and bring it home to your own private grid.

    List of hypergrid destinations here: http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/worlds/

    I’m sorry about the loss of access to Second Life. But it’s not a bad time to be on OpenSim.

    – Maria Korolov
    Editor, Hypergrid Business
    http://www.hypergridbusiness.com

  8. Antonius Misfit

    @Peter: As much as we’d all hope the Emerald devs would take a similar stance, it seems more likely that they are attempting to strike some sort of deal where they alone could get exempted from the TPV policy, due to their very large userbase in SL.

    I applaud the Imprudence devs for making this tough decision. Hopefully other third-party developers will follow suit.

  9. Ellie K

    I chime in from the peanut gallery. @Antonius, the count is two at present. Appears that Luna Viewer also moved from Second Life, over to the Open Sim world of OSGrid, per n3x15 http://nexisonline.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/luna-viewer-moved-to-github/ .

  10. Kyle G

    We welcome Imprudence developers to meet in ReactionGrid as part of their Opensimulator discussions.

    Though we are small worlds compared to SL (TM, R, Copyright, E Pluribus Unum) let’s band together & move forward.

    Thanks to the Imprudence team for taking a stand here. We want nobody to lose income in SL or Opensimulator due to content theft but the above rules are untenable.

  11. Legion Hienrichs

    We would also welcome the Imprudence Developers to meet in InWorldz. Having worked on the viewer for InWorldz, I understand what goes into putting out a product, I have also learned greatly from all the 3rd Party developers.

    Personally, I would be very happy to have other viewer developers to learn as much as I can from them, to also help guide our future viewer development so we don’t end up in the situation being created by corporate policies with no input from the community that made it work.

  12. WhiteStar

    Thanks to ALL the Imprudence folks with sticking to the project and standing up to support OpenSim. Lame Labs continues to shoot itself in the foot and there isn’t any point in going down with them on their path. Keep up the excellent efforts and on behalf of myself and likely a lot of other folks I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to the Imprudence Team and Supporters, it is Very Much Appreciated!

    WhiteStar

  13. JeanRicard Broek

    Welcome to First Life. There are more of us outside the SL walled garden then you will imagine. We welcome you. Calling Second Life (TM) a walled garden is just to flowery a term for a Berlin style wall.

    Note: There has been discussion in the RealXtend Google group about creating a similar policy for their new viewer.

  14. Mm Alder

    “Because we have not agreed to the policy, we are not allowed to connect to Second Life with any third-party viewer.”

    Does that mean no more UXIG meetings, Jacek? Say it ain’t so. :-(
    Or will you hold those on OpenSim?

  15. Dave Coyle

    You’re also welcome (as are any grid users, assuming the room is free) to use the meeting room in the center of Wright Plaza on OSGrid. Right now the only time it’s booked is Tuesdays at 18:00-20:00 UTC for the OpenSim dev meeting. But any other day/time you’re welcome to use it. Vivox voice is enabled there, too, if that’s of interest.

  16. Wayfinder

    (Forgive the length. My friends kid me that I’m the only person they know that can comment a blog within a blog. LOL)

    In the TPV polices, we find another instance of Linden Lab using passive-aggressive concepts to force their whims upon the populace. Like the folks at Imprudence, I acknowledge and applaud the concepts behind the policies: protection of intellectual property rights and adherence to copyright law. But reading between the lines of that document, what we find is not so much protection of rights, as attempt to force third party users from their system.

    We saw them take this same passive-aggressive stance in regard to free items on XstreetSL. Frankly, they wanted the free items off the board. But rather than being honest and open and having the guts to shut down freebies, they took the stance of “Freebies are ok, but we’re going to charge creators L$95 a month to display them”. They could have easily and more honorably stated, “Look XstreetSL is for the purpose of merchants selling items, not giving them away. So we’re shutting down freebies and asking people to offer such inworld, as a draw to their stores.” People might not have liked it, but we could have at least respected the forthright honesty. But typical to nature, Linden Lab didn’t do that. They hid behind bogus policies and management con games. We saw them do the same thing with the OpenSim fiasco. Instead of stating the REAL reason they were increasing prices, they had the gall to blame their customers for daring to use a product Linden Lab provided.

    This passive aggressive management method is a historically proved method of Linden Lab operations. In my opinion, it’s a cowardly way of conducting business… and it always fails to achieve the desired goal.

    Linden Lab made a serious mistake (business wise) in releasing their client code open source. I knew that from the beginning, but didn’t say a word because well, I wanted to see happen exactly what has happened– some competition to challenge their monopoly. Now that they’ve opened the gate, it’s far too late for them to stop the very real competition that is slowly arising. They also have come to realize that they have made it impossible to close the gate of access to their system; they have to honor third party viewers.

    So, since they can’t just shut them down without looking like raging morons, they create a set of “policies” that dictate unreasonable demands upon the TPV creators… demands that may not even be legally viable (ie, could be challenged in court as monopolistic and coercive in nature). Their purpose it would seem (from an analysis standpoint) is not to protect IP rights… but to shut down TPV access to their system.

    If all they were concerned about were IP rights, there are many ways to reasonably protect such and legally cover their tails as far as copyright law is concerned. So I have no choice but to consider this new TPV policy as either a document drafted by the most incompetent legal staff I have ever seen… or an intentional effort to make access to Second Life by TPVs so difficult and ludicrous, that TPV creators decide to give up on SL.

    This in actuality, is a smart policy on their part (if one removes all ethics from business conduct). They manage to shut down TPVs without shutting down TPVs, they get a little more control over their own system, and they can claim the high road of intending to protect their customers interests while adhering as closely as possible to U.S. copyright law. The fact that they may be breaching other laws in the process seems something they have failed to consider.

    They also fail to consider another issue… one that was mentioned in this blog: that TPVs will cease supporting Second Life and will instead focus their attention on OpenSim. While that may seem to have little impact on SL at this time (and indeed, that is the case)… the rupture of an entire dam begins with one leak. OpenSim is still disorganized, plagued by infighting and egos, and after years is still not even close to beta stage (it’s more like a very, very buggy alpha). Yet people ARE creating worlds there, they are building, they are forming new communities. Elf Clan is currently supporting two such grids: Inworldz and Reaction Grid. For a certainty the management of both grids has proved to be friendlier and more supportive / cooperative than Linden Lab.

    The leak may be slow at this time, but is increasing. Documents such as the TPV Policies will NOT decrease IP abuse (there are many other ways to do so), but they will increase ill will against Linden Lab. No matter what stance TPV creators take, Linden Lab is unlikely to care. If the entire TPV community took a united and identical stance in regard to Second Life, Linden Lab would historically ignore such and just blow head long into the brick wall. They don’t see that wall. It’s too far for their apparently myopic vision to discern. That doesn’t mean such community decisions won’t have eventual impact, and that the wall isn’t there.

    Every user that takes a stand, every person who says, “I’m not going to accept this”… is one more crack in the dam. These cracks may be microscopic. They may have little immediate effect on operations. But in the long run, they will become widespread enough and deep enough to cause the dam to burst. When it does, it will be sudden… and Second Life will either be gone, or a ruin of its former structure. The OpenSim valley (or whomever else enters the VR scene) will be there to catch and benefit from the flood of users that come pouring through.

    In the meantime, it falls to the TPV and OpenSim community to cooperate, form a unified structure, and work to create an alternate VR world worthy of customers that are already looking for a way off this sinking ship.

  17. Lazuli Pooraka

    I understand how difficult the decision must have been. I am not surprised by Linden’s seeming lack of concern for the viewer developers, outside of their own. It is a pattern LL has had for years.

    As an owner of 3rd Rock Grid(3rdrockgrid.com), I also appreciate your mention of our grid, we feel honored in your recognition of the hard work our development staff has put into our grid.

    We would like to help support your efforts as well. It is our motto to all that arrive on our grid…..”3rd Rock Grid IS NOT SL”. As we all continue to develop our mutually supportive systems, let us all make sure we don’t fall into the same trap that Linden Labs has, where the concern seems only about the bottom line. I suspect that your group and our group find the participants and users of our “tools” are at the top of our concerns.

    I hope the entire viewer community rejects the Linden agreement as you have, it will help us make the break from Linden that the OpenSim community needs.

  18. Wayfinder

    (Oh, in all that, forgot one little important point…)

    Linden Lab stating that TPV creators assume all risk and liability is a standard legal statement that is nothing more than a butt-protector. It doesn’t actually transfer any liability whatsoever, and is easily defensible by the TPV creators adding a simple line to their licenses (one I believe already exists):

    “The user in using this product, assumes all liability for product use and holds harmless the creators/distributors of this product for damages real or imagined, intentional, unintentional or negligent. This product does not fall under the laws of merchantability of any state, province or government.”

    That pretty much legally absolves the TPV of any liability short of CRIMINAL negligence (negligence which is known in advance and performs criminal-level harm upon the user).

    So, that little section of LL’s document is nothing more than a standard “paper tiger” clause… and is the least of the document’s problems.

    The REAL problems lie, as indicated by the author, in their “we OWN you” clauses… which are so broad-based and ludicrous from a legal standpoint they would likely be thrown out of court simply on the grounds of absurdity and lack of specific nature.

    (One of the advantages of working for 25 years as a corporate consultant. One learns the tricks and propaganda common to the industry. :D)

  19. Wayfinder

    pps. LOL. As far as Linden Lab themselves holding TPV creators legally responsible for things done through use of their viewers:

    1) Linden Lab created the monster. They assumed reasonable liability for such at that point and cannot transfer that liability to others by introducing a “we say so” clause. Such clause is as legally un-defensible as their coercive TOS.

    2) Safe Harbor.

    They know these things. Again, paper tiger clauses.

  20. Baloo Uriza

    I nominate OSgrid as the new meeting grid.

    @Wayfinder: Paper tiger clauses are still scary enough to discourage people from agreeing to it. I hope legal@linden realizes that someday.

  21. TaraLi Jie

    FAQs may not have standing in court. Policies *DO*.

  22. Thoria

    LL’s “paper tiger clauses” in their third party viewer document may or may not hold up in court. But what third party developer can afford to litigate that? The potential cost of “lawyering up” is a deal breaker for most such groups.

  23. Zauber Paracelsus

    Very true, Thoria, though I do recall there being some groups who do provide legal aid for open source projects. Makes sense, since open source projects and developers typically have little or no funds.

  24. Latha Serevi

    Boy Lane is bummed that enthusiastic developers are being forced to stop development of useful viewers. I see it differently: they’re being forced to stop BEING HONEST ABOUT development of useful viewers. This is a shame too, but of a lesser order.

  25. Latha Serevi

    I’m not accusing the Imprudence of dishonesty, BTW. Their policy is great. It’s just that if I were in their place, I’d say what they said but wouldn’t actually mean it. :-o

  26. Ordinal Malaprop

    Well. I think that it has been quite clear since the announcement of Viewer Two Point Oh and the bifurcation of source code that the New Regime is not, shall we say, Third Party Friendly. How long will it be before code differences unreflected in Snowglobe mean that “TPVs” are practically unable to compete with the official viewer? Six months, I would say.

    Speaking personally, and given that the terms do actually require quite significant consent by Users as well as Creators of Third Party Clients: I would be quite happy to agree to them, with the obvious proviso that I might change my mind at any point (say, should LL ask that I remove a chatlog that I had received whilst using Emerald) and default, at which point I would then not be allowed to access SL via a Third Party Client. Oh dear me.

  27. Morgaine

    I very much applaud the Imprudence developers for analyzing the TPV policy document minutely and noting what it ACTUALLY SAYS (which is all that matters in law), and then taking a difficult but rational decision based on the available evidence.

    What the TPV document actually says is utterly out of step with the reasonable but only alleged intentions of the policy. What it actually says places an appalling and dangerous burden on SL developers, the opposite of the “NO WARRANTY” protection which the GPL offers to all developers when they distribute their versions downstream.

    Open source doesn’t work as intended in the kind of environment that Linden Lab is creating, as so many developers in opensource-dev have written. This will be to LL’s detriment. In contrast, it is a significant boost for the future of Opensim and open grids or worlds, which will now gain much greater support from viewer developers.

    The new Imprudence announcement must have been a very tough and brave decision to make, but a necessary one to safeguard the developers of this excellent viewer. Well done.

    Morgaine.

  28. Boy Lane

    “Boy Lane is bummed that enthusiastic developers are being forced to stop development of useful viewers. I see it differently: they’re being forced to stop BEING HONEST ABOUT development of useful viewers. This is a shame too, but of a lesser order.”

    @Latha
    No, not at all. Everybody here is working on viewers in their spare time, as a hobby, as a fun project. The fun ends at the time fun turns into a liability. Nobody forces me to make things I am not comfortable with or I can’t take the associated risk.

    If I would have fun making malicious clients then I’d have done so before and laugh about TPV on the way to the next rip or attack. But all the devs affected now are not the black hats, we all played by the rules. And these rules have changed now. Into what many independently assessed as not acceptable. And so we stop. This does not mean we turn dishonest, rather the opposite. And tell users that a 3rd party viewer they will use in the future does not comply to TPV and therefore is at the users full own risk.

    Besides that, the malicious viewers will steam ahead with full speed, as this policy or any other is irrelevant to them. But you are right, that is important only on a lesser order.

  29. Jacek Antonelli

    Thank you everyone for your comments, advice, and support. I wish I could respond to you all, but I’m emotionally exhausted from this ordeal, and eager to move on to happier things. Thank you for your understanding.

    @Mm Alder: Not to worry, UXIG meetings will continue as usual. I’ll just have to log in with the standard viewer or Snowglobe.

  30. LaeMing

    Second Life. I almost forgot they existed! Been mucking around in my 36-region private grid for so long ;-).

    Seriously, I have been shedding my modest land ownership in SL since long before this latest from LL simply because I just don’t have much reason to log in there any more.

    Nearly dropped back to an unpaid membership last renewal. This pretty much seals it for the next one.

    Looking ahead, OpenSim is far more likely to solve my present technical issues with the whole environment anyway. I am looking forward to a closer interaction between Imprudence Client and the OpenSim Server than was possible while ‘Legacy Mode’ had to be supported. ;-D

  31. Tali

    I am shocked and sad to see this being the end result.
    But I entirely understand where you are coming from. When LL screwed me over badly over the OpenSpace issue, I decided not to invest effort into SL I couldn’t easily walk away with, seeing how LL was obviously willing to and capable of pulling the rug out under projects.
    So I started prioritizing graphics work and other “offworld tools” and IPs over scripting which would be directly tied to the SL platform.
    It seems you have hit the same spot; where SL is no longer a realistically viable platform, but at best just an amusing distraction.
    I am really sorry for you guys, in particular since I hold your work in high regards.

  32. 2Tee2

    what made Kirstens qualify this fast? you could do better imprudence :D

  33. Boy Lane

    “what made Kirstens qualify this fast? you could do better imprudence”

    There is no such thing as “qualification”. To register in the Viewer Directory (which is optional) one has to self-certify to comply to the TPV. That means acceptance of the policy even before the commencement date of 30 April. Funny thing here, KLee “self-certified” even before the current TPV version was published.

  34. Tali

    “what made Kirstens qualify this fast?”

    She may believe in a different interpretation of the policies; she may agree to follow the interpretation which the Imprudence team finds too harsh; or she may simply not care if she actually obeys the policy, just wanting to be on the list and banking on LL never calling in the dues.

    The Imprudence team has always been very diligent in sorting out the legalities and policies, and what is happening here is them saying, “We do not, in good conscience, believe we can (nor want to) obey the requirements as given”.

  35. Antonius Misfit

    @Boy and Tali: It seems the Viewer Directory now only lists Kirsten’s viewer alone. The METAbolt non-graphical viewer has been dropped from the list. Whether this was the result of the developer changing his mind about the TPV policies or Linden Lab de-listing it for “non-compliance” reasons does not seem clear.

  36. Ellie K

    Apparently the “final final” TPV policy provides for an official Linden Lab-sanctioned Viewer Directory for use in Second Life. However, listing is optional. And certification for the viewer’s compliance with LL’s standards is not reviewed at all: not to qualify, not to remain on the list! comment

    Will we return to word-of-mouth re which viewer is safe and which will get you banned? The user will have no choice but to accept potential liabilities from using a TPV, according to LL’s policy statement. Thus a non-technical resident of Second Life has a single option: use the Linden Labs SL beta ver 2 viewer ONLY! comment

    The TPV situation is further obscured by LL’s non-policy about Kirsten’s Viewer and Emerald. Are either sanctioned, particularly Emerald Viewer? I’d also like clarification on the relationship between Modular Systems and Linden Lab. Modular Systems supports the Emerald Viewer. They are also associated with the copybot detector technology. This is the oft-misconstrued Onyx “viewer” according to the Modular Systems folks, see Onyx Project The Malicious Viewer intelligence page is surprisingly altruistic… Black Hat Viewers Is Modular Systems a vigilante group, or is it affiliated with Linden Lab?

  37. Antonius Misfit

    A bit of an update since my last post: It appears now that METAbolt is back on the directory, as well as Mobile Grid Client, a proprietary SL/OpenSim client for Android handsets. This may be the only client that absolutely HAS to accept the TPV policy, because it’s revenue stream is dependant on the user having an SL avatar(instead of relying on more sensible methods like Paypal or Google Checkout) even if the client is used exclusively for OpenSim.

  38. Rob Collett

    All I see here is the New World order growing.Bravo to those who show the way…..with courage, integrity and foresight

  39. 2Tee2

    as for kirstens, im just wondering if the reason might be the inclusion of some code from v2? anyway, i do love the stance of the imprudence team

  40. Ted

    Firstly, thank you for the work on the viewer. It’s one of the best 3PD’s out here, and I’ve really enjoyed the client.

    Secondly, Linden knows exactly what they are doing. The goals of the moves are this…

    1) Create a new viewer themselves. This is now formally called viewer 2.0.

    2) Make it mandated to upgrade to the new viewer at some point in time. Which nullifies the work being done by the open source community with the v1.XXX viewers.

    The whole issue is over import/export. Thus Meerkat not being around etc.. and exactly what we have been asking Linden for since 2004. A backup system. They never created one nor will they due to their continued effort and belief that they do own the content created on their servers.

    The Linden Terms of Service pretty much states that they own your data that is created on their servers. Nothing will ever be fixed with these situations until Linden ends up in court over whom owns the user generated content. This is just a plain fact. And I do believe Linden will be at loss when the decision is handed down. I do believe that the end user that created the works are the owners of those works and have the right to use such works on any grid of their choosing.

    While many of us have moved over to our own private opensimulator grids over the last two years, Linden has still to date not accomplished providing for a backup system for content creators.

    My suggestion?

    Do as you have mentioned until Linden gets sued for breaking the terms of the GNU/GPL. They already have broken the commitment to open source as well as the licensing they released the client under. They are not supposed to be adding or taking away from, and they get around this by stating what can and cannot connect to their servers. This is truly appalling and will end up resulting in action at some point and time. It will come to a head. Count on it.

    Create for os. Linden doesn’t have any capacity to work with the open source community and their whole intention is to move on without it. That is clear as day to anyone whom has worked with the software for any time at all.

  41. Gwyneth Llewelyn

    *sigh* I really can’t understand LL’s stupid stance on this. I feel sad for all of you — the Imprudence developers, the whole community of SL residents, and even for LL itself. Massive amounts of stupidity don’t make me angry, just very, very sad.

    I applaud your courage in making this tough decision, and since I exclusively use Imprudence for logging to the OpenSim grids I connect to, I definitely will welcome all sorts of improvements made specifically to address some peculiarities of OpenSim, at the expense of ignoring SL!

  42. Marcus Llewellyn

    Completely agree with Gwyneth here, even if she does spell her last name funny. ;)

    Imprudence is and has been my viewer of choice for OpenSim grids, and OSgrid in particular. One disappointment I’ve often had with all TPVs is the apparent lack of interest in joining with the OpenSim people to develop features LL hasn’t or won’t do themselves server side. I hope that is something the Imprudence team will consider when moving forward. The LL viewer and feature set has been a great bootstrap for the OpenSim project, but the viewer has become a ball and chain, limiting innovation.

    Imagine custom skies, with your own moons or planets. Or just plain finishing what LL has left half done with Windlight settings, so that the server lets the viewer know which one to use.

    How about a heightmap for water? Hierarchical linksets? More avatar attachments that don’t use an XML hack? Better media support (WAV files? Really?) Region backup and restore functionality right in the viewer with OAR files. On and on…

    I know Imprudence’s stated goal is to fix silly design UI decisions on LL’s part, but there’s so much to think about. :)

  43. seticat

    Imprudence has been my TPV viewer of choice sine I discovered it and I’m going to continue to hold out hope that LL will sort through things to everyone’s benifit.

    I totally understand that the team here is making the best decision they can with the restrictions handed them and I was to thank everyone for all they’ve done to improve my SL experience.

    I’ll keep checking back here with hope.

  44. Edie Stewart

    Hooray for the devs at Imprudence! I left SL over a year ago and moved to Timmy Stewart’s standalone, Second Plexus, and then, due to sabotage, he brought the entire continent to OSGrid 6 months ago, where i love it! As one who joined and logged into SL daily, and most times all day, for 4 years straight, I do not miss SL at ALL..just a few of the people. Also, as one whom is so resistant to change..(am beginning to realize i may be anal rentitive.. eek!) i have always entertained the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude. Well i am downloading Imprudence now (slaps myself for being so SLOW to conform) and rest assured, your marvelous decision to exclude yourself from LL and their greedy, unsavory practices will mark this as a day that will go down in YOUR record books, Imprudence!! (ps..oh,and i love your mini-blogs, Wayfinder!!)

  45. Breen Whitman

    “Funny thing here, KLee “self-certified” even before the current TPV version was published.”

    Yes. “Funny” is the key word here.

    Is KL a Linden mole for shadow and other feature testing. Snowglobe is restricted due to its official ties.

  46. Matthias

    Imprudence is far-and-away my viewer of choice, and I am now spoiled for any other viewer.

    I will continue to use it on Second Life. Bollocks to the TPV if it’s going to make my life more difficult.

    (please don’t make it *too* difficult to set Imprudence to connect to the labs’ grid…)

  47. Blanche

    I am so saddened by this news.

    I dislike viewer 2, Emerald lags the bejeezus out of me (and isn’t all it’s cracked up to be imho)and I LOOOOOVVVE Imprudence, even tho’ it makes me crash 2-3 times a session…it is something I can live with for the benefits the viewer brings.

    Thank you to all the Imprudence team for building pretty much the best viewer on SL – I’ll keep using Imprudence till they ban me for it, then I’ll have to get my hit somewhere else.

    :(

  48. Ella

    Personally i do not see what the fuss is all about. Respect to the Inprudence team for having made this decision, but yes it was the best one to make. So i de say, comply to LL’s conditions or just move on. I cannot blame them for wanting to still be masters of thier empire, or for trying to make TPV risk free for content creators

  49. Soto
  50. Boy Lane

    The Status of the Community
    FRIDAY, 9. APRIL 2010, 01:35:12

    As the commencement date of LL’s third party viewer policy comes closer to our turf I’d like to keep you on track with developments. As of today the status, still 3 weeks to go until the deadline.

    Viewers stopped development for Secondlife:
    Imprudence (full)
    RealXtend (full)
    Luna (full)

    Viewers stopped development:
    Nicholaz (full)
    Rainbow/Cool (full)

    Viewers partly ceased/unsure:
    OMV, some code removed (full/text)
    Emerald, no statement (full)
    Marine’s RLV, no statement (full)
    Radegast (text) (?)

    Viewers continuing and self certified to TPV:
    KirstenLee (full)
    MetaBolt (text)
    Mobile Grid Client (text)

    Viewers continuing without viewer directory listing:
    Cool VL (full)

    *(full) refers to a graphical viewer, (text) refers to a text client

  51. Tali

    Apparently, LL silently changed some of the wording recently (yesterday?).
    I don’t know if it changes anything; goodwill and trust has certainly been damaged badly, and there are still potential problems, but at the very least, it makes your deeplinking to the TPV in your comments on the specific clauses misleading, since it no longer links to what you originally commented on.

  52. Edward Cullen

    And so, Linden Labs has to accept your demands to cease control over what people connect to their grid with?
    See it from their point of view. Unless they do something they will face litigation from content creators and law suits filed for failure to provide reasonable privacy to users and their data. You cant have it both ways. You cant have lindens cake and eat it. Either you are on their grid or go mak your own. stop being whiney about this and go actually make a difference by taking on their policy team head-to-head in some forum that matters

  53. Jacek Antonelli

    @Edward: You are mistaken. We haven’t made any demands of Linden Lab. We understand their motivations, and we don’t dispute their right to set the rules for what connects to their grid.

    But just as they are free to set the rules, we are free to reject those rules and go elsewhere. This blog post was an announcement to inform our users of the situation, our decision, the reasons for our decision, and the effects it will have.

    As for “taking on their policy team head-to-head”: we and many other developers have been involved in discussions with Joe Linden over the past few weeks. Those discussions have led to changes to the policy that make it less objectionable. I’ll be posting an update here on the blog today or tomorrow to explain the new situation.

  54. nando pacheco

    nando pacheco…

    [...]An Important Announcement Regarding the Third-Party Viewer Policy at Kokua/Imprudence Blog[...]…