Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My comment on opensource-dev maiing list

Just a quick post to show my first comments in the opensource-dev mailing list. It's a response to Joe Linden about his views on the current controversy surrounding the third-party viewer policy:


Tony Agudo to Joe, opensource-dev


(Delurking here just to throw in my $L2; standard IANAL disclaimer)

Joe, most of the TPV Policy *is* reasonable and nobody(except obviously malicious viewer creators) is disputing that requiring reasonable, common sense responsibilities to keep viewers honest is bad at all, it's simply that Section 7(d) can open a can of worms for third-party viewer devs by not clearly stating something along the lines of "You assume all risks, expenses, and defects of any Third-Party Viewers that you use, develop, or distribute in the context of the broader sections of this Policy. Linden Lab shall not be responsible or liable for any Third-Party Viewers". Without a clarification such as that, as an example, a third-party viewer user who believes the viewer is causing harm to his/her SL experience(supposing the "harm" is merely a glitch or bug that occurs in normal development, or even if it's not the viewer but the user thinks it is), that user can point to specifically that section of the TPV Policy and claim "By this, you *are* legally liable for my problems, I can actually sue you". The Lab's own ToS completely disclaims responsibility for the official viewer and has pretty much protected the Lab against such actions in a majority of cases. It's what has kept the development cycle in the Lab from becoming a legal minefield, I'm sure you agree. What the third-party devs are asking is that that legal threat shouldn't be thrust on them via the TPV Policy and it be made clear and unambiguous if they're to continue developing for the benefit of the SL grid without fear of nagging lawsuits. That's not an unreasonable request, is it?

(*going back to lurking*)

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