Monday, February 27, 2012

The New Second Life Third Party Viewer Policy - Linden Lab Overreaches With This Blanket Provision

Linden Lab's Heavy Handed Approach to Third Party Viewers 

As many of you know, Linden Lab announced a new third party viewer policy into effect last Friday.

I am all for the first three provisions.  These will ensure the other viewers protect the privacy of Second Life users by not broadcasting a users IP address (the unique and persistent identifier of your computer or device on the internet)  to the world, for example.  Here are the provisions I like:

2.a.iii : You must not provide any feature that circumvents any privacy protection option made available through a Linden Lab viewer or any Second Life service.

2.i : You must not display any information regarding the computer system, software, or network connection of any other Second Life user.

2.j : You must not include any information regarding the computer system, software, or network connection of the user in any messages sent to other viewers, except when explicitly elected by the user of your viewer.

However, the last provision is nonsensical.  It basically says that Third Party viewers may not be better than the official Second Life viewer in terms of new features. 

2.k : You must not provide any feature that alters the shared experience of the virtual world in any way not provided by or accessible to users of the latest released Linden Lab viewer.

My prediction: Linden Lab will tighten up this wording immediately, or face a large number of people leaving Second Life for Open Sims simply because they are too pissed off at this heavy-handed approach.

Why is it there?  I will give you my guess. Linden Lab lawyers went over these provisions (they always do), and could not understand many of the technical details of Second Life viewers.  So, as good attorneys, they recommended a blanket provision to cover any eventuality.

Let's see what Linden Lab does next. I predict a clarification of this by Friday.

1 comment:

  1. I think you're spot on, Eddi.

    It's kinda sad that LL doesn't understand how certain viewers have become a very personal part of the SL experience. It's become part of our SL individuality... kind of like a political party in RL.

    LL needs to remember that their kingdom still needs "customers". I'm not sure they understand that if people start leaving for another grid, it could end up being a stampede.


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