User:Oz Linden/Office Hours Archive 2010-06-30

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List of Attendees

  • Cross Silverfall
  • Kopilo Hallard
  • Latif Khalifa
  • Matt Malik
  • Mojito Sorbet
  • Oz Linden
  • Selena Telling
  • Techwolf Lupindo


[13:02] Oz Linden: I'm great today - started out with a new record long (6.6 mi) powerboard ride today
[13:02] Cross Silverfall: :O
[13:02] Selena Telling: :P
[13:02] Oz Linden: anyone got a topic they're dying to discuss?
[13:03] Selena Telling: uhm
[13:03] Selena Telling: pickles
[13:03] Selena Telling: :D
[13:03] Matt Malik: Ummmm so u ever do sl ombat? xD
[13:03] Matt Malik: combat
[13:03] Oz Linden: hmmm... how about open source project related topics?
[13:03] Selena Telling: no one likes my topic? :(
[13:03] Selena Telling: /me pouts
[13:03] Matt Malik: lol
[13:03] Mojito Sorbet: How about why UThreadInjector was not released as an OpenSOurce project?
[13:04] Selena Telling: o.O
[13:04] Cross Silverfall: Lol
[13:04] Oz Linden: I'm still trying to track that down, Mojito
[13:04] Mojito Sorbet: You were not involved??
[13:04] Selena Telling: whats UThreadInjector? o.O
[13:04] Cross Silverfall: :O
[13:05] Oz Linden: I have been involved, but I'm not the final word on these things
[13:05] Latif Khalifa: hello all
[13:05] Cross Silverfall: Hai Latif
[13:05] Oz Linden: (UThreadInjector is an internal component in the scripting engine)
[13:05] Latif Khalifa: (sorry about missing the start)
[13:05] Oz Linden: Hi Latif
[13:06] Kopilo Hallard: /me bows
[13:06] Kopilo Hallard: Greetings
[13:06] Selena Telling: alrightie then
[13:06] Cross Silverfall: o.o
[13:06] Cross Silverfall: Hai Kopilo
[13:06] Kopilo Hallard: Hai
[13:07] Mojito Sorbet: In a company of around 200 employees, there can not be that many people involved. Was this a BoD decision ?
[13:07] Selena Telling: **ok i wuv u byby!!**
[13:07] Cross Silverfall: Later guys
[13:08] Oz Linden: It's more like 300, I'm not sure how many others have been involved (at least a dozen or so that I know of), and no, I don't believe it reached BoD level (could be wrong)
[13:08] Oz Linden: it's not a simple decision
[13:09] Oz Linden: and I don't know if I'm current... like I said, I'm checking and I'll tell you what I know when I know it
[13:09] Latif Khalifa: well apparently there was some confusion about it... it was going to be opensourced, then not...
[13:10] Oz Linden: yes, it's been back and forth more than once (round and round she goes, and where she stops....)
[13:11] Latif Khalifa: Oz, what makes this so complicated?
[13:11] Kopilo Hallard: corporation
[13:11] Latif Khalifa: I'm trying to understand what would the downside of opening UThreadInjector be
[13:12] Kopilo Hallard: releasing unfinished code to a herd of cats?
[13:12] Kopilo Hallard: lol
[13:13] Oz Linden: I'm not sure that I can adequately explain without talking about considerations that I don't feel comfortable discussing
[13:13] Latif Khalifa: it's a microthreading framework... use of it limited to a very small and specific class of problems
[13:13] Oz Linden: well, releaing unfinished code is certainly one downside
[13:13] Latif Khalifa: the only consideration that can think off would be "don't give the competition advantage"
[13:13] Mojito Sorbet: The point of releasing it would be so that it COULD get finished
[13:14] Latif Khalifa: the code is 3 years old, and been in production for 2 years, hardly unfinished
[13:14] Oz Linden: the fact that it's a specific solution in a narrow space is another... whether or not it could be develped outside LL without access to the rest of the simulator is a concern
[13:14] Mojito Sorbet: There are *other* simulators it could be tested with
[13:15] Kopilo Hallard: lol
[13:15] Latif Khalifa: oh, well so much for the new direction
[13:15] Kopilo Hallard: but say it works with osgrid, then people want it implemented with LL sims and it is not compatiable because of x?
[13:15] Latif Khalifa: /me will continue working on a cecil based injector that will make LL obsolete
[13:15] Latif Khalifa: LL's
[13:17] Kopilo Hallard: echo
[13:17] Oz Linden: First.... I"m not telling you that a call has been made one way or the other (yet - I will when I"m sure)
[13:18] Oz Linden: Second... some things are going to go ways that you (and sometimes I) would prefer they didn't
[13:18] Latif Khalifa: Oz, you didn't, 5 others did
[13:18] Oz Linden: that doesn't mean the end of the world
[13:18] Oz Linden: ok...
[13:18] Latif Khalifa: no, but it does show the direction
[13:19] Oz Linden: Did anyone ever tell you the extrapolating from a single data point is a bad idea?
[13:19] Kopilo Hallard: lol
[13:19] Mojito Sorbet: We have mjore data points than that
[13:19] Kopilo Hallard: talking about single points of data
[13:19] Latif Khalifa: Oz, I've been hearing about "renewed emphasis on open source" from LL for about two years
[13:19] Kopilo Hallard: have you had time yet to research my request?
[13:20] Latif Khalifa: yet, every concrete desision seems to go the other way
[13:20] Oz Linden: yes, you do, but you're doing the perfectly natural thing and weighing the bad ones more than the good ones
[13:20] Latif Khalifa: so apart from words and full, nothing has really changed
[13:20] Oz Linden: sorry Kopilo... remind me
[13:20] Kopilo Hallard: modifying a TPV to not mask media streams
[13:21] Kopilo Hallard: would that break the ToS of the TPV
[13:22] Oz Linden: ah... yes... I've written that issue up and put it on the agenda for our next internal TPV meeting... be early next week before I expect any authoritative answer
[13:22] Kopilo Hallard: ahh thank you
[13:22] Latif Khalifa: Kopilo, TPV 2. a) You must not circumvent our intended limitations on Second Life features
[13:23] Kopilo Hallard: latif that is the one in contention
[13:23] Kopilo Hallard: because it technically doesn't
[13:23] Oz Linden: which leaves room for interpretation, Latif - it depends on what "intended" means
[13:23] Kopilo Hallard: yeap
[13:23] Latif Khalifa: Oz, in my book it is very clearly intented for parcel owners to be able to hide the stream
[13:23] Kopilo Hallard: the information which is shown can be accessed a number of ways
[13:23] Oz Linden: and that's what I'll try to sort out in this case (and any others that arrise in the future)
[13:24] Kopilo Hallard: I mean the information which is meant to be hidden
[13:24] Oz Linden: so are you arguing that the TPV _should_ prohibit that Latif? (remember, this is logged and will be posted :-) )
[13:24] Latif Khalifa: No, I'm arguing that TPV *does* prohibit it
[13:25] Oz Linden: Well, thanks for your opinion
[13:25] Latif Khalifa: all I have is opinion
[13:25] Oz Linden: If it's ok with you, I won't include that in what I recommend in the meeting...
[13:25] Latif Khalifa: nobody seem to be able to give definitive answers
[13:25] Kopilo Hallard: is it legal for the main viewer to break the TPV?
[13:25] Kopilo Hallard: hehehe
[13:26] Oz Linden: the main viewer doesn't do anything the TPV disallows
[13:26] Kopilo Hallard: hehehe
[13:26] Oz Linden: (in part because some of what the TPV constrains is defined by what it does, of course)
[13:26] Kopilo Hallard: was just a theoretical question
[13:27] Mojito Sorbet: It is not always easy to tell what Linden's "intent" was for something, but ni this case there is the clear option for a parcel owner to indicate he wants the URL hidden
[13:27] Latif Khalifa: sure it does.. TPV prohibits exporting content that you are not creator of. Viewer lets you save full permissions textures to hard disk without checking for permission
[13:27] Latif Khalifa: checking for creator that is
[13:29] Oz Linden: I'm not sure that I understand what you're after, Latif (other than finding things to disagree about?)
[13:30] Latif Khalifa: Oz, do you think it would be reasonable to expect that if a question about licensing would get an official response from Linden Lab. Many people are asking about the following: "Does reading LL viewer source code make the resulting product 'derivative work' as defined in the GPL." The question comes up often in context on non LL derived development
[13:31] Oz Linden: It's true that in a corporate environment, some decisions take a while, and while there are some things I can just decide, there are some that I can't
[13:31] Kopilo Hallard: latif the fine print: "# You must not use or provide any functionality that Linden Lab’s viewers do not have for exporting content from Second Life unless the functionality verifies that the content to be exported was created by the Second Life user who is using the Third-Party Viewer."
[13:31] Mojito Sorbet: If I read "Moby Dick", and then write a novel with a boat in it, is that a derivative work?
[13:31] Latif Khalifa: ok, I was wrong on that one
[13:31] Latif Khalifa: (on the tpv thing)
[13:32] Oz Linden: Before I aswer your question, Latif, do you mind if I ask whether in RL you're in the US?
[13:32] Latif Khalifa: no
[13:32] Kopilo Hallard: lol
[13:32] Oz Linden: ok
[13:32] Latif Khalifa: I'm in denmark
[13:32] Latif Khalifa: (no was, no not in usa)
[13:33] Oz Linden: The reason I ask is that the answer requires an understanding of some important aspects of the US civil legal system
[13:34] Latif Khalifa: I do want to contribute code to opensource projects that could possibly be affected, and that have US based contributors, so possibly they'd be affected
[13:34] Oz Linden: One of those is that the meaning of the language in any legal document means what a court says that it means
[13:34] Oz Linden: There is _no_such_thing_ as a "common sense" or "normal" meaning
[13:34] Kopilo Hallard: so courts interperate the document?
[13:34] Oz Linden: that's correct
[13:34] Kopilo Hallard: thanks
[13:34] Mojito Sorbet: If it is a "contract", yes
[13:34] Kopilo Hallard: that's similar here too
[13:34] Kopilo Hallard: (Australia)
[13:35] Oz Linden: until a court has ruled (in fact, until a court whose jurisdiction includes where the dispute is), the meaning is a matter of opinion
[13:35] Mojito Sorbet: In France, it is undoubtedly different. :)
[13:35] Latif Khalifa: yes, but LL could say something like "we consider viewer source code as the SL protocol documentation, and if used as documentation for the protocol the result is not consideret 'derivative work'"
[13:36] Oz Linden: yes, France is near the other end of the spectrum of these things
[13:36] Kopilo Hallard: while we are on the topic of law and the US
[13:36] Mojito Sorbet: Is there an EC position on this?
[13:36] Oz Linden: The second important point to understand is that the US legal system is deliberately and explicitly _adversarial_
[13:37] Kopilo Hallard:
[13:37] Oz Linden: and an implication of that adversarial nature is that a lawyer can only represent or work for one client at a time
[13:37] Oz Linden: if you and I are or might be in a dispute, then no lawyer can work for both of us - they can work for either, but not both
[13:38] Kopilo Hallard: I know it is completely off topic, but I'm wondering which linden I should poke about a DCMA removal failure to?
[13:38] Latif Khalifa: Oz, my question was about LL's intent. Not what courts might decide should we end up in disagreement
[13:38] Oz Linden: ... and since expressing an opinion about how some future court might rule on the meaning of a license is the function of a lawyer....
[13:39] Oz Linden: they can only give that opinion to one of the potential parties to the agreement
[13:39] Oz Linden: (one moment Kopilo)
[13:39] Kopilo Hallard: thanks
[13:40] Oz Linden: There really isn't a difference between offering our opinion of what it means and describing intent (at least not in a legal meaning)
[13:40] Mojito Sorbet: Funny this does not seem to tie the hands of true open source projects
[13:40] Oz Linden: One of the bedrock rules is that a contract is what the words say... nothing more... intent very explicitly _does_not_count_
[13:40] Kopilo Hallard: lol
[13:41] Latif Khalifa: sure there is. if you say it's ok to use the code in way XXX you would have a hard time turning around convincing the court that XXX was a violation
[13:41] Mojito Sorbet: Yes, we ran through all this during the original TPV debates. LL kept saying "that is not our intent" and we kept saying "but that is what it SAYS"
[13:41] Kopilo Hallard: lol
[13:42] Oz Linden: some projects choose to ignore it, and some delude themselves about it... for example, all that marvelous lofty text that explains what the GPL is all about that comes before that actual License text - it means exactly _nothing_ legally
[13:42] Kopilo Hallard: xD
[13:43] Mojito Sorbet: Just like the introducory paragraph in that 1884 Supreme Court decision, "Union Pacific RR vs SAnata CLara County"
[13:43] Oz Linden: ok... so I've given you the long and formal response... now for one I hope will be more helpful
[13:43] Kopilo Hallard: :D
[13:44] Oz Linden: The reason that the TPV exists is that there is a perception among many content creators that open source viewers are a major threat to intellectual property (which is the only real property in SL)
[13:44] Latif Khalifa: /me doesn't remember asking about TPV at all
[13:45] Oz Linden: By the way ... it does not matter if those people are wrong or not
[13:46] Latif Khalifa: /me is asking about a licensing issue, and what exactly would LL consider derivative work
[13:46] Oz Linden: no, you didn't... (haveing just looked back)... you asked:
[13:46] Oz Linden: "Does reading LL viewer source code make the resulting product 'derivative work' as defined in the GPL."
[13:46] Latif Khalifa: yes
[13:47] Latif Khalifa: if I make a completely independent implemenatation of the client (and i do), one which is not GPL licensed, does reading viewer source code means that my client has to become GPL
[13:47] Latif Khalifa: will LL consider such work 'derivative'
[13:47] Oz Linden: What you're asking for is an opinion on what some future court might rule regarding a dispute between some defender of the GPL and some party other than LL ?
[13:47] Latif Khalifa: no
[13:48] Mojito Sorbet: For the time being, an indication of LL's intent will suffice I think
[13:48] Oz Linden: then I don't think I understand the question
[13:48] Latif Khalifa: there is no documentation of the SL protocol
[13:48] Latif Khalifa: the only way to make a non gpl client is clean room reverse engineering
[13:48] Kopilo Hallard: if his viewer is considered derivative work
[13:48] Latif Khalifa: or devising the protocol from SL viewer source code
[13:49] Oz Linden: Are you asking "Does LL want to restrict who can implement the SL protocols?" ?
[13:50] Oz Linden: That one I can answer, and you can take this answer to the bank: No. Absolutely not.
[13:50] Latif Khalifa: my question was, does reading SL viewer source code in order to make an independent implementation of the protocol, make that implementation 'derivative wormk', and therefore falls under LL copyright
[13:50] Kopilo Hallard: you need a lawyer here heheeh
[13:51] Kopilo Hallard: x.x
[13:51] Mojito Sorbet: Since although the protocol might not be copyrighted, the code that implemented it IS
[13:51] Oz Linden: You're asking me for an interpretation of the meaning of 'deriviate work' under the GPL?
[13:51] Techwolf Lupindo: Hi all . Just happend to see a note that this was going on...
[13:51] Oz Linden: no lawyer is likely to consent to this format :-)
[13:51] Kopilo Hallard: lol
[13:52] Latif Khalifa: let me copy paste my original question lol
[13:52] Kopilo Hallard: who said about a consenting lawyer :p
[13:52] Kopilo Hallard: hi
[13:52] Latif Khalifa: [13:30] Latif Khalifa: Oz, do you think it would be reasonable to expect that if a question about licensing would get an official response from Linden Lab. Many people are asking about the following: "Does reading LL viewer source code make the resulting product 'derivative work' as defined in the GPL." The question comes up often in context on non LL derived development
[13:52] Oz Linden: Look ... I'm aware that the developers of at least one other VW simulator have decided that no one who has read our code can contribute to theirs
[13:52] Oz Linden: LL regrets that they have made that decision
[13:53] Kopilo Hallard: uh no..
[13:53] Oz Linden: if you want the rationale for that, ask them, or their lawyers, not us
[13:53] Latif Khalifa: would it be reasonable to expect for LL to clarify what LL would consider to be "derivative work", since it is LL that is the copyright holder, and can do with their own IP whatever they please
[13:54] Mojito Sorbet: If LL had no specific intent when it hired a lawyer to write up its licences, you could have saved a bundle of money :)
[13:54] Oz Linden: Sorry, that's where we get back to how the legal system really works... LL cannot clarify the license, its intent, or its meaning without rewriting it, and we like the GPL just fine.
[13:54] Techwolf Lupindo: The protucule docs are in the source. Does making a program compatiable to it results in a dirtive work?
[13:54] Latif Khalifa: Oz, nonsense
[13:55] Latif Khalifa: LL can say "use this in XXX way"
[13:55] Oz Linden: really - it's not that we wouldn't love the world to be simple, but it really isn't, and pretending it is would not actually help
[13:55] Latif Khalifa: it's LL's IP, they can chose how to use it
[13:55] Mojito Sorbet: It would be interesting to reasd the actual legal opinion that those other projects are basing their position on
[13:56] Oz Linden: LL considers the protocols to be published in the form of the source code
[13:56] Oz Linden: LL is happy to have other implementations
[13:56] Mojito Sorbet: The thought that LL might not have a standalone internal specification of their own central protocol is a bit scarey
[13:56] Techwolf Lupindo: Latif, asking LL to clearify is like asking MS to clerifiy weatther or not they will sue someone for using .NET liberies that are not covered by the C# licences.
[13:57] Latif Khalifa: but refuses to say if using that source code as documentation would be considered "derivative work"
[13:57] Oz Linden: You can make a logical deduction from those statements, but nothing I or anyone else says changes what the license says or what any future court might decide that it means
[13:57] Latif Khalifa: heh
[13:58] Latif Khalifa: it's a very simple question, what is the position of the copyright holder to a specific use
[13:58] Oz Linden: Yes, it might be scary Mojito. Not very scary though - it's far more common than you would think, and in some sense code is the best kind of spec - you can execute it to see if it is correct.
[13:59] Oz Linden: But we do want there to be better specs - that's why we helped start VWRAP
[13:59] Techwolf Lupindo: Mojito left.
[13:59] Kopilo Hallard: damn
[13:59] Latif Khalifa: lol
[13:59] Techwolf Lupindo: That some chat lag there Oz. lol
[14:00] Oz Linden: Sorry Latif, you're not asking for a specific case - you're asking for a general interpretation (whether you realize it or not)
[14:00] Latif Khalifa: i am asking for a specific case
[14:00] Oz Linden: (I'm not that fast a typist)
[14:00] Latif Khalifa: i'm writing a BSD licensed client taht is not derived from LL code
[14:00] Latif Khalifa: i don't want it to be GPL
[14:00] Oz Linden: Don't copy any code
[14:01] Latif Khalifa: if I read SL viewer code to implement the protocol, does that mean I have to re-license it
[14:01] Latif Khalifa: i have never mentioned code copying'
[14:01] Techwolf Lupindo: No bug traige today. So no conflicks. :-)
[14:01] Oz Linden: I know you didn't
[14:01] Latif Khalifa: but "reading teh viewer source in order to make independent implementation of the protocol"
[14:01] Oz Linden: LOL Tech
[14:02] Latif Khalifa: if I do that, will LL come tomorrow and say that my client is "derivative work" and therefore under LL copyright
[14:02] Oz Linden: I know that from the point of view of a programmer (including me), your question seems both simple and reasonable
[14:02] Latif Khalifa: was my question
[14:02] Oz Linden: first of all, I"ll repeat:
[14:03] Latif Khalifa: it's a very specific concrete example, not generic at all
[14:03] Oz Linden: LL wants there to be other implementations
[14:04] Techwolf Lupindo: Latic, nope. That question can be placed on many different projects, like gaim, pidgin, oskar, and all the other IM projects out there.
[14:04] Oz Linden: Second, and this is important too - the GPL code is what it is. The fact that LL has a copyright to it _DOES_NOT_MODIFY_THE_GPL_
[14:04] Oz Linden: So... what you're asking is what 'derivative work' means in the GPL
[14:04] Latif Khalifa: it does not. it also does not stop LL from adding exceptions, modyfing etc. LL has already added FLOSS exception to the GPL
[14:05] Oz Linden: As far as I know (and I am not a lawyer), no court has ruled on what you are asking, which means that the real answer is one I've actually gotten from my own attorney in the past:
[14:06] Oz Linden: "If you want the real answer, pay me several million dollars, wait a few years for a court to rule, and I'll tell you"
[14:06] Latif Khalifa: how many times do I have to repeat that I'm not asking for what court would rule, but is LL's intent to take it to cour
[14:06] Latif Khalifa: ok
[14:07] Oz Linden: and I told you that LL wants there to be other implementations
[14:07] Kopilo Hallard: LL wants other implementations; thus LL won't take you to court?
[14:07] Latif Khalifa: well you see why OpenSim folks made their decision now...
[14:08] Oz Linden: Yes, I actually understand the rationale... but it's mostly based on a _very_ risk-averse strategy on the part of their lawyers
[14:08] Oz Linden: there are too few precedents, they are taking no chances
[14:08] Techwolf Lupindo: I don't think OpenSim has a lawer to begine with.
[14:08] Latif Khalifa: and since LL does not clarify intent, it's "better safe than sorry" reasoning
[14:08] Latif Khalifa: since I am a lone opensrouce dev, I can relate to that
[14:09] Latif Khalifa: I have no means to find out through litigation
[14:10] Oz Linden: Latif... you're not getting it. There is not mechanism by which LL can "clarify its intent" that would change that calculation
[14:10] Latif Khalifa: yes there is
[14:10] Oz Linden: intent does not change the license text, and the text is all that counts
[14:10] Oz Linden: not under the US legal system there isn't
[14:11] Oz Linden: (except writing a new license, which actually makes it worse)
[14:11] Kopilo Hallard: lol
[14:11] Latif Khalifa: "We do not intent to sue people using the source code as the protocol documentation" .. That would be a big deterant to future LL lawyer turning around and suing anyway
[14:11] Oz Linden: No, it actually wouldn't be any deterrent at all
[14:12] Oz Linden: sorry, but that's how it works
[14:12] Kopilo Hallard: "We will not sure people using the source code as protocol documentation" :p
[14:12] Oz Linden: (seems goofy, but it's worked for a few hundred years)
[14:12] Kopilo Hallard: lol
[14:12] Latif Khalifa: well it woudl make *me* more comfortable knowing LL intent, it might be non legally binding
[14:12] Oz Linden: Latif... you should be comfortable, and I'll tell you why:
[14:13] Oz Linden: 1) LL wants other compatible viewers to exist,
[14:13] Techwolf Lupindo: This is sounding similar to the MS debate over will MS sue anyone for using .NET/C#
[14:13] Oz Linden: 2) Unless you are pretty fabulously wealthy from some other source, there would be little incentive to sue you anyway
[14:13] Latif Khalifa: 2) i agree
[14:14] Latif Khalifa: but... if some of that code ends up in a successful competitor grid, i would be doing them a big disservice
[14:14] Oz Linden: It's got some of the same underlying structural issues, Tech, but probably a different risk profile
[14:14] Latif Khalifa: so i will stick to clean room reverse engineering
[14:15] Oz Linden: Well, as much fun as this has been, I have to get going
[14:15] Kopilo Hallard: so which linden should I speak to about a DCMA issue which LL claim to have fixed but really hasn't been fixed?
[14:16] Kopilo Hallard: lol
[14:16] Oz Linden: Yuzuru... welcome - I hope this hasn't discouraged you from returning
[14:16] Latif Khalifa: yeah, great fun it was :)

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