Monday, November 2, 2009

all the pieces of my broken life...but I try, I still try

Wandering Kayliwulf Kingdom's latex hunt, I came across something that was rather staggering.

SexGen Ultra, it said. Contains 600 animations.

Wau. That's...like...the Diamond and Platinum bases got together and had five love children and this is their group photo.

I can't even imagine what that would entail. Toys~Facials~Multispeed~Sound and !Cyber, it says. Up to four people, I noticed on a casual perusal of the menu.

I don't even want to know how much it costs. But wau, for professionals on the grid...it makes me think of that tacky little play-on-words joke that goes, "What did the Buddha say at the hot dog stand? Make me one with everything."

Well, as far as sex beds go, I think someone just got their wish. Is there anything the Ultra can't do?

Along those same lines, my hunt group pointed out this ad on XStreet earlier. I'm terrifically amused. "Kissing under the mistletoe" takes on an entirely new meaning...

Back to copyright law, for a bit, or at least third-party viewers. Third-party viewers are getting a lot of added heat, suddenly, in large part because of viewers like NeilLife and CryoLife that facilitate copybotting on a large scale. Emerald, which does contain some questionable elements, but by and large is not a tool for copybotting or griefing, is getting tarred with the same brush.

Clubs and sim owners alike, for gatherings, are sending out notices banning third-party viewers on their sims--come with one, they say, and they will evict from the sim. My question is, how do they know? Aren't all third-party viewer detections currently found within third-party viewers?

Another thing that's happening is the spreading swell of equation--anything that Linden Labs didn't put out means it's bad, is the simplest equation we hear. Weirdly, this has neatly transferred to viewers like Snowglobe; with people saying things that range from "What's Snowglobe? Is it another hack viewer?" all the way to "Oh, I won't use anything the Lindens didn't put out, it violates the ToS."

Um, the Lindens did put out Snowglobe, and, while it's in beta testing, it is an official client. Moreover, they put Snowglobe together from tips gleaned from opensource discussions on the sldev list, with people who are working on third-party viewers.

More to the point, simple use of a third-party viewer does not mean any resident is violating ToS. Unless that specific viewer is disallowed--and believe me, the Lindens will blog about it so that people know in advance--simple use of any third-party viewer is not a bannable offense. What residents do with those third-party viewers, on the other hand--is, and can be.

There's an insane amount of ranting on the Second Thoughts blog about this, actually--and are we surprised? That is Prokovy Neva's blog, after all--but there are also solid points made. And I'd reference the conversation Neva makes reference to, here, as well:

[21:07] Zwagoth Klaar: So, it should be that a fully GPL compliant client should not be a determining factor is the banning of a user if they were reported for an infraction, and simple use of the client is indeed something that can not get them banned without investigation of use?
[21:10] Teagan Linden: If someone is using a fully GPL compliant client, say for example the old Onrez viewer, then no, they would not get banned simply for using it.
[21:10] Zwagoth Klaar: May I quote you on that?
[21:11] Teagan Linden: Um, sure?
[21:13] Teagan Linden: The SL viewer would not be open source if we didn't want people to play around with the code, add in customizations they like, improve things, contribute to the community. Using a viewer that doesn't contain GPL violations but is simply an open source viewer with fun tweaks, improvements, RP specific features, etc is not a violation.


Now, granted, this is absurdly clear-cut--Zwagoth Klaar, the developer of the GreenLife (now Emerald) client, is asking a Linden--and in the minds of many of us, it truly doesn't matter which one, all Lindens are one Linden, all Lindens have power--to clarify that using Emerald (or any other third-party viewer) is not violating the ToS. What Teagan Linden is telling him confirms this, in his mind--that no, no simple use of any third-party client should get any resident banned for using them.

I still think this isn't alarmingly inaccurate, all things considered; it remains what residents choose to do with the third-party clients that's the problem. And that, of course, remains the problem, doesn't it?

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