Contribution agreements (Re: [sldev] What is the point offirstlook and giving feedback to LL)

Richard M Stallman rms at gnu.org
Mon May 5 15:06:53 PDT 2008


    I can see what you're saying, but consider the possibility that the 
    commercial license, done by a third party, forks well away from the 
    current free version. The example I have in mind is the Second Life 
    OnRez viewer, which is the only commercial version of the Second Life 
    viewer I'm aware of.

Since these are non-free programs, they are, of course, unethical.
But the problem we're trying to avoid here is more specific than that.

I think that if the original developer agrees to the condition I proposed
then no abuse of our code could occur.  The reason is that if the source
made available by the original developer for third-party non-free software
contains our code, this condition will require that the free version
also contain our code.

Once that is the case, the third-party non-free program
cannot contain any of our code which is not in the free version.

    Many people prefer the interface of the OnRez viewer (which is also a 
    free download

Do you mean "gratis download"?  I presume this is not free software. 

		  used for the SL CSI:NY TV tie-in) but some features found 
    in the latest open source viewer

Since I disagree with the basic ideas of "open source",
I have to point out that the issue I am concerned about is
whether the program is free (libre) software -- not whether it is
open source.  The two criteria are not the same, and the two
philosophies are based on very different values.

See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
for more explanation of the difference between free software and open
source.


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