According to a post on Second Life’s Forum site, Linden Labs has made this announcement regarding changes to its policy on Third Party Viewers (and their developers):
Protecting Second Life users’ privacy and security is a priority, and today, we’ve made some changes to our Policy on Third Party Viewers to strengthen those protections for all users (Section 2.a.iii, 2.i, 2.j).
We’ve also updated the policy to be clearer about the sorts of innovations that developers should work on for their particular Viewers (Section 2.k), and which they should work on in partnership with Linden Lab for all of Second Life. This is so that we can avoid the problems that result when a Viewer changes the way elements of Second Life are defined or how they behave, in such a way that users on other Viewers don’t experience the same virtual reality.
Here are the new sections of the policy:
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.
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.
We encourage Third Party Developers to continue innovating with unique user interfaces, niche features, and ways of interacting with the virtual world, and we look forward to working in partnership with developers on ideas they have for new or improved shared experiences for all of Second Life. We want to incorporate more innovative new features into Second Life to improve the experience for all users, and we encourage TPV developers to submit proposals through our standard process.
Jessica Lyon (Phoenix project spokeswoman) said this on her blog:
This means that third party viewers will no longer be allowed to innovate features which relate to the shared experience unless LL has the features in their viewers first. However LL has indicated an interest and preference in working with third party viewers to develop such features together.
Many feel this will stifle third party features development (including my favorite grouped contacts manager) and undermine much of the work being done towards improving customer experience.
What do you think?
- Avacar Bluestar