Why Linden Labs make changes on TPV

As We know Linden Labs has made some changes to the TPV (Thrid Party Viewer) policy and the main reason is to bring a better the privacy and security of the SL Residents and to strenght those protections to all of them.

Here is a small resume of the new 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.

A lot of people cannot understand “why” this new policies specially focused to the TPV developers. When Linden Labs open sourced their viewer, it was in a good intention and for the opensource comunity. So the developers can access to the source code, make modifications and add new features. But what happened later ?, then some people began to  develop their own version of the SL Viewer.

By the hard work of this developers we have now Phoenix, Firestorm, Singularity, etc… But what comes now is not a fairytale history, as  there are some nice viewers there are others that aren’t. This unknown viewers can be used for different puporses, some of them are to bother residents or even worse things like to crash a sim.

So with this actions, what Linden Labs can do ?. They just gave the freedoom to do nice things on the viewer not bad things. There is a infamous history of a viewer in SL that have been banned. For those who does not know the history about, again our friend wikipedia has some information:

The Emerald client, developed by a group of users based on an open-source branch of the Viewer, Snowglobe, became extremely popular and was used by a large proportion of the user base. The authors of the Emerald client were strongly believed to have gained influence over Linden Lab, to the point that a programmer fired from Linden Lab was immediately hired by Emerald. Several groups alleged that the Emerald viewer contained trojan code which tracked user details and demographics in a way that the developers could later recover. One of these groups was banned from Second Life by Linden Lab after publishing their discovery. The second group were attacked by the Emerald development team, who embedded code in the Emerald client to DDoS the whistleblower’s site as the client started up. In response, Linden Lab revoked Emerald’s third party viewer approval and permanently banned several of Emerald’s developers. Many Emerald developers left to work on a new viewer project, Phoenix, which is essentially the same as Emerald, but it purportedly doesn’t contain any malicious code.”

Possible this is “why”  Linden Labs make some changes on TPV and they will continue to make changes on the TPV into the future, if some people just “innovate” the viewer in a wrong way.

For those Residents who like to try different viewers, my sugestion is that you visit the webpage of linden labs about “Third Party Viewer Directory“. If you wanna try something different then it is your own risk, I will not suggest something different than in the TPV Directory.

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