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Thursday, July 28, 2011

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Adeon Writer

Is it proprietary code, or could we host our own local grids and access them via a web plugin?

Graham Mills

It said proprietary and I suspect it meant it.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

And the plugin runs on... ?

Melissa Yeuxdoux

If you go to the web site while running Linux, you get a "your operating system is not currently supported" message and are shown a link to download what appears to be a hacked SL client.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

Oops. That may be misunderstood; I mean hacked in the sense of modified.

Jon Brouchoud

This looks very promising, congrats! But for the record, you definitely don't have to know C# to do a basic Unity environment. ;-)

Chris Collins

That is awesome, great stuff Spoton, can't wait to try it out. congrats on what I am sure is a lot of hard work

Feel like an educational vid needs to be put out on Unity3D. People keep taking digs at it incorrectly. this demo actually has no c# http://converter.tipodean.com/crescendo/element1/singleplayer/WebPlayer/index.html

Ilan Tochner

If this is indeed based on a modified version of the SL viewer, as Melissa Yeuxdoux suggested, then it must be open sourced in accordance to the license under which SL released their viewer (either GPL or LGPL depending on the viewer version that is being used).

Curious

The windows version of the Install, appears to not work, even with some patch they offer. The mac version works, a V1.23 Henry Beauchamp viewer.

I don't understand why I would want to log into an opensim world, or even try to build anything, from within facebook. Isn't this like parking your car in your living room, so you can sit in it and watch TV?

I talked to another visitor while I was logged in there, who told me the web browser version, when working, streams from the viewer you install on your computer. Not sure how much he knew about it, but he claimed to know a great deal.

Kim

If curious is right about this streaming from a local SL installation, this is completely worthless idea.

Hitomi Tiponi

Very interesting - will be interested to see how it runs.

@Melissa - the Phoenix team are working on the Spoton3D viewer, so I expect that is what it is.

Hitomi Tiponi

I've just been trying it and it is very impressive - almost as good as running Open Sim in a client. I didn't think we'd ever see such performance from a browser plug-in.

Mana

@Ilan: The browser plugin uses the standard SpotON3D viewer running in a separate process and just makes sure that the viewer window is displayed as part of the web page. The SpotON3D viewer source code is available for download in accordance with the GPL.

The browser plugin itself does not contain any code from the viewer sources or from any other source code licensed under GPL and must be considered a separate work. This is the proprietary part.

Tessa

At this time the plug-in runs on Window PC's. Of coarse, as soon as we ferret out all the buggy-boos and annoyances, we'll then be able to convert that to fully functional Linux and Mac plugins as well. As they say ... Rome was not built in a day and the work we've been doing is not exception.

We are not trying to be another version of SL> In fact we are quite different in not only our social structure, but our code base. Out focus is on creating the augmented reality experience for Friends and Family, Biz, Edu and Simulation Training, as well as recreational users and social nets. Here's a bullet's point of some of the main things we've done differently:

SpotON3D Web Worlds Feature the Following Advantages
• FREE Content Uploads & Starter HOTSwap Scenes
• Built-in Import/Export as an XML file to your hard drive
• Region backups daily with OAR file backups available upon request and for a fee
• Integrated public voice, and IM chat systems
• Prims can sized up to the full size of a region (virtual land mass the equivalent of 16 acers.
• No restrictions in how far apart prims can be apart to link them
• Daisy chain linked prim sets to exceed the 256 prim linked set limit
• Physics are operational upon request with working cars, boats and planes
• On-Staff Animator for cost effective custom animations
• SpotONSynergy™ Web Based Marketplace with permissions and accessibility restraints
• Double Dutch Delivery™– List/Sell to other trusted game and augmented reality Web Worlds.
• MegaSims – Region lines disappear-perfect for Military and game-eccentric training simulations
• EZPrezTools™ for Educators, Businesses and Marketing Experts
• Shared & Dedicated Traditional Servers for 24/7 user capacity, stability and performance.
• BOOSTCloud™ Inteagrated and Dedicated Servers – Host up to 125 users for one low hourly fee.
• HOTSwap Scenes™ – Swap out whole region builds in 5 minutes or less!
• World on a Web Page™ with Social Media plug-in – Embedded Web Worlds on Your Web Pages.
• Private Label Web World & Grids – Create your own 3D Web Community Experience affordably
• Enterprise Solutions for small business to large Fortune 500 corporations. We know your needs and how to make your 3D Web investment pay off.

I can send anyone a copy of our FactSheet. JUst drop me a line at tessa@spoton3d.com. You can try out the regular web page plugin for yourself if you are using Windows based computer by going here: https://3durl.com/worlds

Thanks for the interest folks *-D

Ilan Tochner

@Mana

Thank you for the info. I'm no legal expert but, if you aren't VERY careful, the way you integrate with the GPLd SpotON3D viewer can result in the completely proprietary code being required to be GPL licensed as well. See:

"However, in many cases you can distribute the GPL-covered software alongside your proprietary system. To do this validly, you must make sure that the free and non-free programs communicate at arms length, that they are not combined in a way that would make them effectively a single program."

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLInProprietarySystem

"By contrast, pipes, sockets and command-line arguments are communication mechanisms normally used between two separate programs. So when they are used for communication, the modules normally are separate programs. But if the semantics of the communication are intimate enough, exchanging complex internal data structures, that too could be a basis to consider the two parts as combined into a larger program."

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#MereAggregation

Arcadia Codesmith

Nice proof of concept that leaves the door open wide for any other developer that wants to implement the same approach (with or without "low hourly fees").

No need to source their plug-in. It shouldn't be hard to black-box it, and from there get any OpenSim on FB.

If it builds any following at all, I expect Zynga will have a rip-off up and running in a few months.

Ilan Tochner

Hi @Arcadia,

It's not a question of how difficult it is to pass rendered frames to the plugin and have the plugin pass mouse and keyboard input back to the SL viewer running in another process which then uses those inputs when generating the next frame (which isn't very hard). It has to do with following the terms of the SL viewer which they are using.

We at Kitely have given back improvements we've made to OpenSim even though it is BSD licensed and we have no legal obligation to do so. It is completely fine that SpotOn3D choose not to give back their own improvements to the OpenSim community, as it is allowed by OpenSim's license. However, it is not fine for them to keep their improvements to a GPL program private as the GPL license doesn't allow doing so.

I'm not part of the Free Software Foundation (http://www.fsf.org/) and I can't speak on their behalf but I believe that if this gets sufficient coverage the FSF may wish to go after SpotOn3D for violating the GPL - they tend to take such things quite seriously.

Flo2

Ehmmm, I know I look very blonde now, but if I understand this news well, does it mean that Second Life is practically over?

Hitomi Tiponi

@Flo2 - no

It turns out that his is just running a client through a plugin. If LL chooses to do that with LL it wouldn't take them too long to do it. Of course they may have other approaches to integrating SL with the browser that they prefer to pursue.

SpotON3D intend to differentiate themselves from SL in other ways as well, and good luck to them. More competition and alternatives is always welcome.

NeilC

My thoughts on it here

Stevan Lieberman

Just to clarify:

1. The elements of the code that are part of GPL and LPGL license have been publicly released and Spoton3d is in full compliance with all required licensing.

2. The plugin is an entirely separate program that has been designed to and does work on not only OpenSim, but also on numerous other programs.

3. The technology encompassed in the plugin is patent pending world wide as well as copyrighted.

4. Spoton3d will be providing 3rd parties the ability to embed these processes into their own web pages in the near future which will work with SpotON3D Web Worlds.

5. To ensure that SO3D has the necessary funding and investment support it is necessary to capitalize on so3d's patent assets. Accordingly, although we are solidly behind the open source community, providing it with greater exposure and technical integrity through our systems, we do have to be fically responsible as well - especially to our users, since they are our main investors.

Stevan Lieberman

Spoton3d, LLC
2141 Wisconsin Ave., NW Suite C2
Washington, DC 20007

So3d phone: 330-776-8663 (330-Spoton3D)
Http://www.aplegal.com Intellectual Property – A boutique Intellectual Property Law Firm
http://www.spoton3d.com A 3D Internet Platform - Where Web Worlds are Born

Arcadia Codesmith

Copyright would be irrelevant to a black box project.

I see nothing patentable here.

I'm going to start coding.

Chris Collins

I remember messing around with Pelican Crossing induality back in 2007 http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2007/10/viewing-induali.html and it had a similar approach. I know they disappeared, not sure what they did with the tech or if they had patents. It was great that it got around the fact that you were loading a seperate application, yet I still got hit with the PC requitements and Firewalls. If spoton drops in a proxy they could also crack that too and get into the enterprises. Rock on guys

Ilan Tochner

Hi Stevan,

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advise, this is me interpreting published legal writings as a layman:

The fact that the plugin is a completely separate program that does not use GPLd code does not automatically release it from the requirement to be GPLd if it is "combined in a way that would make them effectively a single program". You may wish to review the links I provided above. You may also wish to review http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6366 and other opinions by legal professionals (some sources can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License).

The fact that the plugin also works with other programs does not by itself release it from needing to be released as GPL if the GPL program that it is combined with was changed in order for it to work, even if those changes to the GPL code were released as GPL.

Copyrights are irrelevant as no one is copying your IP without permission. The question is whether you need to release said code as GPL so everyone can legally use it.

A patent pending is not a patent granted, please provide the application number so that the open source community will be able to assist the patent reviewer in finding prior art (if it works as I've stipulated above then it exists). If you have granted patents please provide appropriate links to the USPTO.

"Distributors under the GPL also grant a license for any of their patents practiced by the software, to practice those patents in GPL software." - if you combine GPLd software with proprietary software, in a way that many will consider as an attempt to circumvent the intentions of the GPL license, while attempting to limit the recreation of the proprietary portion of the combined application using patents, you will most likely be violating the GPLd portion of the software and lose your legal right to distribute it.

Claiming that you are behind the open source community while leveraging the work of others for financial gain without contributing your own improvements back to the upstream (OpenSim), while at the same time claiming that your IP, that in this particular manifestation leverages GPLd code (the "embedded" viewer), is patent pending will make many open source activists quite upset.

Taking BSD code (OpenSim) and not giving back is not nice but legal. Leveraging GPL code while attempting to patent the process in which you leverage it may get you in trouble with the FSF.

I am not a lawyer and you may be pure as snow in your conduct for all I know but from the data provided in this article and your replies I would double check my legal standing if I were you.

P.S. Please correct me if you have contributed to OpenSim, I've searched http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Development_Team and couldn't find mention of SpotOn3D.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

No Mac OS client.

/me shrugs and goes back to work on back-to-school project in OpenSim, where 40% of our student body use Mac OS.

Ilan Tochner

Hi Ignatius,

If you're interested in an OpenSim-based solution that integrates with Facebook and works with Mac OS X you may wish to take a look at Kitely: http://www.kitely.com

You can read more about it here: http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2011/03/kitely-brings-facebook-instant-regions-to-opensim/

Gaga

All I can say is it works great everywhere, Spoton, OSgrid, a number of others, hypergrid - you name it. In Aurora-based Nova grid and my own aurora sim world although it isn't good for variable regions obviously. It even worked well in Second Life where I finally crashed it building something far too big. But I gave it a run for for the money (it was free to get actually - just needed to register with Spoton and download the plug-in).

Personally, I like it. I like it a lot and it's evrything I would want for my 3d web experience. I hope Spoton don't keep it fully to themselves because we/us with the small private grids and sims will be out in the cold on this one I think. But I can see others picking it up and some drama ahead.

I will be adding my comments to my own blog with pictures of the walkabout.

Ilan Tochner

Hi Gaga,

As Chris stated, this has already been done by the IBM-backed startup (now no longer in business) inDuality almost 4 years ago. See: http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2007/10/viewing-induali.html

This should really be easy for the Imprudence team to implement using FireBreath for the cross-platform browser plugin solution (http://code.google.com/p/firebreath/). I've already outlined how this can done in my previous comment.

The only thing that needs checking is if SpotOn3D's claim to having a VALID provision patent holds any water. I suspect that existing prior art would indicate otherwise. If they believe I'm mistaken they can easily prove me wrong by providing the application number so we can check what they are claiming and whether prior art exists for it.

Gaga

Hi Ilan

Thanks for the links and I did some back reading. I seem to remember inDuality but I was newish to SL back then and it didn't sink in I guess. Yes, on reading up, it dose appear to be a very similar plug-in whatever. As for the legal I will stay away from that and leave it to those who know better than I and just say I think I will ask more questions from the coders I know about it. It works well for Windows OS in my experience so I am rather hoping Spoton will open source it but I suspect they wont as they run a proprietary grid - indeed, more than that from what I have learnt so far.

I sure would hate to see patents break the back of a truly open Metaverse just as it's getting up steam.

maxthe2nd

Quote FROM THE LINK YOU GAVE US Ilan

email: lrosen@rosenlaw.com

Lawrence Rosen is an attorney in private practice, with offices in Los Altos and Ukiah, California (www.rosenlaw.com). He is also corporate secretary and general counsel for the Open Source Initiative, which manages and promotes the Open Source Definition (www.opensource.org).

and I quote from your own argument:

3) Derivative works are not going to encompass plugins and device drivers that are designed to be linked from off-the-shelf, unmodified, programs. If a GPL-covered program is designed to accept separately designed plugin programs, you don't create a derivative work by merely running such a plugin under it, even if you have to look at the source code to learn how.

kind contradicts your own argument dude ... I'm just saying ... :)

Ilan Tochner

Hi maxthe2nd,

I believe you missed two important points which make my argument valid:

First, the GPL program (the original unmodified SL viewer that their viewer is derived from) is not designed to accept plugins that take over the rendering target and have keyboard and mouse commands rerouted from another process. They may have added this capability to it (I haven't checked) but then it would no longer be "unmodified" and therefor no longer qualifying for the exception you believe SpotOn3D can use to relieve themselves from the requirement to release their code under GPL.

Second, you've seemed to overlook the quotations I provided from the GNU site specifying that:

"However, in many cases you can distribute the GPL-covered software alongside your proprietary system. To do this validly, you must make sure that the free and non-free programs communicate at arms length, that they are not combined in a way that would make them effectively a single program."

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLInProprietarySystem

"By contrast, pipes, sockets and command-line arguments are communication mechanisms normally used between two separate programs. So when they are used for communication, the modules normally are separate programs. But if the semantics of the communication are intimate enough, exchanging complex internal data structures, that too could be a basis to consider the two parts as combined into a larger program."

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#MereAggregation

Unless SpotOn3D do some very frowned upon hacking their plugin would need to modify the SL viewer in order to work, thus (A) not qualifying it under your quoted exception, i.e. it does not work with an "off-the-shelf, unmodified, program" and (B) making it very likely that their combined program will be considered by a court of law as "effectively a single program" thus needing to be licensed under the GPL.

Exciting Dev

@Ilan - It appears Stevan is an IP, patent and trademark lawyer. My guess is he knows what he's talking about.

Hitomi Tiponi

I would like Stevan to provide us with the Patent Application number (as he was asked before) as I can find no record of any application having being filed by SpotON3D (but it may have been filed under another name).

Elizabeth Gallagher

LL did a beta on a web based client around 14 months ago and it ran like a dream. Very little lag it was literally like logging into SL but via a smaller UI and I assumed at the time (given the blog announcement about beta testing it) their route would be Facebook.

The reason why this is appealing to Facebook is not really about converting existing SL users to log into a browser client instead of their current one but rather the potential to reach a massive market of an untapped user base.

I am surprised LL haven't already done this as it seems such an obvious move as more and more FB users are spending more and more time playing crap 2D games with their RL family and friends.

@ Flo2 The end of SL? No dis respect to Spoton3D or any other group using the open source client released by LL but it would take a massive amount of financial resources and man hours to take out SL.

I am waiting for the new “Nest best thing to SL” it is long overdue but as yet nothing can compete with the existing customer and user base SL offers and thats because they have been in the game since 2003 and will always be 7 years ahead of any new game studio or dev team.

Unless that game dev is someone like Sony, Google or any other million dollar company with a line of released successful games under their belt, sadly I suspect SL and LL are safe at least for the next 2 years.

Gaga

Oh well. I have posted my view on it with pictures of my travels in a browser to my blog...
http://metaverse-traveller.blogspot.com/

tegel

I will never understand why they still bother with Second Life. Just be sure not to copy the backdoors over from that viewer code.

Tessa Kinney-Johnson

Thanks Jon and Chris for you encouraging words. *smiles* Really appreciate the positive feedback. And well, Ilan I think your project too has merit and we wish you and all the best with Kitely. I sincerely wish I could hear a positive voice from you showing respect for your community as we did from Jon and Chris.

Jon & Chris -
Maybe its time to consider doing our own OpenSim Industry Conference to showcase to the rest of the world what we have to offer as a technology community. This could help a whole new user base discover what the Metverse has to offer an bring back the excitement and success for this industry again. After all, there is no one tool that meets the needs of everyone and no one company can own the 3DWeb anymore than one could own the Internet. And, to be taken serious as an industry, there have viable alternatives for bis, edu, and regular friends & family folks to jump in and invest in this.

There is so much opportunity out there guys. We've only scratched the surface of the potential audience for our work. IMVU has about 100k concurrency out of a few million registered users. Second Life has between 200-600K active users with again a few mil users, and the Opensim grids add up to an estimated 30-50K in active users. That's a total of less than one million as a whole - a tiny fraction of the internet users as a whole.

Why not come together and make this a reality as a community?

Ilan Tochner

Hi Tessa,

I'm happy to hear you talking about the virtual world community. Why not contribute some of your improvements to OpenSim back to the community as we have done at Kitely?

Why create threatening overtones about you owning a "worldwide provisional patent" on something you know has a lot of prior art and isn't really patentable by you?

Why not comply with the spirit of the GPL license of the viewer you are distributing (if not the written license which you claim to follow)?

As you know we've been pushing for a community effort to get the SL viewer working inside the browser without a plugin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t2s47TAiI4 - if you listen to this video you'll hear we are very much into working together with the virtual world community. Not as empty words but by actually giving back to the open source project that we use and working with people in the community to make a better world for us all.

I have had nothing bad to say about your company until you knowingly ignored the spirit of the GPL license of the SL viewer. As a company being headed by a "Patent / Trademark / Intellectual Property attorney", you really should know better than acting this way.

Reacting by sending a lawyer to comment in a way that is intended to dissuade the open source community from using the code they created to do something you did not invent is disgraceful.

It is not too late for you to reform and start working with the open source community and not against it: comply with the GPL and acknowledge that you did not invent embedding a virtual world viewer inside a browser using the implementation I outlined above. If you feel that you did invent something patentable, have the decency of providing a link to the patent application so people will be able to either find prior art to what you claim or find an implementation that does not infringe on your supposed IP. You can't really avoid doing both these things and claim you are "solidly behind the open source community".

We stand behind our words of working with the community, please stand behind your words as well.

Tessa Kinney-Johnson

just FYI ... just because its patent pending doesn't mean the community can't use it, as you saw yourself. *smiles* Should not inhibit anyone's grid from being accessed with it so the community as a whole can have this functionality to TP around the Metaverse at will - something we've been promoting for years BTW, but not seen a lot of interest from the other grids out there. We are though finally seeing some and hope we'll be able to share the results with everyone.

It should be noted that the SpotON3D viewer is not a registered 3rd Party Viewer for SL, but does comply to LL's 3PV rules on permissions and such. So use it with care. LL could block it from gaining access and we'd have no control over that. Just FYI.

We have a great relationship with the Phoenix folks and hope to offer many more options to the community and the Opensim platform.

We do contribute back to Opensim as we can. We are blocked from contributing code to trunk, due to the fact that all our core coders regularly view and work on client code, and because of the disparate licensing rules between OpenSim's BSD and LL's GPL this would put the whole BSD standing of the OpenSim project in jeopardy. I hope you're not suggesting we should circumvent them in some way? We'd have no intentions of being the company that forces the Opensim project into GPL status by abusing those rules.

And futhermore, most of what we've done is so particular to SpotON3D's platform, marketplace, economy, selling systems, that it would be incompatible with other opensim grids. This is probably why no one has ever show interest in our code or following in our footsteps up till now.

Stevan was not "SENT" to comment here. He has every right to address these concerns since he is my business partner, and SpotON3D's CEO and angel investor, besides running his own successful IP, Trademark and Patent law practice, Greenberg & Lieberman at http://aplegal.com.

@James Taylor - I think it would be a negative thing if a Patent and Trade attorney couldn't show a track record of successful filings. That would be like pointing to a cops violation tickets as evidence he's really a bad guy. If that cop had no record of writing tickets I think you'd be hollering about how he was not doing his job and wasting tax payers money. Stevan is in the business of filing legal document for clients. That's his job, so of coarse he has 305 trademarks filed. So are we now saying someone who does their job well is automatically a bad person?

I can personally tell you that in the 4 years I've worked for Stevan he has always been a fighter for the underdog, representing and consulting with some of our most legendary creators and citizens in virtual. Our content protection systems are based on many of his ideas and suggestions. I'd think that this would be something you'd applaud. *-)

I hope that clears up any misconceptions and rumours about SpotON3D and if you or any readers have other questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you via email (tessa@spoton3d.com) or at our SpotON3D Office Hours and GridWrap shows archived on the http://MetaMixTV.com station. Anyone can also attend in person and ask their questions at the end of the shows. Just check out our blog at http://spoton3d.blogspot.com for times and dates.

kripken

Two comments on the patent stuff:

1. Running a virtual world viewer in another process and having a small browser plugin that just shows its output, and routes user input to it, is not novel at all. Aside from the fact it is exactly like VNC or any other remote desktop system, as one random example I implemented that idea over a year and a half ago,

http://syntensity.blogspot.com/2010/02/browser-plugin-proof-of-concept.html

That shows the syntensity virtual worlds browser running in another process, with a small browser plugin routing user input to it. It was not novel in any way and very easy to write.

Now, maybe I misunderstood and the patent being talked about here is about something else. If so, ignore this comment :)

If not, then for posterity's sake, if this patent or something like it does become a problem feel free to use my project as prior art (assuming they didn't happen to file before my project) and to contact me if necessary. The source code and version history is all available online too if that helps (see links at syntensity.com).

2. Even if there is some patent problem here, it appears they ship the modified GPL viewer. That brings with it an implicit patent license, so they are allowing people to use it (assuming they use that GPL code). So even if there were a problem, which I doubt, the license would make it moot.

Zauber Paracelsus

One other problem with the patent things: The viewer-in-browser plugin concept has already been done at least twice: it was done by IBM in 2007, and it was done by Gareth Nelson in 2008.

This means that there is prior art stacked against the patent, meaning that the patent is on shaky ground.

Ilan Tochner

Hi Tessa,

I was involved in writing a few patent applications in my youth, you can check my LinkedIn profile to see some of them mentioned. I'm quite aware of the fact that a provisional patent does nothing more than set the scope of the claims and the date of filing. However, you claiming that the community can use an application that might embody what you are attempting to patent does not remove the threat of you requiring future royalties if your patent is ever granted from people in the open source community who re-implement what your provisional patent covers.

The practice of getting other people to implement something for which you have patents pending without specifying what those patents cover has a name. Those patents are called submarine patents, "companies making use of submarine patents are sometimes referred to as patent pirates": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_patent

SpotOn3D trying to ease the worries of the open source community while knowingly trying to patent the implementation they will likely use shows bad faith on your part. If you continue to pursue a patent for something for which there is an abundance of prior art and is obvious to someone of the art you should not be allowed to hide behind pretty words.

You are trying to divert people's attention from what you are doing and that is very unsupportive of both the open source community and the virtual world community as a whole.

Regarding not being able to contribute back to OpenSim, you can't use that excuse any more. The 6 month contribution barrier no longer exists for those who follow the required steps: http://justincc.org/blog/2011/06/30/announcing-the-overte-foundation-for-opensimulator/

If you use code that Kitely and/or other for-profit grid providers contributed to OpenSim do you think it promotes the vision of an open metaverse to keep all your code to yourself?

I'm not saying you have to give back all your proprietary OpenSim code, I'm saying that if you wish to claim you support the open source community you should give back some of your improvements. Don't just be a taker, be a giver as well.

Ilan Tochner

This is the "Official Statement from SpotON3D's CEO Stevan Lieberman":

http://spoton3d.blogspot.com/2011/08/official-statement-from-spoton3ds-ceo.html

I read it and, since they misrepresented what I said, I posted the following in their blog, I doubt they will publish it:

"
Hi Stevan,

Having read your official statement I wish to state that:

(A) Stating that I claimed that the reason the viewer may need to be licensed under the GPL is because "the browser is installed at the same time as the plugin, thus it is essentially the same software" is a blatant misrepresentation of what I said. I said:

"
First, the GPL program (the original unmodified SL viewer that their viewer is derived from) is not designed to accept plugins that take over the rendering target and have keyboard and mouse commands rerouted from another process. They may have added this capability to it (I haven't checked) but then it would no longer be "unmodified" and therefor no longer qualifying for the exception you believe SpotOn3D can use to relieve themselves from the requirement to release their code under GPL.

Second, you've seemed to overlook the quotations I provided from the GNU site specifying that:

"However, in many cases you can distribute the GPL-covered software alongside your proprietary system. To do this validly, you must make sure that the free and non-free programs communicate at arms length, that they are not combined in a way that would make them effectively a single program."

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLInProprietarySystem

"By contrast, pipes, sockets and command-line arguments are communication mechanisms normally used between two separate programs. So when they are used for communication, the modules normally are separate programs. But if the semantics of the communication are intimate enough, exchanging complex internal data structures, that too could be a basis to consider the two parts as combined into a larger program."

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#MereAggregation

Unless SpotOn3D do some very frowned upon hacking their plugin would need to modify the SL viewer in order to work, thus (A) not qualifying it under your quoted exception, i.e. it does not work with an "off-the-shelf, unmodified, program" and (B) making it very likely that their combined program will be considered by a court of law as "effectively a single program" thus needing to be licensed under the GPL.
"

http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2011/07/opensim-in-facebook.html?cid=6a00d8341bf74053ef0153904b5a61970b#comment-6a00d8341bf74053ef0153904b5a61970b

(B) You ignored all that I and the community have said about the inherit anti-competitive and exploitative nature of SpotOn3D's conduct. Instead you chose to just restate the various claims that have been made by SpotOn3D in the articles that have been written about this. People have had a lot to say about the validity of those statements, I recommend you read all that they have written.

Repeating the statements that have gotten you in the hot chair in the first place is probably not the best way to calm the situation. Please take a step back and reconsider.
"

Whomever drafted their response did not take Public Relations 101. Restating falsehoods is not the best way to respond when you are caught with your hand in the communal cookie jar.

desdemona enfield

The argument that 'the GPL rule for the Spoton client source code requires the publication of source code for the facebook app' would also imply that it requires the the publication of the MS Internet Explorer source code and the source code for the MS Windows screen manager. A similar reverse argument could be made that the interaction of an Adobe flash plug-in with the GPL'ed Firefox browser would require the publication of the flash source code.

Tessa Kinney-Johnson

Due to the reaction of the OpenSim community about our World on the Web plug-in and the pending patent, we’ve decided to take the debate to another level and give everyone - BOTH SUPPORTERS AND NON-SUPPORTERS, the chance to bring their ideas and questions directly to us one-on-one. Our goal here is not to win anyone to a particular way of thinking, but to try answer the biggest questions and at least understand each other's POV. And who knows? Maybe this can help start a continuing dialog between the OpenSim community, SpotON3D and the many other grids out there.

Stevan and I will try and answer as many questions as possible in a 1-1.5 hour period of time. Due to a previously schedule business trip, Stevan will most likely only have one hour. I will be staying an extra half hour or more if necessary. I can not answer any legal questions, because … well, I’m not a lawyer! Any questions about the legal aspects of the patent, plug-in or other legal matters not answered at this event can be addressed directly to Stevan via email at Stevan@spoton3d.com.

THE VENUE< TIME< DATE – August 7th at 8 am PDT/SLT/MVT
The meeting place will be in SpotON3D in a Quad MegaSim called OUTREACH. Any and all voice chat in the main sim will be relayed over all four sims, so please be patient and fair to everyone else. This mega sim will hold about 150 people, so it will be on a first come first serve basis. Below you’ll find some general guidelines

This event will be filmed, archived and uploaded to our media page, as well as the usual web sites for everyone, so that everyone will have something to review and point others to.

We are looking forward to this being a productive event for both SpotOn3D and the community. You can teleport direclty into OUTREACH ISLAND, if you have the World on the Web Plug-in installed on your Windows PC, (sorry MACers and Linux guys ... that's next on our to do list) and just click on the 3DURL below - works just like a SLurl. http://3durl.com/map/veesome/Outreach%20Island/135/126/22

Thank you!
Tessa & Stevan

Ilan Tochner

Hi Tessa & Stevan,

If you truly wish to talk to people in an open exchange of ideas then why not address them where they are asked in public forums instead of in your own venue?

Do you wonder to why I object to having this discussion inside SpotOn3D's grid, here's why:

If you are really open to what other people are saying why misrepresent what I said in your previous press release then block my rebuttal comment on your blog? It's text was included here as well:

http://metaverse-traveller.blogspot.com/2011/07/spoton3d-to-patent-open-sim-in-browser.html?showComment=1312419040769#c6470783078774706412

If you are open to a public discussion then why hide the reply comment from Rob Knop who also posted a reply on your forum:

http://scientopia.org/blogs/galacticinteractions/2011/08/03/virtual-world-enthusiasts-should-boycott-spoton3d/#comment-4372

As of now both our replies are still missing from the comment sections below your press release even though this comment section now includes two other comments - people can see you are hiding our comments you know...

We know you read at least some of the various articles that have been written about your conduct as you've added your comments to them. Why force people to register to your grid, and attend at the time that is convenient to you instead of just answering people in blog comments like people from the community are doing?

There are several people who have written replies in almost all those comment threads that discuss your patent threats. Are those people, myself included, more willing to spend time talking to other people in forums they do not control than you are?

I will not condone having this discussion turn into a marketing opportunity for your grid, under your own timetable, with you controlling how long people can discuss the issue. If you want a truly open discussion then begin by taking the time to address the many questions people have already asked you in the multiple threads that deal with this:

http://metaverse-traveller.blogspot.com/2011/07/spoton3d-to-patent-open-sim-in-browser.html

http://scientopia.org/blogs/galacticinteractions/2011/08/03/virtual-world-enthusiasts-should-boycott-spoton3d/

http://cityofnidus.blogspot.com/2011/08/spoton3d.html

http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2011/08/controversy-erupts-over-spoton3ds-patent-claims

http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2011/07/opensim-in-facebook/comments/page/1/

http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2011/08/spoton3d-responds-to-patent-concerns-will-license-plugin-to-other-grids/

http://iliveisl.com/patents-or-how-browser-access-will-cost-you/

http://iliveisl.com/how-your-online-voice-matters

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