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Category — Open Source

Second Life Viewer & Server Software to be Released as Open Source

Categories: Open Source

Second Life Viewer Contribution Agreement

Linden Lab has announced that it will release both its Second Life viewer and, eventually, server software source codes under version 2 of the general public license (GPL). Linden Lab will maintain control of official versions of the software.

Linden may accept updates/modifications of the code from its user community, but if it does so, the contributor must agree to a contribution agreement where, among other things, the contributor assigns joint copyright ownership and grants a perpetual patent license to Linden Labs.

Dale’s Comment: While this may have been an inevitable obligation if the underlying code used to create Second Life’s viewer and server software was, itself, GPL-sourced software, I wonder if this will result in increasingly effective hacks against the Second Life virtual world.

It certainly ushers in a possible unprecedented new open source direction for MMORPG gaming publishers/developers. Like Valve (Half Life/Counterstrike), id (Quake), Ubisoft (Ghost Recon) and others before them, if successfully implemented, Linden Labs just might harness the creative skills of an army of open source modders/developers willing to make ongoing contributions to enhance Second Life – for free! User-generated content is a huge driver in the video game industry and, in particular, the whole Internet 2.0 phenomena, of which Second Life is a part.

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