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The big thing on my mind back at the beginning of the week was whether the new position on the KDU library was indeed the official position and whether the Lab was serious about the erroneous statements about GPL-violations.

Over the last few years, it has quite often been the case that the Lab and an individual Linden (or a team of Linden staffers) have disagreed or had differences of understanding on certain key matters.

As a result, its become tradition with the Lab that nothing’s ‘official’ until it comes in writing from a cleared channel (like the Linden blog, PR team, or press-releases – and even then, it isn’t unknown for something to be repudiated), or unless a Linden tells you in writing that it is an official statement or policy position – though I’ve never had much success with the latter. When I’ve asked at in-world meetings and the like, a staffer has always demurred and referred me back to PR, who may or may not then subsequently confirm their position (usually not).

Statements and opinions of staff in-world, says the Lab, may not necessarily be those of the company and should not be relied upon. In a discussion with a senior Lab communicator, once, these uncleared statements were referred to as “unreliable hearsay”.

So, back onto the topic. Armed with a summary of the in-world meeting, I went back to Linden Lab this week for an official statement of position on the whole KDU thing. I talked about linking (dynamic and static), licensing, proprietary code, copyrights, distribution, redistribution, the GPL, and GPL-violations.

And waited – albeit not entirely patiently.

Now the Lab has revealed its full position on the matter via the PR team:

Linden Lab’s official position is reflected on this wiki page: https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Third_Party_Libraries, which indicates KDU as a proprietary element that may not be redistributed as part of the Second Life open source client.

I know, right?

Well… I guess we take the Lab’s official position statement as given. There’s not much else we can do.

So… well, KDU can’t be redistributed. That’s great, because as far as I’m aware nobody is actually doing that. Nobody’s linking it or redistributing it, so we can all relax, because that appears to be that.

As for all the stuff about removing code from the third-party viewers, and GPL-violations and stuff? Well, apparently that just doesn’t seem to be a part of Linden Lab’s official position. That in-world meeting may as well have not happened, it seems.

And yes, I have raised both of these points in response, but received no further communications, which is normal once Linden Lab has given chapter and verse on an official statement.

Whether the Lab will stand pat on that statement, which returns us to the status quo, or backflip on it in coming weeks remains to be seen.

Got a news tip or a press-release? Send it to [email protected].
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