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Does the response fit the problem?

Does the response fit the problem?

Posted Dec 15, 2006 17:52 UTC (Fri) by dark (guest, #8483)
Parent article: Second Life and Open Source

This paragraph caught my eye:

Freedman has instituted one important change in the libsecondlife project to try to ensure that another CopyBot does not happen. "Previously, the way the libsecondlife source tree was done was basically anybody who wants an account can have one. That's the first thing I changed: just the core developers can have the accounts."

Yet, if we look back at how the first CopyBot happened, it does not seem like developers with accounts were the problem, or even had anything to do with it:

"Anybody could get a copy and make use of it, and that's what we saw happening: other people were modifying it to take out the disclaimer [...]"

So, I don't see the connection. Limiting who can get an account would not have prevented the first CopyBot from happening, so how could it prevent the second? As soon as you release the software, it becomes available for people to copy, whether they have a developer account or not. (Anonymous read-only svn access is also still available, so the public does not even have to wait for a release.)

This measure could also backfire. The more you restrict participation in a project, the greater the chance that someone will fork it, and then you have lost all control.


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