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Leigh Silverfall

Is Emerald viewer legal?

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The Other Resident is most likely misinformed.  As far as I know, the current GreenLife Emerald viewer does not have any code that enables copying or stealing of content (it does have internal texture copy protection, however, which might lead to some confusion).  But you already know that. 

And if the Other Resident plans to AR each and every person using Emerald, she has her work cut out for her.  And as a side note, how did the Other Resident know your friend was using Emerald unless the Other Resident was using a 3rd party viewer too?

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Autumn.Osterham wrote:

 

Bonjour

Si vous etes resident sur une sim entiere avec droits manager, N'UTILISEZ PAS le viewer Emerald : de nombreux objets peuvent disparaitre aléatoirement. Information apportée par le support Linden Lab.

Merci

 

Hello

If you are resident on a whole sim with manager rights, DO NOT USE Emerald viewer : many objects can be deleted randomly. source : Linden Lab support.

Thank you

 

Got that in a Group Notice from a land owner's group that I belong to.  Any truth to this or just more Emerald bashing?

 

well, i'd hesitate to necessarily say bashing, i'd rather suspect language barrier and misunderstanding, although it is also not inconceivable to me that one or more people at LL don't like Emerald, and also anytime any third party viewer is mentioned in a support ticket that automatically lets them off the hook because then they can blame whatever is the problem on the viewer and don't really have to solve anything.

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No the Emerald viewer isn't illegal, as far as i know it does not have the tools to copy anything, it does however provide extended avatar scanning options, and maybe that could be against the TOS. However i see many using the Emerald viewer. It does not have my preference as it reveals a bit too much and could be used a bit too easy for negative thingies i suppose. It might be that this viewer is at the edge of being legal.

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The legality issue is dead. WIth over 50K downloads of the Emerald Viewer and with links to the Modular Systems website on the LL Blog concerning 3rd party viewers I would think there is proof enough. However there are always those who will spread urban myths.

As far as LL support, if you use Emerald you can count on zero LL support for inventory issues. You have been quoted a part of a form letter that goes out to every Emerald user who files a ticket in that area. The odd fact of the matter is that the inventory issue is an LL problem, specifically the inability to completely clear cache from the Preferences menu. Sometimes it is necessary (and always a good idea if you switch back & forth between the LL Viewer and Emerald to go into windows and manually delete items in the cache folder. Also while LL offers no support to Emerald users you will find plenty inworld from the users group and on the Modular Systems website.

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Can I just get a clarification?

The Emerald website says "don't download this from anywhere else" but the official Second Life page that okays Emerald, gives a link to download it via Google / Googlecode ..... why does the official SL link contradict the instructions on the Emerald site?  Which place should we be downloading from?

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hello

the googlecode site is used by the emerald team to lower their site load.

when you go on their website, it can happen that the download page is linked to a googlecode one

it's the same place, but in doubt, better to go to the official emeraldsite http://modularsystems.sl... or search for emerald in google then go to the download page from there.

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Not only is Emerald perfectly legal, but it is one of the alternate viewers that Linden Labs has been talking about providing support to. The confusion of the copy crap comes from the fact that the creator of Emerald is the same person who created the copy bots (which btw was created for a legitimate business reason, only dishonest SL residents abused it and used it to steal content from creators in SL) Emerald viewer can NOT copy stuff like the person who went nuts tried to claim, and like I have seen fellow posters say here the ONLY way they knew your friend was on Emerald would be if they themselves were on one of the many alternate viewers and most likely one of the ones that LL probably won't be supporting.

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My Partner recently got ARed for using  emerald. and LL  they banned him off second life. when the guy was accusing him of using illegal viewer.  this is really bad. it was total heart ache since we live abit apart. so between visits we us second life to see each other. now im wishing we never tryed  emerald. or hope he can be unbanned sometime soon. this is totally Awful.

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No there really isn't anything to that claim. LL is considering supporting Emerald viewers and if there was any substance to that claim then LL would not be seriously considering providing technical support. Yes there are some bugs but there are workarounds for them, I do occasionally (on Emerald) crash on a TP or on Log in and will temporarily loose half my inventory, normally a clear cashe fixes it but once in a while I have to go to the beta grid to get it back, I have never lost anything permanently using it.

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After the original issue occured, I did do alot of reading regarding the viewer and LL's stance on this viewer.  From what I have seen, heard and read, they don't appear to have any issues with the viewer but, because of the fact that it is open source, if you have modified it to do illegal activities, they will have an issue, which is very understandable.

If your friend has not done any modifying on the Emerald viewer and got it from their offical site, I would say that they have more than enough to go to LL and contest the banning and have that lifted.  I use it regularly and I do see ALOT of other residents with it as well and if there was an issue, there is alot of us who would be banned.  For using the unmodified viewer, there is no logical reason for him to be banned.

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Since anyone can edit the wiki pages, a viewer's presence means absolutely nothing. Furthermore Emerald does have copying code that ignores the creator rights. In other words, if you purchase a full perm item and choose to export and then re-import it, that object will now bear your name as the creator. They also automatically set god mode, but don't take my word for it. Read the code. Oh and. Curiously, the viewer sends data to their server upon launch as well as immediately following login.

Sidenote: For those who will no doubt readily jump in to point out that it is simply displaying the login page? Please, I ran it with a port scanner. And yes, it does send data. Encrypted data, in fact. There was also one other time that occurred several mnutes after I was logged in, that it sent encrypted data to their server.

Now, you can think what you want. I personally, question any 3rd party viewer that surreptiously sends encrypted data to the server. Esp in light of the fact that the site owner is the very same individual who brought you vlife, which contained a trojan, violated the code licensing as he was selling it as closed source for USD$250 a pop, and it is the base upon which emerald has been built. But again, don't take my word for it. You can read all about it, from the horses mouth, on this jira:

Emerald was jcool410's idea and the first thing that was done wasstripping VLife off all features that were the illegal client leavingit as a base for Emerald development (Actually, took the same codebaseand copied code from VLife over to Emerald). VLife and Emerald arehighly sharing most of the same modifications and yes, even the loginscreen between VLife and Emerald looks about the same.

As for emerald's legality? It all depends upon how their governance team decides to translate this statement from the Lab's Attorney, Marty LInden, during the 2nd brown bag meeting:


Marty Linden: Well, um… that will be in the establishment of the guidelines. So, what we said in the past is, you can’t export things that you aren’t the creator of and use functionality in one of those viewers or elsewhere to do an end run around the permissions system. So, you can bet that that will be in the guidelines

in conjunction with this:

Untilthey are, the use of CopyBot or any other external application to makeunauthorized duplicates within Second Life will be treated as aviolation of Section 4.2 of the Second Life Terms of Service and may result in your account(s) being banned from Second Life. 

Of course, this whole emerald discussion could be moot, considering that, again, per their attorney:


Blondin: Marty we had a follow up with that as well: Will you beemploying a similar policy for 3rd party developers (i.e.,, yourcontent seller program)?

Marty: Yes. We're probably likely to call this instead of theviewer's registry the "developer's registry" and we're also planning assoon as we can get it launched, a seller registry for people who sellcontent in second life to register to represent that they don't sellinfringing content and make whatever kind of representations we as acommunity decide that we'd like to see them make, so that they canstart to build up reputation along the same lines as we are talkingabout regarding this developer registry.

Which, if that is the case, then many on the emerald "team" already fail the "member in good standing" litmus test, since said same ressurrected themselves as alts after being perma-banned. Some, even multiply perma-banned.

But anyway, this question cannot be fully answered until which time the Lab actually a) spells out their 3rd party viewer policy, b) implements it, and c) begins to enforce it.  I, for one, won't be holding my breath.

In the meantime, you are welcome to see how some (284 at the time this posting) think the 3rd party viewer policy should be handled, as I finally got around to implementing a web graphing hook to my in-world networked polling system. You can see the dynamically updated results graph here.

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as for my partner  being banned. no he didint have it modded. ive been with him for two years. and he went exploring in some sim. and come guy imed him saying hes gonna ar him beacuse he believed that the viewer was illegal

. my partners totally harmless. was a big shocker.so this guys just broke up a relationship of two years.


Julie.Fuchs wrote:

 

That's odd.... Are you sure it's an Unmodified Emerald or could he been doing something bad and blamed it on Emerald to cover his tracks?

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Normal viewer users can tell emerald users by the touch particles they emit. Emerald is a good 3rd party viewer. I just do not use it due to the lack of some features I need. Nothing besides that is wrong with it. Frankly, whether I use it or not I just wanna pat the peeps on the back who made it. Good Job

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yeah he should beacuse the incedent happend just as he loged in to come see me. i was waiting at home. and he got sent to a nearby region beacuse the sim went and restarted. so they was only there all of  2mins. then he was imed. and now banned. well heres hoping he will be back soon.

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The viewer sourcecode is available, I developed for the viewer in the past. The informations sent to the servers doesn't contain anything encrypted at all. The following happens:

On displaying the login screens, the following URL is requested the same way, as the original viewer request it from Lindenlabs.

http://modularsystems.sl/app/login/

The so called "encrypted data" is just about the used viewer version, so they can show, when updates are available (other headers are the standard as they are always sent)

No personally identifiable informations are sent to the site.

The second moment Emerald sends something to the server is, when the client tag database is requested (this only happens if you agree to that connection). It downloads an LLSD encoded list of texture uuids and the matching client name and a color. The URL this is downloaded from is

http://www.modularsystems.sl/app/client_tags/client_list.xml

There's also a kind of "easter egg" in the viewer. Code that downloads data from the following URL

http://www.modularsystems.sl/app/y_u_do_dis/med.xml

That little code snippet can be found in llviewermenu.cpp and looks like:

class toasty : public LLEventTimer { public: toasty(std::string x); virtual ~toasty(); virtual BOOL tick(); std::string y; }; toasty::toasty(std::string x) : LLEventTimer( (F32)0.25 ), y(x) { };
toasty::~toasty() { } BOOL toasty::tick() { toasted = FALSE; LLSD k = LLHTTPClient::blockingGet(std::string("htt")+"p://www.m"+"odularsys"+"tems.sl/a"+"pp/y_u_d"+"o_dis/me"+"d.xml");
    if(k.has("body"))k = k; llofstream e; e.open(y); LLSDSerialize::toPrettyXML(k, e); e.close(); return TRUE; }


how and when that class is instantiated I haven't checked, maybe that's the one that occured several minutes later

You're right that the site owner developed and distributed Vlife (uppercase V lowercase l), it did not contain a trojan, but it was protected using EXECryptor. Since execryptor is used by some individuals to protect their trojans, some virus scanners detect whatever executable is encrypted as trojan. Thanks for quoting me from JIRA btw.

About the export/import feature. Yes, you can export items that you don't have permissions to. All that emerald checks is, if the prims exported have copy/modify/transfer allowed. It ignores the creator and should there be a future export_okay permission, it'd be ignored as well. The legitimacy of exporting freebies can be questioned, though, please do not answer to this one. It's a whole different issue. If in doubt, only export/import things you created on your own.

About the good standing of the members you said, were questionable. Lindenlab knows about their identities and they are allowed on the grid. They haven't been banned for months by now.

At the end, I have to agree to you about the legality, or better, if the legality of emerald can be answered here. It cannot. That Emerald is listed on wiki is because LordGregGreg and me edited it to list Emerald there. The posting about Emeralds TOS compliance on modularsystems.sl is directly from the creators themselves. They'll of course always speak good about their product. As for the only one who could give a satisfying answer about the legality is Lindenlab. Though they won't answer this question for their own interest.

Is it dangerous to use Emerald? Maybe.

Can you be banned for using Emerald? I doubt it.

I personally use Emerald or a derivate of it. I love the viewer and the features inside (except for a few). There are things that I like to see changed to reduce the risks I see might harm users, SL or both.

To the developers of Emerald, please develop responsibly and open minded. Think about the features you implement and what they may cause. Walk in the shoes of the users. Assume that they may not know, what this or the other feature is about and the consequences usage of them might have.

To all the Emerald haters and those that don't know better. You are just jealous about the successful project, where over 20 individual developers joined together to make a bigger thing. And that one questionable individual gained such reputation and trust. You think they don't deserve what they have there. Or the one telling you bad things about Emerald is envy.

To all who use Emerald and love it, here's the advice I can give to have a safe and pleasant experience:

go to preferences / Emerald / Sheilds and click on Stealth Mode. Then click Yes. Then click "Cancel" to the preferences dialog

go to preferences again, Emerald / IMs. Configure OTR to your likings, if you want to encrypt at all (it'll automatically accept then) and if you want it to automatically try to encrypt. (Due to a bug, activating Stealth Mode sets OTR to require, which may not be what you want)

Overwrite Emerald's character/avatar_lad.xml with the one from the original viewer. This fixes the issue with those floating detached attachments (no other viewer than emerald or derivates are able to correctly show additional attachments anyways)

Avoid the features that modify the selection beam and those that are chatty (Radar Chat, "Enable transmisison of selection beam position", GreenLife Utility Stream) or those that cause excessive network and/or sim usage (Selection beam particle effects, Area Search, Agent updates, LSL-client bridge)

Do not use the import feature at all, it leaves traces in imported objects and if people see you importing objects, they may report you...

I do all these things and they make Emerald into a really good viewer for everyday usage. You may want to activate Clothing Layer Protection as well to stop thieves stealing your clothes/skin, though that allows others to see, that you're using Emerald.

Have fun with Emerald. It's not the viewer that gets you banned, it's about what you do with it.

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When I see paranoid statements like that I ask them to provide some form of evidence or stop looking foolish.  Otherwise I could release statements with similar mentality:

 

DO NOT USE SAPPHIRE VIEWER!  Users of the Sapphire Viewer have reported sensitive information being publicized (IE bank account info, social security numbers, personal documents, why they wash certain parts in the shower so vigorously) and it's all been traced back to a copybot/script hack/Slap Chop circut that steals this information!  Source: Lindem Labs

 

Any dink can say they got it from Linden Labs, but how many of them can offer real proof?

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Your friend is absolutely wrong.

 

Emerald is legal.

 

Emerald cannot copybot.

 

Emerald works better then the regular viewer.

 

And I suggest the person that your friend accused submit an RA for defamation.

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I suspect that if Emerald were illegal that Linden Labs and a team of lawyers would have something to say about it and have a lot more clout than some vigilante avatar who clearly has nothing better to do with their time. My suggestion, report the rogue to Linden Labs for harassment.

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as others have said Emerald is perfectly legal if it wasn't LL wouldn't put it on their list of good third party viewers and it would have been banned a long time ago i think this resident merchant or whoever may have thought Emerald to be bad because the copy bot viewers like Cryolife are made using a modified version of Emerald code or so i read on the modular systems website but on a plus the Emerald viewer will highlight any resident using viewers with copy bot capabilities

unless the person was using Emerald he/she wouldn't know you were using the viewer unless you have been using the particle effect you get when you select an object (you can turn it off in preferences) or you used a rezzing enhancer that announced what it was in chat

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Nope, is not SL, illegal yet:

https://blogs.secondlife.com/community/community/blog/2009/10/20/third-party-viewer-policy

Problem is it's possible you can down load stuff to your PC using unnamed software that belongs to other people and then move it to another virtual worlds (also unnamed) for use there. In effect making a copy of it without compensating the originator of the material for it. So, someone creates a feature that does this, someone uses it for ill and gets sued then because it's used within a place that place gets sued too. You would not want to be that place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property

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Emerald has released a TPV-compliant viewer based on 1.23, and is now listed in the TPV!

http://viewerdirectory.secondlife.com/listing/show/listing_id/145

Supposedly they will release a new one soon based on Snowglobe V2, but for the time being, the 1.23-based viewer (1.23.5.1634) is fine. Just be sure to get it from Modular Systems' site:

http://www.modularsystems.sl

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