SpotON3D put themselves on the spot

Today, those behind SpotON3D attempted to host an Q&A session concerning their plans to patent code they use to to display the Viewer through a number of popular browsers.

I say attempted because, as Maria Korolov explains, things didn’t turn out too well. Part of the problem is that the event was announced at very short notice for many, although I actually received notification by way of a comment on this blog at 07:53 BST (23:53 PST Saturday), some eight hours prior to the event being held; unfortunately – and possibly due to the links included in it – WordPress fed the comment to my spam folder without issuing any notice to myself & I failed to see it until several hours after the meeting had taken place. Had I managed to see it ahead of time, I would have certainly posted and Tweeted about it.

The announcement / comment in full read:

This is an official statement from SpotON3D

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

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 directly 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.

Thank you!
Tessa & Stevan

Quite why other announcements appear to have been issued much later is unclear; Maria reports some did not receive notice until just four hours ahead of the event, or 05:00 EST / 02:00 PST – times hardly conducive to gaining someone’s attention.

SpotON3D put the short notice for the event down to wanting to hold it before Stevan Lieberman had to depart for a week to attend a conference; however, given their press release responding to community concerns on the matter went out on Wednesday, and has continued to garner negative feedback in the interim, one cannot help be feel the company could have worked to ensure more advanced warning could possibly have been given.

Another problem with the event, apparently, was that SpotON3D opted to host it on their own grid, rather than a “neutral venue”, which put some of their critics off, with some suggesting that SpotON3D might seek to censure their views / comments. As a result, they refused to attend; others actively called for a boycott. Therefore, whether their attendance at the meeting might have resulted constructive dialogue taking place was sadly rendered moot.

That said, SpotON3D appeared unwilling to move beyond the position they’ve established through Wednesday’s press release, nor discuss much in the way of specifics – thus rendering the stated aim of the meeting, “to try answer the biggest questions and at least understand each other’s POV”, also somewhat moot.

The controversy is set to continue.


The video of the meeting is now available on the SpotON3D livestream; unfortunately, not all questions can be heard (thanks to Maria Korolov for the link).