Is high fidelity free software?


Is high fidelity free software or is it just open source?
Is high fidelity use of the terminology open source and bit chain merely as marketing?
Do they truly believe in having an free and open Internet?


  1. It is, currently both. You do not have to pay to use it as a client or server use, but – it’s certainly not “public domain” and they reserve, as they should, their copyrights. Its license is Apache License version 2.0 and that allows many things something like the GPL would not – and for many in the ultra OSS community it would not qualify as “free” software. A long and toxic debate that’s raged since the earliest days of the GPL. For those not interested in OSS politics or stirring up a pot of woe… to me, it’s open and free in so far as rights to use and modify are concerned.

  2. Open source is not merely marketing as what they provide is clearly available in source code format with a clear license and copyright info. Bit chain, I think you meant Block chain… That one could be argued either way, but, is a meaningless distinction at this point.

  3. I suppose you meant a free and open VR platform using Internet as transport. Short of telepaths, industrial espionage or a published statement beyond all the previous written statements of HiFi’s operating principles… I don’t know what more could be said.

  4. To me they seem certainly to believe in a free and open VR platform since I could take the open source code as it stands right now, hack it to my heart’s content, add/delete/change functionality and deploy that for my own purposes without any need for a license beyond that already granted. I could then deploy that modified software with no requirement to publicize my changes… which, from some points of view is more free than some other points of view of “free”.

The Apache 2.0 License:
And, Google is your friend if anyone would like a plain language analysis of said license. It’s been interesting over my years of this to see legal analysis of various OSS licenses and compare the levels of freedom each offers. Of course, one person’s free can often be another’s prison when it comes to these things.


When I use free and open intranet. I am only looking at the exchange of information between users. The fact that it is a VR platform makes no difference.
the server like an Apache server stores and transmits data. Freedom is how and what people say and the ideas they are allowed to transmit. It is not a free system if there are limitations on speech.
If there is a gatekeeper controlling our exposure on this network namely the name server. Where our presence can be deleted whenever high fidelity wants. It is not an open platform.
When there are alternatives. A better use for that bit chain. A name server. No control from high fidelity.


HF requires neither the place name or user identity systems to operate.

I could, for instance, setup a HF server instance running at ip address and tell you type into location bar where you would then connect to my instance of HF using absolutely zero arbitration by HiFi.

I could even have access control without need for you to register a “name” for your “account” with HF by limiting access based on IP address or machine fingerprints or some custom something I wrote that, again, has no callback to HF.

So - as the platform currently stands. It can be as free, open and HiFi as a company absent as you would want.

  1. Grant of Copyright License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, each Contributor hereby grants to You a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable copyright license to reproduce, prepare Derivative Works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute the Work and such Derivative Works in Source or Object form.

So, I would say that this yields any developer the right to create a closed-source derivative should he/she choose to do so.

-my two cents-


Absolutely @AlphaVersionD - Unlike a GPL licensed platform where anything I wrote would be subject to my having to give back as an open source commit… and, if I chose not to do so and another entity discovered my implementation of “Omega’s HF” that was obviously changed I could be legally forced to disclose my source changes. Which tldr; makes HiFi > free to me.


Ilan Tochner has mentioned that the infrastructure isn’t entirely open source. They’ve kept certain bits and pieces to themselves to assure their ability to make profit in the future. Which is totally fair, as they are a business

But with the way some here talk about them you would think they’re a non-profit like the Blender Foundation or the Linux Foundation. High Fidelity ain’t a charity, they’re a corporation and like any corporation, they’re always going to put their profits first before all else.


HiFi states it wants to be the Apache of VR, so using the Apache licensing and operating-models makes sense. As a general rule it is probably safe to assume that what you can do with an Apache server you can do with HiFi, particularly server-side.


And, with that in mind, even a fairly low skilled programmer familiar with modern authorization systems could write a replacement “back-end” for HiFi’s closed portion i.e. place names and user identity by looking at the (admittedly scarce) documentation and how Interface and Sandbox talk back to it. Again - pointing more toward this being an open and free to extend platform than not so.


I’m aware of that.
But Take it for me, they would only be isolating themselves. And if they were able to snatch some users they would only be further diluting the numbers of users visible on the network.
It is not a practical solution to make your own name server. And it is also not a practical solution to use IP addresses. Only your friends could find you.


It is a very practical solution to make one’s own name server and user server and content management server. You look at all this like it’s another incarnation of systems like SL where you have a “thing” you want to be part of. And, surely, there will likely be that, but, an assertion that there’s no place to use a totally custom and isolated instance of the free and open HiFi platform is weak. Given sufficient skill, investment and time one could envision many things being implemented with the great gift High Fidelity is giving us.

Yes - I say gift because I understand fully how thankful we should be that, even with it’s hyper annoying problems and long road to go, it is a free and open platform that will likely see many many uses totally unrelated to hanging about in some grid like one would see SL.

This is, again, another argument meant to move forward a vendetta vs a logical discussion. The only reason I have responded is because I deeply care about HiFi being an open and free platform to do virtually anything in the future – regardless of that being as part of some HiFi connected metaverse or in total isolation.


It is not free and it is not open.
It is predatory and it is controlling.


Eating those who don’t use it in a proper way?