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Using Alice Name in derived works, etc.
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Default Using Alice Name in derived works, etc. - 05-06-2009, 05:54 AM

While the lawyers are being contacted about this, I think the issue of "Open Source" needs to be addressed. I need to be clear from the outset of raising this issue: the Alice License is a matter for the Alice team, and they are entitled to put whatever restrictions they desire on it, and I don't consider any aspect of the current setup as "evil" or "immoral". I state that because of the heat in the debate here:

http://www.alice.org/community/showthread.php?p=8999

So why do I raise this at all, then? The Alice FAQ explicitly says that Alice is Open Source.

http://www.alice.org/index.php?page=faq#OpenSource

However, the license does not permit redistribution of modified works with the name Alice in them. As I read it, anywhere. I don't think you can state that it is a derived work. (I'm not a lawyer, so I'm probably confused about this, which is my point, really.) This is entirely contrary to the OSI definition of Open Source:

http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd

which expressly allows modification. Furthermore, there are expectations in the Free Software and Open Source community that contributions will be (possibly) accepted from the community: this is a "cultural norm", patches are reviewed and accepted or rejected. This is ruled out in the FAQ answer above.

So, whilst I applaud and appreciate the free distribution of the unmodified product, I think describing it as open source inadvertently misrepresents what one can do with it. I'm not saying there is any deliberate attempt to mislead here. There are many different open source licenses even within the OSI definition, so ambiguity is to be expected. But I hope you see there is scope for improved clarity about this issue.

I hope these comments will be taken in the constructive spirit in which they are intended.

Thank you.
   
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