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greenFox
05-04-2009, 12:05 PM
Hello

I've translated Alice into Hebrew, and according to the license it seems like I cannot use the name "Alice" in the new translated version "without prior written permission of Carnegie Mellon University".

What shall I do to receive such a permission? who can give me such a permission?
Last thing I would want to do is give it another name :(

HisWorld
05-05-2009, 09:35 PM
The only person that I know who has any say such as this is "gabe" I don't believe any other members of this forum work with carnegie on Alice.

My other suggestion would be to contact the makers through thier main webpage @ http://www.alice.org/index.php?page=contact/contact


I don't necessarily advise this but I have found personally that some professor's at Carnegie will respond to email if contacted directly and the problem is warrented.

gabe
05-06-2009, 02:20 AM
greenFox,

Something like this is more complicated than us simply saying we give you permission or we don't give you permission. We will need to discuss the matter with our university lawyers. As our license states, if you modify the Alice source, you cannot call it 'Alice.' We will get back to you once we have a better idea of what the legal ramifications of such a decision would bring, both to the university and to the Alice team. I will send you email to keep you in the loop.

hgs
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.

DrJim
05-07-2009, 03:54 PM
Based on much earlier postings, I believe the issue is not the distribution of the modified code but simply using the name "Alice." This is apparently trademarked/copyrighted/service mark registered/etc. by several groups.

No matter how much the OSI "cultural norm" may wish - people are simply not going to give up their hard earned legal rights. There are no free lunches.

And frankly, I personnally think that modifying code and reissuing it under the original name is potentially an insult to the original creator. If you can come up with good new code, surely it isn't that hard to come up with a new name.

hgs
05-07-2009, 06:44 PM
Based on much earlier postings, I believe the issue is not the distribution of the modified code but simply using the name "Alice." This is apparently trademarked/copyrighted/service mark registered/etc. by several groups.

Yes. I'm saying this is an opportunity to clarify other matters, which are not so distantly related.

No matter how much the OSI "cultural norm" may wish - people are simply not going to give up their hard earned legal rights. There are no free lunches.

Absolutely. That is why I see the use of the term "open source" in the FAQ to be in need of clarification.

And frankly, I personnally think that modifying code and reissuing it under the original name is potentially an insult to the original creator. If you can come up with good new code, surely it isn't that hard to come up with a new name.

I agree with this, too. Incidentally, among people doing shared development with git, "forking" (a name derived from the Unix system call to spawn a new copy from a process) the repository seems to be becoming normal practice. I'd much rather pass patches back to the developers of the original. That way there is no ambiguity about to whose repository the code belongs. But my point in raising this was not about stealing the good name of a product. It was about saying that a work is derived: giving due credit, citing sources. It is also about the ability to provide a demonstrably working copy with proposed features that can be tested easily, to facilitate peer review, particularly review by people accepting suggested changes into the original code base. Or rejecting them, of course.

Whether I am in favour of such an approach is entirely irrelevant. I'm pointing out that there is room for misunderstanding, and that the Alice Team are perfectly entitled to choose whatever licensing model they desire. But given the existing climate (Alice runs on Linux for one thing), clarity would seem to be useful. I can't tell them to do or decide anything, but I can suggest that it seems worth considering the related matters. And as owners of the project they are entitled to say my opinion is of no value, and ignore it.

I really was trying to be constructive. That's why I pointed out that the discussion has got heated before, and that I was trying to avoid heat. Now they are in a working relationship with Sun and with EA games, there may be all sorts of constraints on what they can do, so advocating any particular style of license would seem to be futile at this stage, and it is entirely a matter for them, not me, anyway.

DrJim
05-08-2009, 04:44 PM
... clarity would seem to be useful.

The above seems to sum up the whole issue - and I strongly agree.

For the record, I did find your comments very construction. :) Unfortunately, for some, the whole open source thing reduces to rather thoughtless ranting - and if I seemed negative toward your own comments, it's because I've sat through way too many examples of that type of mentality.

meirs
12-01-2009, 08:23 AM
Based on much earlier postings, I believe the issue is not the distribution of the modified code but simply using the name "Alice." This is apparently trademarked/copyrighted/service mark registered/etc. by several groups.

No matter how much the OSI "cultural norm" may wish - people are simply not going to give up their hard earned legal rights. There are no free lunches.

And frankly, I personnally think that modifying code and reissuing it under the original name is potentially an insult to the original creator. If you can come up with good new code, surely it isn't that hard to come up with a new name.

DrJim, I didn't plan to call it "Alice" as that would certainly confuse users, but on the other hand I thought giving it a name not mentioning "Alice" would be an insult of another kind to the Alice dev team, that's why I wanted to include the name "Alice" within it. Why does Alice's license forbid that? no other open source project I know has this limitation, and many open source projects modified versions include the original project name.

Meir (formerly greenFox)