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Re: VOCAL (Vovidia Communications License)

On Sun, May 02, 2004 at 05:05:34PM -0700, Josh Triplett wrote:
> > I wonder why we considered clause #4 to be free; it seems a little overreaching.
> > It prohibits code reuse with any projects with names like "Vocal Minority" or
> > "Vocalize".  (This isn't an objection; just curiosity.)
> The DFSG justification is based on DFSG 4, which states that "The
> license may require derived works to carry a different name or version
> number from the original software."  As for _why_ we allow that, I think
> it is based on the idea of avoiding misrepresentation: anyone should be
> free to create a forked version of a piece of Free Software, but
> attempting to pass it off as the original is misrepresentation.  Users
> should always know what they are getting, and be able to make a reasoned
> choice as to where they get their software from.

As a weak opinion, I think that saying "our name can not be a substring of
your name" does not fall under the "no false representation" part of DFSG#4.

As a more extreme case, would a program called "Net" carrying the requirement
"... nor may 'Net' appear in their name" be considered free?  I think this
particular wording is a bit overbroad.

I might feel more strongly about this if I was, say, forking some third
party audio application, calling it "Vocalize", and wanted to reuse code
from "Vocal".  (I'm not, though, and there are more important battles
right now ...)

Glenn Maynard

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