Wolfram|Alpha Claims Authorship Rights For Machines
While many observers have noted that Wolfram|Alpha is not like Google, the distinction between the two services is perhaps most apparent in their Terms of Service.
While many observers have noted that Wolfram|Alpha is not like Google, the distinction between the two services is perhaps most apparent in their Terms of Service.Google's Terms of Service don't demand much other than lawful behavior. Wolfram|Alpha on the other hand makes some rather surprising demands, as noted in a discussion on Groklaw.
While Wolfram Research makes some allowance for occasional professional use and posting Wolfram|Alpha results in blogs, anyone using the service regularly in a professional capacity has to seek a license.
Wolfram Research also demands that users attribute results produced by using Wolfram|Alpha to the company.
That's a puzzling claim given that Wolfram|Alpha is supposed to compute factual answers and facts cannot be copyrighted.
What's more, plagiarism applies to copying another author's work without attribution, but Wolfram|Alpha is a set of machines that perform calculations.
It's as if Microsoft asserted that data generated through the use of Excel and not attributed to the company's software represents plagiarism or a violation of copyright law.
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