"viral" (was RE: Licensing options for firmware)

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Wed Apr 6 17:43:43 UTC 2005

I  have to agree.  I had the same assumptions about the GPL - that it was
basically like the BSD license, but required you to release your changes.
That's the spin the GPL gets in many discussions.

It wasn't until I saw the term 'viral' associated with it and started
looking into it more that I really understood what copyleft meant.  And it's
not necessarily a bad thing, but if you don't understand it, it's going to
come back and bite you.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Anderson, Kelly" <KAnderson at dentrix.com>
To: "Open Source License Discussion List" <license-discuss at opensource.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 10:15 AM
Subject: RE: "viral" (was RE: Licensing options for firmware)

As a relative newbie to the open source concept, I actually appreciate
the term viral as I find it more descriptive of what the GPL is all
about than the more obscure term "copyleft". In my ignorance, I
initially thought that GPL code could be used in any way, including to
create commercial for profit software. I just figured if I found any
bugs, or improved the code I was originally given, I would give it back
to the original author to do with what he wanted. When I heard the term
viral, I "got it" and understood the underlying premise more clearly.

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