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

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Wed Apr 6 18:12:24 UTC 2005

> > not necessarily a bad thing, but if you don't understand it, it's going
> > come back and bite you.
> A criticism that can be levied with equal or greater justification at
> most commercial licenses.

Very true.  But with commercial licenses, I always assume the absolute worst

As for the 'reciprocal' term, I think what's misleading there is the scale.
As I understand it, if I integrate a 1,000-line GPL'd module into a
500,000-line program, the whole thing must be GPL'd.  To me, 'reciprocal'
would tend to imply a more balanced exchange.  'Viral' also implies
propagation, and 'reciprocal' doesn't.

Again, I'm not against 'viral' licensing per se.  And it's definitely got
negative connotations.  Didn't Microsoft introduce this usage?  If so, I'm
sure that was their intent.  I just think the more politically-correct terms
tend to sugarcoat things a bit.


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