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

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Apr 12 19:13:42 UTC 2005

Quoting Rodrigo Barbosa (rodrigob at suespammers.org):

> My language skills are known to be flawed, but isn't reciprocal
> more like:
> "If I license my stuff to you on these terms, you agree to license
> your stuff to ME on the same terms".

It's the obligation as to _this_ codebase (and derivatives) that's
reciprocal, not to arbitrary others.  The implied meaning should already
have been amply clear, prior to your posting.

> Even tho the politicaly correct people don't like the word "viral",
> you have to admit it is used widely everywhere. 

As are the pronunciations "athuhlete" and "nukular", usage of "condone"
meaning to approve, usage of "hopefully" modifying nothing in
particular, and usage of "gender" to denote sex.

And yet, _those_ are merely illiterate.  This one is propaganda,
actively misleading by (as a blatant and dishonest scare tactic)
suggesting an effect that is factually not present.

In general, if you're going to try to con people, at least be clever and
subtle about it.  Rhetoric like this stuff merely insults our
intelligence -- not to mention wasting our time.

> Just going into "bash them" mode doesn't help....

Think of it as the gentle 2x4 of enlightenment.

> There are many ways to describe that aspect of the GPL license.  I
> don't mind viral.

And, as I mentioned, many of my very best friends are sophists.

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