Subject: RE: Viral licenses (was: wxWindows library...)
From: "Lawrence E. Rosen" <>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2003 19:45:33 -0800

I don't think the word "viral" describes the process very well.  I prefer to
use the term "reciprocal" for licenses (like the GPL and many others) that
require licensees to reciprocate for the licensed software by distributing
their derivative works under the same license.  Reciprocity is a friendly
terms; we're all scared of viruses.  /Larry

> -----Original Message-----
> From: amado.alves [] 
> Sent: Friday, December 12, 2003 5:45 PM
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject: Viral licenses (was: wxWindows library...)
> "...The GPL license is not viral..."
> I sense there are two senses to this word "viral". I'm really 
> interested in this so I'll appreciate any input. One sense is 
> the GPL is viral because it spreads itself over derivatives 
> i.e. forces derivatives to be distributed under GPL (if 
> distributed at all, that is subsumed).* Is there another 
> sense, perhaps more 'legal'? Thanks a lot. _____ *Other open 
> source licenses (not many) are viral in this sense.
> --
> license-discuss archive is at

license-discuss archive is at