Subject: Re: Dual licensing
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 11:51:34 -0700

Quoting Marius Amado Alves (

> No troll. I just said that to link to a previous point of mine, namely 
> that dual-licensing requires a "reciprocal" license.
> [Technically, viral = reciprocal. This has been discussed before. The 
> difference is merely of perspective. 

Ah, just like "relocation camp" versus "concentration camp" is just a
matter of perspective, and reflects absolutely no intent to prejudice
discussion through loaded rhetoric.  I see.  ;->

> Naturally license authors and grantors prefer the positively connoted
> "reciprocal".

I tend to favour whatever term is most descriptive and rhetorically
neutral.  "Copyleft" strikes me as actually slightly better in the
latter department, but needs to be explained to the uninitiated.

The polemical nature of "viral" in this context, by contrast, strikes me
as completely self-evident.

> Naturally users that find themselves restricted in some way by a
> reciprocal license (e.g. dual-licensing costumers) will understand and
> use the term "viral" better. 

That does not strike me as "natural", but rather as special pleading and
(most precisely to the point) factual inaccuracy:  It is erroneous to
claim that such users are thereby "restricted" -- as that term carries
with it the incorrect corollary assumption of entitlement.  The users
have been generously granted a particular bundle of rights by the
copyright owner, and would (hypothetically) prefer to have even more
rights -- to something they do not own.

My sympathy for people wanting property that doesn't belong to them is
pretty minimal.  Where that property is software, I'm usually inclined
to advise them that they're welcome to buy, commission, or write
something that suits them better.  I'll even recommend a compiler or

> And when discussing that perspective it's correct to use it too. 

I _will_ agree that the attitude is common -- but not correct -- up to
about the age of six.  Afterwards, one expects youngsters to understand
that generosity is not entitlement.

license-discuss archive is at