Subject: Re: "viral" (was RE: Licensing options for firmware)
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 07 Apr 2005 00:23:28 -0400

Joel West <> writes:

> The GPL does propagate, through inheritance not casual contact. It analogous to the
way a virus propagates at the cellular level (not the social level).
> 	A virus makes use of existing enzymes and other molecules of
> 	a host cell to create more virus particles....
> 	Viruses have genes and show inheritance, but are reliant on
> 	host cells to produce new generations of viruses.
> So call it "DNA-viral" not "HIV-viral" (which is obviously pejorative).

This is a false analogy.  Viruses propagate by themselves.  The GPL
does not.  If nobody chooses to use the GPL, it will not be used.  If
nobody chooses to catch a cold, people will still catch colds.