Subject: Re: "On Virus" -- get real
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 1999 10:22:14 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Bernard" == Bernard Lang <Bernard.Lang@inria.fr> writes:

    Bernard> a major difference between virus and heredity:

    Bernard>  - heredity is (usually) transmitted knowingly through
    Bernard> deliberate action (everyone is supposed to have read
    Bernard> licenses)

    Bernard>  - virus are transmitted without awareness of the
    Bernard> concerned people (hence the derogatory aspect of the
    Bernard> thing)

    Bernard>   but this must have been said before.

Please, don't go there.  This flaw is _distressingly_ easy to remedy.

And of course, heredity is transmitted by knowing acts on the part of
the _parents_; if they have, for example, lived near Chernobyl before
conception, this can be considered abuse of their _unwitting_ progeny.

On the other hand, the GPL is knowingly (except for a large number of
Mr. Greenberg's clients ;-) adopted by the _child_ without any direct
communication with the parents(s), who may remain completely unaware
of their parenthood.

"Inherited" is a reasonable technical term to described the
relationship between the license on original works and the license on
derived works.  It simply does not do justice to the social relations
surrounding and created by the GPL in the software development
community, and therefore is not an appropriate replacement for the
allegedly derogatory term.

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