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Re: GPL question

From: mike3
Subject: Re: GPL question
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2007 17:36:33 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Oct 13, 2:46 pm, John Hasler <> wrote:
> mike3 writes:
> > As for the "viral", that's just what I call it.
> Viral implies that it is infectious and can spread in a disease-like
> fashion.  According to Microsoft this means that if you ever let any GPL
> code onto your property every piece of software you ever have or ever will
> write might become infected and have to be released under the GPL.

That's not what I mean by the term. What I mean is if you choose to
GPL code in your programs, then if you wish to distribute those
programs, you must do so under GPL -- and not just the GPLed part,
but the entire original part that you put your little heart and soul
making as well. Otherwise, you cannot use the GPL code in them,
unless of course you managed to secure an alternative licensing
agreement from the author(s). That's what "viral", in _my_ book,

> > ...If you choose to use GPL code in your program, even if only a few
> > lines, then you are legally obligated to release the entire program, not
> > just the GPL code,
> You are not required to release it at all.  It is just that if you choose
> to release it you must do so under the terms of the GPL.

That's what I meant. I thought that's "understood". Of *course* you
don't have to release it. I'm talking about from the perspective
of what happens if you do want to release it.

> > What other word is there for it?
> How about GPL?
> BTW "a few lines" generally don't qualify for copyright at all.

No, I guess not. What I'm talking about is where you _do_ use
enough material that qualifies for copyright. Then since you
have agreed to the terms of the license, you must now release
any original work that uses that scrap of GPL code as GPL,
or not release it at all (or not use the code, but that's understood,

> --
> John Hasler
> Dancing Horse Hill
> Elmwood, WI USA

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