General Public Virus: N. Pejorative Name For Some Versions Of The {GNU} Project {copyleft} Or General Public License (GPL)

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:General Public Virus: n. Pejorative name for some versions of the
{GNU} project {copyleft} or General Public License (GPL), which
requires that any tools or {app}s incorporating copylefted code
must be source-distributed on the same counter-commercial terms as
GNU stuff. Thus it is alleged that the copyleft `infects' software
generated with GNU tools, which may in turn infect other software
that reuses any of its code. The Free Software Foundation's
official position as of January 1991 is that copyright law limits
the scope of the GPL to "programs textually incorporating
significant amounts of GNU code", and that the `infection' is not
passed on to third parties unless actual GNU source is transmitted
(as in, for example, use of the Bison parser skeleton).
Nevertheless, widespread suspicion that the {copyleft} language
is `boobytrapped' has caused many developers to avoid using GNU
tools and the GPL. Recent (July 1991) changes in the language of
the version 2.00 license may eliminate this problem.
-- The AI Hackers Dictionary