General Public Virus

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.

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