@jwildeboer EUPL closes the network use loophole in a similar manner, EUPL is not viral, though. It's sort of "LAGPL".

@Steinar @jwildeboer can we not use the word "viral" to describe "copyleft"?

It's a Microsoft-invented term to make copyleft licenses sound bad.

Language matters.

@rysiek @Steinar "Google is the new (old) Microsoft" is my working theory since a few years.

@jwildeboer @rysiek @Steinar old microsoft didn't go anywhere
they're riding the opensource trend because it means paying less developers, but by no means they're ever planning on being a good sw citizen.

@rysiek @Steinar @jwildeboer I think it's about time to start using good sounding terms indeed.

I heard once:
copyleft = forever-open
permissive = temporarily-open

@t0k @rysiek @jwildeboer We need a word for the LGPL category too. LGPL can't be "swallowed" like BSD, but can be used as an integral part of a closed system.

@Steinar @rysiek @jwildeboer I think LGPL qualifies as forever-open too. It just allows that a closed-source ecosystem grows around.

@mangeurdenuage @rysiek @jwildeboer How about 'forever-libre', 'forever-free'?

As I understand free/libre implies forever-open but not the other way.

So there could be a forever-open license which for instance forbids the use of the code. It would be open but not free.

Does go along with your argument?

@t0k @mangeurdenuage @rysiek @jwildeboer free/libre/open do not have technical differences in this context, the definitions for a free or open license are effectively the same.

The difference is to which greater context you are signaling belonging, the corporate-oriented (open) or the user-oriented (free/libre).

@marxjohnson @rysiek @Steinar @jwildeboer Yes, I heard it before. But my intuition does not understand it 😆.

@pettter @rysiek @Steinar @jwildeboer sorry, I don't understand. Are you hinting that proprietary licenses are viral?

@paoloredaelli In any sense that copyleft licenses are viral, so are proprietary ones, and often more.

@pettter @paoloredaelli The whole "viral" argument is IMHO planted by proprietary vendors long ago to attack FOSS. It is a term that should never be used it only helps "them".

@jwildeboer @pettter I know, I'm aware of that FUD. A license that solidly protects user rights is persistent, like GPL, LGPL and AGPL.


It still doesn't make the term "viral" useful in a positive way, IMHO. Quite the opposite, again IMHO.

@rysiek @webmink @pettter @Steinar @paoloredaelli

@jwildeboer @rysiek @webmink @pettter @Steinar @paoloredaelli The term "viral" doesn't have to be useful in a positive way, and in this space it wasn't originally intended to. For constructive use, the other terms suggested here are better.

@pettter @rysiek @Steinar @jwildeboer With this in mind, I think terms like “censor resistant” or “censor immune” would make a lot of sense. Hell, the term I use most often is “robust”

@rysiek @Steinar When someone says GPL and viral together, I immediately suspect that person opposes Software Freedom. And I tell them that. Has worked quite well ;)

@jwildeboer @rysiek @Steinar The reason I use the world "viral" is because it's a battlecry designed to strike fear into the hearts of our corporate masters. The infection comparison makes it clear they are under no circumstances to touch what is ours 🙂

@rysiek @Steinar @jwildeboer

I completely agree!

I like to use the word protecting and non-protecting licenses as a counter part instead. Copyleft licenses protects the rights you were granted and non-copyleft licenses doesn't protect your rights.

@rysiek @Steinar @jwildeboer is viral a drop-in synonym for copyleft? I thought it was used to differentiate licenses like GPL from LGPL, which are both copyleft (but I wouldn't consider LGPL "viral")

@benjaminpaikjones @Steinar @jwildeboer either way, it needs to be retired. We need a term that is not pejoratively charged.

@rysiek @Steinar @jwildeboer that's true. And we do have those terms now that I think about it- strong v. weak copyleft!

@benjaminpaikjones @rysiek @Steinar @jwildeboer That's also the terms that the CERN OHL (Open Hardware License) is using for its variants OHL-S (strongly-reciprocal) and OHL-W (weakly-reciprocal).

Even though as I understand OHL is not based on copyright law in the same way as GPL/LGPL is.

@t0k @benjaminpaikjones @rysiek @Steinar yeah. Every few years some folks come along saying we need new words. But I never really understand why. We have all the terms we need (permissive, non-permissive, weak/strong copyleft) since years. They are well defined and mostly understood in good ways. But I guess some people just WANT new terms to create confusion. Divide et impera ;)

@t0k @benjaminpaikjones @rysiek @Steinar @jwildeboer The relationship between hardware and copyright is a bit more complicated than that between software and hardware.

@whvholst @rysiek @jwildeboer @t0k @Steinar @benjaminpaikjones Still, in the end you're either allowed to create derivatives or you're not, and it's conditional on you paying that privilege forward, or it's not.

It's possible that "reciprocal" is more immediately-obvious to newcomers than "copyleft", and it's a term used by some other licenses and entities too. But that's not really related to how copyrightable, pattern-protectable or other neighboring rights-able hardware is.

The surface terminology still applies even though the licenses may need to be implemented using different legal language.

@clacke @rysiek @jwildeboer @t0k @Steinar @benjaminpaikjones The notion of derivation is very much a copyright thing (and very fuzzy in copyright law). Like I said, the relationship between hardware and copyright is complicated and putting requirements on derivation may be moot if copyright is not in play to begin with. So it's nowhere near as binary as you present it. In a lot of cases the honest answer is "I don't know".

@whvholst @rysiek @jwildeboer @t0k @Steinar @benjaminpaikjones ARM doesn't seem to have a problem licensing it's designs. If you need a license, you're in a situation where copyleft can apply.

@clacke @rysiek @jwildeboer @t0k @Steinar @benjaminpaikjones ARM operates in a space in which the applicablity of patents *and* semiconductor topology rights are without legal controversy. Apples and oranges comparison.

@clacke @rysiek @jwildeboer @t0k @Steinar @benjaminpaikjones Yes, unless those designs would involve ASICs. Come to think of it, FPGAs are an interesting edge case here, again. Basically, in hardware you cannot solely rely on copyright because the "maker's mark" is not always there. So you end up with more exotic IPR that typically requires (some form of) registration (patents, semiconductor topologies). Which doesn't work too well with open hardware either. So, it's very, very messy.

@clacke @rysiek @jwildeboer @t0k @Steinar @benjaminpaikjones All of this is perfectly navigable for players like ARM, much less so for open hardware projects. I do recommend the stuff Andrew Katz has written about this, including talks at FOSDEM.

@whvholst @rysiek @jwildeboer @t0k @Steinar @benjaminpaikjones I don't see why ASICs would be very different from a fixed medium like a CD-ROM, but law has done weirder things.

I see why they might be treated different from FPGAs, which I suppose might be treated more like executing software or somewhere in between.

Thanks for the suggestion on material, I'll check that out.

@clacke @rysiek @jwildeboer @t0k @Steinar @benjaminpaikjones You're now confusing a medium for data storage with an object of an imaginary property right. Those aren't in the same category at all.

@whvholst @clacke @rysiek @jwildeboer @Steinar @benjaminpaikjones You seem to be well informed. Do you know the CERN OHL (Open Hardware Licence)? What is your opinion about it regarding ASICs?

@t0k @clacke @rysiek @jwildeboer @Steinar @benjaminpaikjones I haven't really looked at the last version yet. At first cursory glance I don't like it from a legal clarity viewpoint. It is very copyright-oriented, but without making clear what "property rights" are in play. Unlike the GPL which makes it abudantly clear that it is a copyright license first and foremost, and if necessary also a patent license.

@emacsomancer For the intellectual discussions, sure. For day to day use I describe GPL style as Share-Alike, because that is what it means and that term is also used in the CC world (Creative Commons).

@benjaminpaikjones @rysiek @Steinar

@jwildeboer Share-Alike makes sense if your audience already knows CC.

@robby Heredity makes sense too, but sounds more passive than reciprocal.

@benjaminpaikjones @rysiek @Steinar

@emacsomancer Well, yes. When we are in a setting where we compare BSD and GPL style licensing, it's not really a stretch that people know what CC licensing is IMHO. @benjaminpaikjones @rysiek @Steinar @robby

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!