@jwildeboer I was a little confused by his comment, because I didn't think mithro (Tim Ansel) worked for google. So I tracked down the issue in question. I found his later explanation even more disturbing and disappointing. Don't license AGPL because we *might* want to try to get funding from Google in the future. Wow...

@jwildeboer Sorry I missed that! We had the same reaction. smh

(I had assumed you deliberately didn't link to it, so I did the same.)

I had to sign some legal thing saying "I affirm that the project I'm developing/delivering does not include and third party libraries licensed under AGPL" while working @ Intel for what it's worth.
@p @jwildeboer That definitely sounds like Intel. I've never worked directly with them because they always want me to sign something unreasonable like not working with any other semiconductor company for 2 years after the end of the project.

@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 as a non-programmer-type i just think "meme" with that word now, but i guess i'm not seeing it in the more toxic context

@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.

@t0k @Steinar @rysiek @jwildeboer
>I think LGPL qualifies as forever-open too
>as forever-open too
I have to interject on this, what you are calling open may refer to open-source, which is completely different from what rms/fsf transmits with software freedom, or alternatively named free/libre software.

>It just allows that a closed-source ecosystem grows around.
LGPLv* licensed code permits the usage of it in proprietary code BUT the company/developers cannot restrain people from asking/getting the source code/modifications made in the said LGPLv* licensed code which is distributed with the proprietary code.

@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 @Steinar @rysiek @jwildeboer
>So there could be a forever-open license which for instance forbids the use of the code. It would be open but not free.
That's the openCore model, as far as I know it is mainly used by the unreal engine. A very scum like license.

The license gives too much power to the copyright owner.
The copyright owner can forbid people from using a said code in certain ways, for example if you create an adult game an it displeases you, you have legally require them to stop distribution of it.
Such power goes against Freedoms 2 and 3.
@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”

@feld @rysiek @Steinar @jwildeboer hereditary is a better word to describe copyleft than viral

@feld Yes, I think so, too. If somebody uses a GPL-licenced source file in a released program then I understand that the whole of that program has to be GPL. If that's right then GPL can reasonably be described as viral in a way that BSD, MIT or even LGPL wouldn't.

Personally, I'd never use GPL. The odds and ends I have released have generally been MIT/public domain. I could be persuaded to use LGPL, though.

@rysiek @Steinar @jwildeboer

@edavies @feld @rysiek @Steinar No. Because when you *know* how the GPL works, it is not a surprise or unavoidable thing. The term "viral" was specifically coined to insinuate it's accidental. It isn't.

@feld @rysiek @edavies @Steinar It's a license. Nothing more, nothing less. Some hate it, some like it. These over-the-top rhetorics are plain stupid IMHO.

@jwildeboer @rysiek @edavies @Steinar it restricts freedom. The lies and twisting of language is straight out of politics.

Freedom means freedom. If you have any strings attached, it's not free.

@feld @rysiek @edavies @Steinar @jwildeboer The AGPL gives you the freedom to do everything that doesn't restrict others' freedom.

Does freedom mean the freedom to attach strings for others?

@wizzwizz4 @rysiek @edavies @Steinar @jwildeboer if it's free I should be able to use it in a closed source context. no strings attached. free.

Free is not the opposite of closed/proprietary. Things can be closed/proprietary and still be free.

So many in the open source community are brainwashed into thinking "free" means "perpetually open source" which is NOT the same thing.

@feld @rysiek @edavies @Steinar @jwildeboer No to the first paragraph, no to the second paragraph, no to the first part of the third paragraph, yes to the final six words.

There are free software licenses that let you turn that software into non-free software. However, many copyleft licenses are still free software licenses.

@wizzwizz4 @rysiek @edavies @Steinar @jwildeboer there is no debate over the definition of "freedom". it's set in stone.

GPL restricts freedom, as do many other licenses.

GPL *preserves* access to the code. It does not provide freedom for the person who consumes the code.

@feld @rysiek @edavies @Steinar @jwildeboer

0. The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
1. The freedom to study and change the program.
2. The freedom to share the program with others, freely.
3. The freedom to share your modified versions with others, freely.

What do *you* mean by freedom?


0. the PRIVILEGE to run the program for any purpose
1. the PRIVILEGE to study and change the program
2. the PRIVILEGE to share the program with others, freely
3. the PRIVILEGE to share your modified version with others

privileges, not freedoms.

The ability for me to do anything I want with the code without anyone being able to tell me what I can and cannot do is the only true freedom.

You're just listing privileges masquerading as freedoms because they're Stallman's propaganda
@feld @wizzwizz4 The four freedoms are privileges in the sense that it's awesome to be able to do these things, and they are privileges relative to all-rights-reserved, as the latter is legally considered the default and software freedom a beneficial exception, but they are not privileges in the political theory sense.

The four freedoms do not entitle you to someone else's effort to provide anything to you, they are freedom from copyright enforcement, freedom from someone preventing you from doing these things. Absent copyright, they require no effort from anyone.

Free software licensing is an effort today, whether copyleft or non-reciprocal, because we need to document clearly that anyone in the position to remove our freedoms has given up the privilege (the entitlement to efforts from the state and its legal system) to do so.

@wizzwizz4 @feld @rysiek @edavies @Steinar It's the age old discussion that will never end. Is freedom baseed on reciprocity (GPL style) or does freedom mean no restrictions (BSD style). It will never be solved. Pick your side.

@jwildeboer @wizzwizz4 @rysiek @edavies @Steinar there is no discussion to be had. Only one side is trying to change the definition of words to fit their agenda.

Is it really that hard to say "The GPL preserves openness of the code for everyone" instead of lying and saying "it gives the consumers freedom, for our very niche definition of freedom"

@jwildeboer Agree, there are good reasons for both GPL and BSD/MIT. I wish I hadn't mentioned my preferences on that as my main point is that I don't think the use of the word “viral” here is anything like as pejorative as has been made out.

@wizzwizz4 @feld @rysiek @Steinar

@edavies Let me just put it this way. Working at Red Hat since 15 years and being in political lobbying for Software Freedom has made me very aware of the power of words. The endless discussions with legal departments that insist on "viral" and how GPL is somehow evil has hardened me. Sorry for that :) @wizzwizz4 @feld @rysiek @Steinar

The V-word was and still is used heavily by proprietary vendors as a form of scare tactics.
The argument is always "So one of your developers is trying to solve something and finds a library that helps solve that particular problem. It gets built and shipped, now everything you have is GPL and no one will pay for it."
It's an argument made to middle managers.

@edavies @wizzwizz4 @feld @rysiek @Steinar


See, it really doesn't matter. There is a philosophical, fundamental difference between BSD style and GPL style sharing/licensing. It cannot be overcome. If someone strongly prefers one side, so be it. We can happily coexist without a holy war on who is right IMHO. I can.

@edavies @wizzwizz4 @feld @rysiek @Steinar


Fundamentalism on both sides ultimately hurts us all. You can disagree with the other side but still support them, as the bigger, unifying goal is still to share knowledge and code. And that is something we should do. That's my position.

@edavies @wizzwizz4 @feld @rysiek @Steinar


Let's just accept that BSD style defines freedom as "Use as you want, nothing more" and GPL style defines freedom as "Use as you want IN THE SAME WAY we gave it to you". GPL style does NOT see that as restriction, they see it as necessary to protect the freedom they care about. That's the main difference it all boils down to. Accept and understand that difference. They are IMHO both valid positions to take.

@edavies @wizzwizz4 @feld @rysiek @Steinar

@jwildeboer @charly @edavies @feld @rysiek @Steinar It is a restriction of one's freedom, but restricting others' freedom is something Richard Stallman reckons that nobody (except his enemies) *wants* to do anyway.


And what many people also forget (or ignore) is that the GPL only kicks in fully when the modified code gets *distributed*.

As long as you keep the code and your changes to yourself and don't distribute them, you don't have to put everything under GPL or share your modifications.

@wizzwizz4 @edavies @feld @rysiek @Steinar

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