The GPL is viral. Its intent is to "infect" derivative works to prevent someone from trying to grab the rights to use and distribute the software (or other product).
I have never liked the term "viral" being associated with the GPL. I assume the term is used because a virus can be spread from one person (piece of software in this case?) to another. The GPL only "infects" its children (derivitive works). If we want to stick to biology then this is just heredity. Making the GPL sound like a disease is very misleading...
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