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Abstract

While there is a growing body of literature dealing with the General Public License (“GPL”), the potential viral effects of the GPL do not appear to have been analyzed in a detailed technical manner. This paper will attempt to demonstrate that a proper legal analysis of the viral effects of the GPL is dependent on a detailed technical understanding of the specific mechanisms used for each type of program-to-program interaction. Once these technical mechanisms are properly understood it will then be possible to identify the applicable copyright law needed to assess the viral effects of the GPL.