What is copyleft?

Licenses are often used to protect intellectual property. Software developers and authors may often protect their outputs by putting on a license. However, the burden on improving the outputs often lie on the creators and the holder of the copyright or license. Some creators choose to have open licenses when sharing their work, this is done with the intention Copyright holders of creative works can unilaterally choose these licenses for their own works to collaboratively share and improve those creative works.

License provide a lot of background to understanding the basis of free software. One of the reasons why people use free software is that people have the freedom to use software the way they want to, not the way the owners of the copyright may wish for the user to use it. Examples to illustrate this are formatting and compatibility issues when sending a document from a windows device to a Mac, or the availability of some programmes on some online app stores with some devices. A license or license is an official permission or permit to do, use, or own something. Copyright is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution while copyleft is a strategy of utilizing copyright law to pursue the policy goal of fostering and encouraging the equal and inalienable right to copy, share, modify and improve creative works of authorship.

Free software tries and make use of copyleft, the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License and the General Public License (GPL). Users can utilize the 4 freedoms

  • Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
  • Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works and change it to make it do what you wish.
  • Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute and make copies so you can help your neighbor.
  • Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

These freedoms and the licensing that grants these provide the foundation for software freedom, which is free not gratis.

Find out more information

Copyleft

https://www.gnu.org/copyleft/

GNU GPL

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.en.html

Licenses

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/License

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