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Encyclopedia > Copyleft
The "reversed c in a full circle" is the copyleft symbol. It is the copyright symbol mirrored. Unlike the copyright symbol it has no legal meaning.
The "reversed c in a full circle" is the copyleft symbol. It is the copyright symbol mirrored. Unlike the copyright symbol it has no legal meaning.

Copyleft is a play on the word copyright and is the practice of using copyright law to remove restrictions on distributing copies and modified versions of a work for others and requiring that the same freedoms be preserved in modified versions. Image File history File links Copyleft. ... Image File history File links Copyleft. ... Copyright symbol Copyright is a set of exclusive rights regulating the use of a particular expression of an idea or information. ... Copyright symbol Copyright is a set of exclusive rights regulating the use of a particular expression of an idea or information. ... The copyright symbol is used to give notice that a work is covered by copyright. ...


Copyleft is a form of licensing and may be used to modify copyrights for works such as computer software, documents, music, and art. In general, copyright law allows an author to prohibit others from reproducing, adapting, or distributing copies of the author's work. In contrast, an author may, through a copyleft licensing scheme, give every person who receives a copy of a work permission to reproduce, adapt or distribute the work as long as any resulting copies or adaptations are also bound by the same copyleft licensing scheme. A widely used and originating copyleft license is the GNU General Public License (GPL). Similar licenses are available through Creative Commons - called Share-alike. To license or grant license is to give permission. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Computer program. ... // Music is an art form consisting of sound and silence expressed through time. ... The Bath, a painting by Mary Cassatt (1844–1926). ... This montage of different images is an example of a derivative work In copyright law, a derivative work is an artistic creation that includes major, basic copyrighted aspects of an original, previously created first work. ... The GNU logo The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a widely-used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project. ... The Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative work available for others legally to build upon and share. ... A share-alike copyright license clause requires that any improved version of the work be shared on like terms with everyone else—that is, share and share alike. ...


Copyleft may also be characterized as a copyright licensing scheme in which an author surrenders some but not all rights under copyright law. Instead of allowing a work to fall completely into the public domain (where no copyright restrictions are imposed), copyleft allows an author to impose some but not all copyright restrictions on those who want to engage in activities that would otherwise be considered copyright infringement. Under copyleft, copyright infringement may be avoided if the would-be infringer perpetuates the same copyleft scheme. For this reason copyleft licenses are also known as reciprocal licenses.

Contents

History

The concept of copyleft arose when Richard Stallman was working on a Lisp interpreter. Symbolics asked to use the Lisp interpreter, and Stallman agreed to supply them with a public domain version of his work. Symbolics extended and improved the Lisp interpreter, but when Stallman wanted access to the improvements that Symbolics had made to his interpreter, Symbolics refused. Stallman then, in 1984, proceeded to work towards eradicating this emerging behavior and culture of proprietary software, which he named software hoarding.[2] Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated rms (lower case),[1] is a software freedom activist, hacker,[2] and software developer. ... Lisp is a family of computer programming languages with a long history and a distinctive fully-parenthesized syntax. ... Year 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar). ... It has been suggested that closed source be merged into this article or section. ... Software hoarding is the creation of proprietary software products based on free software code. ...


As Stallman deemed it impractical in the short term to eliminate current copyright law and the wrongs he perceived it perpetuating, he decided to work within the framework of existing law; he created his own copyright license, the Emacs General Public License [3], the first copyleft license. This later evolved into the GNU General Public License (GPL), which is now one of the most popular Free Software licenses. For the first time a copyright holder had taken steps to ensure that the maximal number of rights be perpetually transferred to a program's users, no matter what subsequent revisions anyone made to the original program. This original GPL did not grant rights to the public at large, only those who had already received the program; but it was the best that could be done under existing law. The new license was not at this time given the copyleft label.[4] Lady Justice or Justitia is a personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system (particularly in Western art). ... The GNU logo The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a widely-used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project. ...


The term copyleft, according to some sources, came from a message contained in Tiny BASIC, a freely distributed version of BASIC written by Dr. Li-Chen Wang in the late 1970s. The program listing contained the phrases "@COPYLEFT" and "ALL WRONGS RESERVED", puns on "copyright" and "all rights reserved", a phrase commonly used in copyright statements. Richard Stallman stated that it comes from Don Hopkins, whom he calls a very imaginative fellow, who mailed him a letter in 1984 or 1985 on which was written: "Copyleft—all rights reversed." [5] The term "kopyleft" with the notation "All Rites Reversed" was also in use in the early 1970s within the Principia Discordia, which may have inspired Hopkins or influenced other usage. And in the arts Ray Johnson had earlier coined the term independently as it pertained to his making of and distribution of his mixed media imagery in his mail art and ephemeral gifts, for which he encouraged the making of derivative works [6] (While the phrase itself appears briefly as (or on) one of his pieces in the 2002 documentary How to Draw a Bunny, Johnson himself is not referenced in the 2001 documentary Revolution OS.) Tiny BASIC is a dialect of BASIC that can fit into as little as 2 or 3 KB of memory. ... BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of high-level programming languages. ... Dr. Li-Chen Wang (1936 - ) wrote Palo Alto Tiny BASIC for Intel 8080-based microcomputers. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ... Don Hopkins is an artist and programmer specializing in computer-human interaction and computer graphics. ... Year 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar). ... All Rites Reversed (or All Rights Reversed) is a term from the Principia Discordia that is used generally in Discordianism and similar subcultures. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ... The Loompanics Yellow Cover combined 4th & 5th Edition Principia Discordia, (1979). ... Raymond Edward Johnson (1927 - 1995) was an important post-Surrealism, pre-Pop collage artist. ... Mail art is art which uses the postal system as a medium. ... Raymond Edward Johnson (1927 - 1995) was an important post-Surrealism, pre-Pop collage artist. ... Promotional poster for two disc edition of Revolution OS Revolution OS is a documentary which traces the history of GNU, Linux, Free Software and the Open Source movement. ...


There are definitional problems with the term "copyleft" which contribute to controversy over it. The term originated as an amusing back-formation from the term "copyright", and was originally a noun, meaning the copyright license terms of the GNU General Public License originated by Richard Stallman as part of the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) work. Thus, "your program is covered by the copyleft" is almost considered to mean the same as the program being GPLed. When used as a verb, as in "he copylefted his most recent version", it is less precise and can refer to any of several similar licenses, or indeed a notional imaginary license for discussion purposes. In linguistics, a noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded in October 1985 by Richard Stallman to support the free software movement (free as in freedom), and in particular the GNU project. ...


Applying copyleft

Common practice for using copyleft is to codify the copying terms for a work with a license. Any such license typically gives each person possessing a copy of the work the same freedoms as the author, including (from the Free Software Definition): To license or grant license is to give permission. ... This article is about free software as defined by the Free Software Foundation. ...

  1. the freedom to use and study the work,
  2. the freedom to copy and share the work with others,
  3. the freedom to change the work,
  4. and the freedom to distribute changed and therefore derivative works.

These freedoms do not ensure that a derivative work will be distributed under the same liberal terms. In order for the work to be truly copyleft, the license has to ensure that the author of a derived work can only distribute such works under the same or equivalent license. This montage of different images is an example of a derivative work In copyright law, a derivative work is an artistic creation that includes major, basic copyrighted aspects of an original, previously created first work. ... An obligation can be legal or moral. ...


In addition to restrictions on copying, copyleft licenses address other possible impediments. These include ensuring the rights cannot be later revoked and requiring the work and its derivatives are provided in a form that facilitates modification. In software, this requires that the source code of the derived work is made available. A revoke (also called a renege) is a violation of important rules regarding the play of tricks in trick-taking card games serious enough to render the round invalid. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Computer program. ... Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ...


Copyleft licenses necessarily make creative use of relevant rules and laws. For example, when using copyright law, those who contribute to a work under copyleft usually must gain, defer or assign copyright holder status. By submitting the copyright of their contributions under a copyleft license, they deliberately give up some of the rights that normally follow from copyright, including the right to be the unique distributor of copies of the work.


Some laws used for copyleft licenses vary from one country to another, and may also be granted in terms that vary from country to country. For example, in some countries it is acceptable to sell a software product without warranty, in standard GNU GPL style (see articles 11 and 12 of the GNU GPL version 2), while in most European countries it is not permitted for a software distributor to waive all warranties regarding a sold product. For this reason the extent of such warranties are specified in most European copyleft licenses. Regarding that, see the CeCILL license, a license that allows one to use GNU GPL (see article 5.3.4 of CeCILL) in combination with a limited warranty (see article 9 of CeCILL). World map showing the location of Europe. ... A waiver is the voluntary relinquishment or surrender of some known right or privilege. ...


Types of copyleft and relation to other licenses

See also: Free software licences (Freedom preserving restrictions)

Copyleft is a distinguishing feature of some free software licenses. Copyleft even became a divisive issue in the ideological strife between the Open Source Initiative and the free software movement.[7] Many free software licenses are not copyleft licenses because they do not require the licensee to distribute derivative works under the same license. There is an ongoing debate as to which class of license provides the greater degree of freedom. This debate hinges on complex issues such as the definition of freedom and whose freedoms are more important, or whether to maximize the freedom of all potential future recipients of a work (freedom from the creation of proprietary software). Non-copyleft free software licenses maximize the freedom of the initial recipient (freedom to create proprietary software). Free software is software which grants recipients the freedom to modify and redistribute the software. ... Clockwise from top: The logo of the GNU Project (the GNU head), the Linux kernel mascot Tux the Penguin, and the FreeBSD daemon Free software is a term coined by Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation[1] to refer to software that can be used, studied, and modified without... The Open Source Initiative is an organization dedicated to promoting open source software. ... The free software movement, also known as the free software philosophy, began in 1983 when Richard Stallman announced the GNU Project. ... This article is about Free Software as defined by the sociopolitical Free Software movement; for information on software distributed without charge, see freeware. ... Mohandas K. Gandhi - Freedom can be achieved through inner sovereignty. ...


In common with the Creative Commons share-alike licensing system, GNU's Free Documentation License allows authors to apply limitations to certain sections of their work, exempting some parts of their creation from the full copyleft mechanism. In the case of the GFDL, these limitations include the use of invariant sections, which may not be altered by future editors. The initial intention of the GFDL was as a device for supporting the documentation of copylefted software. The result is however that it can be used for any kind of document. In general terms, documentation is any communicable material (such as text, video, audio, etc. ...


Strong and weak copyleft

The copyleft governing a work is considered to be "stronger", to the extent that the copyleft provisions can be efficiently imposed on all kinds of derived works. "Weak copyleft" refers to licenses where not all derived works inherit the copyleft license; whether a derived work inherits or not often depends on the manner in which it was derived.


"Weak copyleft" licences are generally used for the creation of software libraries, to allow other software to link to the library, and then be redistributed without the legal requirement for the work to be distributed under the library's copyleft license. Only changes to the weak copylefted software itself become subject to the copyleft provisions of such a license, not changes to the software that links to it. This allows programs of any license to be compiled and linked against copylefted libraries such as glibc (the GNU project's implementation of the C standard library), and then redistributed without any re-licensing required. In computer science, a library is a collection of subprograms used to develop software. ... Glibc is the GNU projects C standard library. ... The GNU logo, drawn by Etienne Suvasa The GNU Project was announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman. ... The C standard library is a now-standardised collection of header files and library routines used to implement common operations, such as input/output and string handling, in the C programming language. ...


The most well known free software license that uses strong copyleft is the GNU General Public License. Free software licenses that use "weak" copyleft include the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) [8] and the Mozilla Public License. Examples of non-copyleft free software licenses include the X11 license, Apache license and the BSD licenses. GNU logo The GNU Lesser General Public License (formerly the GNU Library General Public License) is a free software license published by the Free Software Foundation. ... In computing, the Mozilla Public License (MPL) is an open source and free software license. ... The MIT License, also called the X License or the X11 License, originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a license for the use of certain types of computer software. ... The Apache License (Apache Software License previous to version 2. ... The BSD license is a permissive license and is one of the most widely used free software licenses. ...


The Design Science License is a strong copyleft license that can apply to any work that is not software, documentation, or art, such as music, sports photography, and video. It is hosted on the Free Software Foundation website's license list, but it is not considered compatible with the GPL by the Free Software Foundation. Design Science License (DSL) is a copyleft license for free content such as text, images, and music. ...


Full and partial copyleft

"Full" and "partial" copyleft relate to another issue: Full copyleft is when all parts of a work (except the license itself) can be modified by consecutive authors. Partial copyleft exempts some parts of the work from the copyleft provisions, thus permitting unrestricted modification, or in some other way does not impose all the principles of copylefting on the work. For example, in artistic creation full copylefting is sometimes not possible or desirable (see below).


Share-alike

Many share-alike licenses are partial (or non-full) copyleft licenses. Share-alike, however, imposes the requirement that any freedom that is granted regarding the original work (or its copies), must be granted on exactly the same terms in any derived work: this further implies that any full copyleft license is automatically a share-alike license (but not the other way around!). Instead of using copyright's "all rights reserved" motto, or full copyleft's "no rights reserved", share-alike licenses rather use the "some rights reserved" statement. Some permutations of the Creative Commons licenses are examples of share-alike. A share-alike copyright license clause requires that any improved version of the work be shared on like terms with everyone else—that is, share and share alike. ... Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation founded in 2001. ...


Is copyleft "viral"?

Copyleft licenses are sometimes referred to as viral copyright licenses, because any works derived from a copyleft work must themselves be copyleft when distributed. The term GPV or "GNU General Public Virus" has a long and rich history on the Internet, dating back to shortly after the GPL was first conceived[1][2][3]. Many BSD License advocates used the term derisively[4][5][6] in regards to the GPL's tendency to absorb BSD licensed code without allowing the original BSD work to benefit from it, while at the same time promoting itself as "freer" than other licenses. More recently, Microsoft has used language with this term.[7] The term viral is used as an analogy of computer viruses. According to FSF compliance engineer David Turner, it creates a misunderstanding and a fear of using copylefted free software.[8] Viral phenomena are objects or patterns able to replicate themselves or convert other objects into copies of themselves when these objects are exposed to them. ... The BSD license is a permissive license and is one of the most widely used free software licenses. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. ... The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded in October 1985 by Richard Stallman to support the free software movement (free as in freedom), and in particular the GNU project. ...


The terms of traditional copyright are more restrictive than any imposed by copyleft licenses. Popular copyleft licenses such as the GPL have a clause allowing components to interact with non-copyleft components as long as the communication is abstract, such as executing a command-line tool with a set of switches or interacting with a Web server. As a consequence, even if one module of an otherwise non-copyleft product is placed under the GPL, it may still be legal for other components to communicate with it normally. This communication may or may not include reusing libraries or routines via dynamic linking — some commentators say it does, the FSF asserts it does not and explicitly adds an exception allowing it in the license for the GNU Classpath re-implementation of the Java library. A linker or link editor is a program that takes one or more objects generated by compilers and assembles them into a single executable program. ... Some free software projects, notably GNU Guile,[1] the run-time libraries of GNAT,[1] and GNU Classpath,[2] distribute code under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) but with an additional section known as the GPL linking exception. ... GNU Classpath is a project aiming to create a free implementation of the standard class library for the Java programming language. ...


In the sense that redistributions and copies of copyleft material will always remain copyleft, the applicability of the adjective viral is trivial. It is also trivially applicable, ironically enough, to copyright. In the case of copyright, however, the viral agent has more restricted fecundity. In memetic terms, copyleft has higher fitness (if this is taken to be analogous to the meaning of the term in genetics). Fecundity is the potential reproductive capacity of an organism or population, measured by the number of gametes (e. ... Memetics is an approach to evolutionary models of information transfer based on the concept of the meme. ... Fitness (often denoted in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory. ... DNA, the molecular basis for inheritance. ...


See also

Free software Portal

Image File history File links Portal. ... Anti-copyright refers to the opposition to copyright laws. ... All Rites Reversed (or All Rights Reversed) is a term from the Principia Discordia that is used generally in Discordianism and similar subcultures. ... All Rites Reversed (or All Rights Reversed) is a term from the Principia Discordia that is used generally in Discordianism and similar subcultures. ... It is proposed that this article be deleted, because of the following concern: Non-encyclopedic essay If you can address this concern by improving, copyediting, sourcing, renaming or merging the page, please edit this page and do so. ... Copyleft art is art that uses the notion of copyleft to make creative collaboration and distribution unrestricted for artistic works rather than experience the traditional hampering cooperation between artists. ... A copyleft patent is increasingly being suggested for patents, especially in the context of the struggle for software patents in the European Union. ... Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation founded in 2001. ... The Free Culture Movement is a student led movement that supports freedom of speech on the Internet and objects to overly restrictive copyright laws, which, members of the movement argue, hinders creativity. ... The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded in October 1985 by Richard Stallman to support the free software movement (free as in freedom), and in particular the GNU project. ... The legal aspects of technology involve many different terms. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... A share-alike copyright license clause requires that any improved version of the work be shared on like terms with everyone else—that is, share and share alike. ... The GNU logo The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a widely-used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project. ... Styles of licensing free software and free content are often categorised into two approaches. ...

Notes and references

  1. ^ Vixie, Paul (2006-03-06). Re: Section 5.2 (IPR encumberance) in TAK rollover requirement draft. IETF Namedroppers mailing list. Retrieved on 2007-04-29.
  2. ^ General Public Virus. Jargon File 2.2.1 (1990-12-15). Retrieved on 2007-04-29.
  3. ^ Hackvän, Stig (September 1999). "Reverse-engineering the GNU Public Virus — Is copyleft too much of a good thing?". Linux Journal. Retrieved on 2007-04-29. 
  4. ^ Stewart, Bill (1998-10-08). Re: propose: `cypherpunks license' (Re: Wanted: Twofish source code). Cypherpunks mailing list. Retrieved on 2007-04-29.
  5. ^ Buck, Joe (2000-10-10). Re: Using of parse tree externally. GCC mailing list. Retrieved on 2007-04-29.
  6. ^ Griffis, L. Adrian (2000-07-15). The GNU Public Virus. Retrieved on 2007-04-29.
  7. ^ http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/craig/05-03sharedsource.mspx
  8. ^ Brucy Byfield. 10 common misunderstandings about the GPL.[1]

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 65th day of the year (66th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is charged with developing and promoting Internet standards. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 119th day of the year (120th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Jargon File is a glossary of hacker slang. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 119th day of the year (120th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Linux Journal is a monthly magazine published by SpecializedSystemsConsultants (SSC) of Seattle, first published in March 1994. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 119th day of the year (120th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 281st day of the year (282nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The cypherpunks comprise an informal group of people interested in privacy and cryptography who originally communicated through the cypherpunks mailing list. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 119th day of the year (120th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 283rd day of the year (284th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The GNU Compiler Collection (usually shortened to GCC) is a set of programming language compilers produced by the GNU Project. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 119th day of the year (120th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 119th day of the year (120th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Look up copyleft in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Copyleft - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3329 words)
The copylefted code is assumed to be of significant benefit to the person adapting it, as evidenced by their desire to use it, and supporters of the GPL argue that it would be wrong to modify that software and then prevent others from using the modified version under the original license.
Copyleft also inspired the arts (especially where traditional notions of intellectual property are experienced as hampering creativity and/or creative collaboration and/or easy distribution of art creations), with movements like the Libre Society and open-source record labels emerging.
Copyleft enables volunteer programmers and organizations to feel involved and contribute to software and feel confident any future derivatives will remain accessible to them, and that their contributions are part of a larger goal, like developing the kernel of an OS.
Encyclopedia4U - Copyleft - Encyclopedia Article (699 words)
Copyleft is the application of copyright law to ensure public freedom to manipulate, improve, and redistribute a work of authorship and all derivative works.
In copyleft, the copyright holder grants an irrevocable license to the recipient of a copy, permitting the redistribution (including sale) of possibly modified further copies, under the condition that all those copies carry the same license and are made available in a form which facilitates modification.
Copyleft is one of the key features in free software/open source licences, and is the licenses' legal framwork to ensure that derivatives of the licenced work stay free/open.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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