GNU General Public License

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GNU General Public License

GNU General Public License

A software license from the Free Software Foundation (FSF) that ensures every user receives the essential freedoms that define "free" software, which is free of restrictions (see free software). Also called "GPL" and "GNU GPL," it was created to distribute the software of the GNU operating system (see GNU). Approximately 70% of free software packages are released under this license, including most GNU programs and thousands of others. The GNU General Public License is also considered an open source license (see open source).

Copyleft, Not Copyright
The license embodies the Free Software Foundation's "copyleft" rule, which means that anyone is allowed to make changes or extend the source code and redistribute it as long as the changes are clearly marked, and the modified work is also licensed under the GNU General Public License.

Version 3 (GPLv3)
In 2007, Version 3 of the license was released to address several issues. It forbids Tivoization, which is the practice of designing hardware to prevent modified software from running on it (see Tivoization), and it is designed to yield results that are more uniform between countries despite variations in their copyright laws. GPLv3 also provides explicit protection to users and redistributors of a program against being sued for patent infringements by organizations connected with the program's development.

The GNU Lesser GPL (LGPL)
The GNU Lesser General Public License is meant for free software that allows linking with non-free software. It was originally called the "GNU Library GPL," but the name was changed to remove the implication that all libraries should be licensed this way. "Lesser" means the license does less to protect the user's freedom than the regular GNU GPL. See GNU Affero General Public License, free software, open source, copyright, Free Software Foundation and GNU.



The GPL Notification
Increasingly, people open up consumer electronics packages and find a GPL license inside. This license from NETGEAR's Google TV set-top box was printed in September 2012.
References in periodicals archive ?
The GNU Public License, a popular license for Open-Source software, covers almost all of the software.
Artifex is a pioneer in open source software providing page description language renderers for PDF, PostScript, XPS, and PCL under the GNU Public License (GPL) and also under standard commercial license terms for those companies unwilling or unable to comply with the terms and conditions of the GPL.
McCabe's panel is timely, given that the Free Software Foundation is expected to release a new GNU Public License (GPL), GPL v3, in early July, following an in-depth community review process.
the leader in open source enterprise content management (ECM), today announced that it is now offering Alfresco JLAN, formerly known as the Alfresco Intelligent File System, under the GNU Public License (GPL), the world's most popular open source software license.
All scripts for automatic build creation will be contributed to the community and covered by GNU Public License (GPL).
WebLOAD Open Source, licensed under the GNU Public License (GPL) version 2, is based on WebLOAD, the company's flagship product that is already deployed at 1,600 sites.
InfoWorld reports, "a complete IP PBX released as open source under the GNU Public License, Asterisk is built to run on commodity hardware, providing considerable cost savings when compared with commercial alternatives, and it leverages the open source community for additional testing, bug fixes, and feature development.
Quagga, distributed as part of GNU public license, provides open source routing protocols such as OSPF, BGP, and IS-IS for Unix based hosts.
Linux is Free Open Source Software (FOSS), based on the GNU Public License (GPL), which provides customers with the assurance that the source for their platform will always be freely available.