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 ?
(9) See GNU General Public License, supra note 2 (declaring the terms of the GNU General Public License); Bennett M.
(59) Microsoft Corporation, What Is Microsoft's Concern with the GNU General Public License (GPL)?
It includes projects that embrace the GNU General Public License (GPL), which uses copyright licenses to require that modified versions also be free software, and projects such as FreeBSD, which use minimal licensing restrictions and permit anyone to make non-free modified versions, as well as projects such as MySQL, which release the code under the GNU GPL but sell licenses to make non-free modified versions, as well as many other approaches.
Linux is now developed under the GNU General Public License and its source code is freely available to everyone, although its assorted distributions might not be free from software companies and other developers.
The software selected for this DVD was that which the company believed was compatible with the GNU General Public License.
Many Internet access and e-business service providers rely on the rudimentary management software provided with equipment, modify available GNU general public license software, throw in a few basic rules-of-thumb and some trial and error, in order to "manage" their systems and plan for growth.
Torvalds later placed the source code for Linux in the public domain through something called the GNU General Public License. That way, developers around the world could download Linux from the Internet in order to study, modify and add to Torvald's initial developments.
When Torvalds created Linux, he protected it under the GNU General Public License, an intriguing form of copyright commonly known as copyleft.
Linus owns the trademark for Linux, but he made sure it will remain free by "copylefting"--not copyrighting--the program under the restrictions of the GNU General Public License (www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html) Yes, you can download any of the varieties of Linux free (at no cost), or you can buy Red Hat, Corel, Caldera, SuSE, or Turbo Linux at CompUSA for $29 and up.
Recently, a Linux security programmer discovered that Symantec may have violated the GNU General Public License (GPL) by not releasing its router's source code.