Monday, November 15, 2010

Introduction to CopyLeft

CopyLeft vs. Copyright
  • CopyLeft is the same as Copyright in the sense that the legal process starts the same: by copyrighting a product, software, or document
  • The difference is introduced by adding a specific license to the copyright that places restrictions on the future usages of the copyrighted product
  • Ironically, these restrictions have the ability to categorize the product as 'free'
  • CopyLeft is essentially the opposite process of making products free to users, whereas Copyright tries to restrict freedom by making software proprietary

Free Software Movement
  • Led by the founder of CopyLeft: Richard Stallman (video below)
    • The 4 freedoms of software (Freedomdefined, 2010):
          1. the freedom to use the work and enjoy the benefits of using it
          2. the freedom to study the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it
          3. the freedom to make and redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the information or expression
          4. the freedom to make changes and improvements, and to distribute derivative works
          • CopyLefted products follow the above freedoms and to ensure freedom for software, the source code of the program must be provided whenever the software is distributed

          An Interview with Richard Stallman about CopyLeft: