The General Public License is a license for software, by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It was developed by Richard Stallman and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to protect computer software from being locked up by patent owners.
This is the Free Software Foundation’s general version of the GNU “copyleft” license, often called the GNU GPL for short. As a special exception, when it is used by a program as part of its mechanism of operation, if that program enables the user to write modifications and then compile the program to run on a computer network, it must be a licensee of this kind of network use. The act of running the program is regarded as acceptance into the network community. Once code has been written under this license, we are in your debt! If you find our work useful, it is your responsibility to give back to the community that which makes your work possible, namely: Your own improvements. _And_ Remember that whenever we release something that isn’t as freely available as our work generally is, we need to ask you for permission if we want to use any of your code in any better way than is already specified by law.
GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
Version 3, 29 June 2007
Copyright © 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc. <https://fsf.org/>
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
The GNU General Public License is a free, copyleft license for software and other kinds of works.
The licenses for most software and other practical works are designed to take away your freedom to share and change the works. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change all versions of a program–to make sure it remains free software for all its users. We, the Free Software Foundation, use the GNU General Public License for most of our software; it applies also to any other work released this way by its authors. You can apply it to your programs, too.
When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for them if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things.
To protect your rights, we need to prevent others from denying you these rights or asking you to surrender the rights. Therefore, you have certain responsibilities if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it: responsibilities to respect the freedom of others.
For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must pass on to the recipients the same freedoms that you received. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.
Developers that use the GNU GPL protect your rights with two steps: (1) assert copyright on the software, and (2) offer you this License giving you legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify it.
For the developers’ and authors’ protection, the GPL clearly explains that there is no warranty for this free software. For both users’ and authors’ sake, the GPL requires that modified versions be marked as changed, so that their problems will not be attributed erroneously to authors of previous versions.
Some devices are designed to deny users access to install or run modified versions of the software inside them, although the manufacturer can do so. This is fundamentally incompatible with the aim of protecting users’ freedom to change the software. The systematic pattern of such abuse occurs in the area of products for individuals to use, which is precisely where it is most unacceptable. Therefore, we have designed this version of the GPL to prohibit the practice for those products. If such problems arise substantially in other domains, we stand ready to extend this provision to those domains in future versions of the GPL, as needed to protect the freedom of users.
Finally, every program is threatened constantly by software patents. States should not allow patents to restrict development and use of software on general-purpose computers, but in those that do, we wish to avoid the special danger that patents applied to a free program could make it effectively proprietary. To prevent this, the GPL assures that patents cannot be used to render the program non-free.
What are the GPL license terms and conditions?
If you have used a GPL component in your software, then your entire software is considered a ‘work based on’ a GPL and, therefore:
- You are not allowed to claim patents or copyright on the software. Moreover, you are obligated to display a copyright notice, disclaimer of warranty, intact GPL notices, and a copy of the GPL.
- You are not allowed to change the license or introduce additional terms and conditions.
- You are under the reciprocity obligation, which means you are obligated to release the source code and all of the rights to modify and distribute the entire code.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
“This License” refers to version 3 of the GNU General Public License.
“Copyright” also means copyright-like laws that apply to other kinds of works, such as semiconductor masks.
“The Program” refers to any copyrightable work licensed under this License. Each licensee is addressed as “you”. “Licensees” and “recipients” may be individuals or organizations.
To “modify” a work means to copy from or adapt all or part of the work in a fashion requiring copyright permission, other than the making of an exact copy. The resulting work is called a “modified version” of the earlier work or a work “based on” the earlier work.
A “covered work” means either the unmodified Program or a work based on the Program.
To “propagate” a work means to do anything with it that, without permission, would make you directly or secondarily liable for infringement under applicable copyright law, except executing it on a computer or modifying a private copy. Propagation includes copying, distribution (with or without modification), making available to the public, and in some countries other activities as well.
To “convey” a work means any kind of propagation that enables other parties to make or receive copies. Mere interaction with a user through a computer network, with no transfer of a copy, is not conveying.
Creative Commons Public License is a legal instrument that grants the public permission, through the creation of a license, to copy, distribute, and modify a work without losing the original copyright.