/kop'ee-left/ (A play on "copyright") The copyright notice and General Public License applying to the works of the Free Software Foundation, granting reuse and reproduction rights to everyone.Typically copyrights take away freedoms; copyleft preserves them. It is a legal instrument that requires those who pass on a program to include the rights to use, modify, and redistribute the code; the code and the freedoms become legally inseparable. The copyleft used by the GNU Project combines a regular copyright notice and the "GNU General Public License" (GPL). The GPL is a copying license which basically says that you have the aforementioned freedoms. The license is included in each GNU source code distribution and manual. See also General Public Virus. [Jargon File]
Last updated: 1995-04-18
copying garbage collection ♦ copyleft ♦ copy member ♦ copy module
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