Gnu software license definition

Failure to adhere to software license agreement terms often incurs criminal charges related to licensed intellectual property ip and ed material. An example of a copyleft free software license is the often used gnu general public license gpl, also the first copyleft license. Free and open source licenses include free software with no monetary usage charge, but. To make it free software, you need to release it under a free software license. This means that any software that is written based on any gpl. Short for general public license, the license that accompanies some open source software that details how the software and its accompany source code can be freely copied, distributed and modified. The gnu general public license is a free, copyleft license for software and. The gnu general public license gnu gpl or gpl is a widely uised free saftware license, which guarantees end uisers the freedom tae run, study, share an modify the saftware. The gnu general public license gnu, gpl, or gpl is a free software license originally written by richard stallman of the free software foundation, which guarantees that users are free to use, share, and modify the software without paying anyone for it. The gpl is a copyleft license, which means that derivative wirk can anly be distributit unner the. Most gpl version 2 software is actually licensed as gpl version 2 or any later version, or. It typically deals with software running in the server where users connect via the network. It was initially created for use with software documentation, but can be applied to other types of works as well, such as wikipedia.

A software license that is based on the number of simultaneous users accessing the program. Designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible, gnucash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. Gnu is composed wholly of free software, most of which is licensed under the gnu projects own general public license gnu is a recursive acronym for gnu s not unix. Software licensing describes the legal rights pertaining to the authorized use of digital material. Gnu general public license article about gnu general public. Open source license means a license that is considered an open source license by the open source initiative. The license is designed for software documentation and other reference and instructional materials. The gnu gpl is, according to various statistics, probably the most used free software license. Open source license legal definition of open source. The gnu free documentation license gnu fdl or simply gfdl is a copyleft license for open content such as software.

Should you use a gnu gpl or mit open source license. Gnucash is personal and smallbusiness financialaccounting software, freely licensed under the gnu gpl and available for gnu linux, bsd, solaris, mac os x and microsoft windows. If you should know, there are several other open source licenses too, some of which claim to offer even more freedom than the gpl such as mozilla public license, bsd licence, apache 2. The and license notices on this page only apply to the text on this page. Gnu general public license, version 3 spdx short identifier. The gpl was created by richard stallman in order to protect gnu software. Gnu general public license definition of gnu general public. A copy of the license is included in the page gnu free documentation license. In doing so, we have found that most violations stem from a few common mistakes that can be, for the most part, easily avoided. Nov 02, 2016 the gnu general public license exists to protect the liberties of software creators and users alike. A practical guide to gpl compliance software freedom law center. The gnu general public license gpl is a free, copyleft license used primarily for software.

The open source initiative osi is one such organization keeping a list of opensource licenses. A copy of that license is included in this document on page x. The license allows developers and companies to use and integrate a software component released under the lgpl into their own even proprietary software without being required by the terms of a strong copyleft license to release the source code of their own components. Aug 24, 2014 the gnu free documentation license gfdl is a copyleft license for free documentation, designed by the free software foundation fsf for the gnu project. The gnu general public license, often shortened to gnu gpl or simply gpl, lists terms and conditions for copying, modifying and distributing free. Aug 26, 2008 sflc continues to conduct gpl enforcement and compliance efforts for many of its clients who release their software under the gpl, the gnu lesser public license lgpl and other copyleft licenses. Is convey in gplv3 the same thing as what gplv2 means by distribute. This means that any software that is written based on any gpl component must be. Approximately 70% of free software packages are released under. By contrast, the gnu general public license is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change all versions of a programto make sure it remains free software for all its users. The gnu general public license, version 2 is the license created by the free software foundation and the gnu project in order to be used for software documentation a work licensed in this way grants all the four freedoms listed in the definition of free cultural works. We use only licenses that are compatible with the gnu gpl for gnu software.

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. The gnu gpl is the most widely used free software license and has a strong copyleft requirement. The gnu operating system consists of gnu packages programs specifically released by the gnu project as well as free software released by third parties. For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee. Why should i use the gnu gpl rather than other free software licenses. The gnu free documentation license gnu fdl or simply gfdl is a copyleft license for free documentation, designed by the free software foundation fsf for the gnu project. The gnu gpl allows users to change and share all versions of a program.

It complements the gnu general public license, which is a copyleft license designed for free software. Since the gnulinux system is a popular version of linux, it is often referred to as simply linux. Today, free software is available for just about any task you can imagine. Html, plain text, odf, docbook v4 or v5, texinfo, latex, markdown, and rtf.

The gnu general public license, often shortened to gnu gpl or simply gpl, lists terms and conditions for copying, modifying and distributing free software. Gnu general public license synonyms, gnu general public license pronunciation, gnu general public license translation, english dictionary definition of gnu general public license. What is free software and why is it so important for. The licenses were originally written by richard stallman, former head of the free software foundation fsf, for the gnu project, and grant the recipients of a. The gnu general public license gnu gpl or gpl is a series of widely used free software licenses that guarantee end. Sep 05, 2018 software licensing describes the legal rights pertaining to the authorized use of digital material. This license is aimed at giving and protecting all users unlimited freedom to use, study, and privately modify the software, and if the user adheres to the terms and conditions of the gpl, freedom to redistribute.

Gnucash is personal and smallbusiness financialaccounting software, freely licensed under the gnu gpl and available for gnulinux, bsd, solaris, mac os x and microsoft windows designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible, gnucash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. Open source licenses are licenses that comply with the open source definition in brief, they allow software to be freely used, modified, and shared. There are two important terms of the gpl that are required for proper usage. Gnu pronounced gnew is a free unixlike operating system distributed by the free software foundation. There is no one universally agreedupon definition of foss software and various groups maintain approved lists of licenses. What is gnu general public license gnu gpl or simply gpl. Explaining and understanding the gnu general public license. As quick and intuitive to use as a checkbook register, it is based on professional. Any software or licenses or other similar notices described in this text has its own notice and license, which can usually be found in the distribution or. It is similar to the gnu general public license, giving readers the rights to copy, redistribute, and modify except for invariant sections a work and requires all copies and derivatives to be available under the same. Linux systems rely heavily on gnu software and in the past, gnu systems used the linux kernel. Definition of gnu free documentation license in the dictionary.

The license embodies the free software foundations 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. Either of two large african antelopes having a drooping mane and beard, a long tufted tail, and curved horns in both sexes. We, the free software foundation, use the gnu general public license for most of our software. Gnu is an operating system that is free software that is, it respects users freedom. The philosophy behind gnu is to produce software that is nonproprietary. We normally use the gnu general public license gnu gpl, specifying version 3 or any later version, but occasionally we use other free software licenses. The gnu lesser general public license lgpl is a free software license published by the free software foundation fsf. Distribution and derivative works under the gnu general public license theresa gue abstract imagine that microsoft discovers that its profitable program, microsoft word, contains lines of code borrowed from a free and open source software program. The gnu operating system and the free software movement. It was made up by the free software foundation fsf for the gnu project. It was initially created for use with software documentation, but can be applied to other types of works as well, such as wikipedia as a license, the gfdl is a type of contract between the. Gpl is provided through the free software foundation, a nonprofit corporation that works to provide free software for the gnu project.

There are multiple variants of the gnu gpl, each with different requirements. A practical guide to gpl compliance software freedom law. The following licenses are sorted by the number of conditions, from most gnu agplv3 to none unlicense. Since the gnu linux system is a popular version of linux, it is often referred to as simply linux. We have designed this license in order to use it for manuals for free software, because free software needs free documentation. Under this philosophy, the gpl grants the recipients of a computer program the rights of the. It was also the first license to implement the concept of copyleft, guaranteeing that gpled free software cannot become, or take part in, nonfree software. Open source licenses grant permission for anybody to use, modify, and share licensed software for any purpose, subject to conditions preserving the provenance and openness of the software. Information and translations of gnu free documentation license in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. It stipulates that any copy of the material, even if modified, carry the same license.

The license wis oreeginally written bi richard stallman o the free software foundation fsf for the gnu project, an grants the recipients o a computer program the richts o the free software definition. The gnu lesser general public license lgpl is a freesoftware license published by the free software foundation fsf. Gpl is the acronym for gnus general public license, and its one of the most. The most widespread use of gpl is in reference to the gnu gpl, which is commonly abbreviated simply as gpl when it is understood that the term refers. Also called gpl and gnu gpl, it was created to distribute the software of the gnu operating system see gnu.

Selfreferentially, short for gnus not unix, a unixcompatible software system developed by the free software foundation fsf. The gnu general public license is often called the gnu gpl for short. 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. It is available in several different versions, but the most popular is the gnulinux system, which uses the linux kernel. The gnu project was started in 1983 by richard stallman at the massachusetts institute of technology. The development of gnu made it possible to use a computer without software that would trample your freedom. Frequently asked questions about the gnu licenses gnu project. This close connection has led some people to mistakenly equate gnu with linux. Those copies may be sold but, if produced in quantity, have to be made available in. The gnu gpl is the most widely used free software license and has a strong.

It is available in several different versions, but the most popular is the gnu linux system, which uses the linux kernel. Mar 01, 2000 it complements the gnu general public license, which is a copyleft license designed for free software. Gnu public license article about gnu public license by. The gnu general public license, often shortened to gnu gpl or simply gpl. Top 10 gnu gpl license questions answered whitesource. Comparison of free and opensource software licences. Gnu public license article about gnu public license by the. Open source license legal definition of open source license. From time to time we revise this definition, to clarify it or to resolve questions about subtle issues.

The freedom referred to is the ability of anyone who wishes to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Definition of gnu affero general public license pcmag. Licensesgnu gpl 2 definition of free cultural works. When distributing derived works, the source code of the work must be made available under the same license. See the history section below for a list of changes that affect the definition of free software.

The gnu gpl allows users to change and share all versions of a. The gnu general public license is available in these formats. Gnu general public license definition of gnu general. For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a. Further imagine that as a result of this oversight, all users of. Anyone can download, modify and redistribute gnu software. Gnu is composed wholly of free software, most of which is licensed under the gnu projects own general public license. The licenses were originally written by richard stallman, former head of the free software foundation fsf, for the gnu project, and grant the recipients of a computer program the rights of the free software. However be aware that if you or the company ever make changes to the software and want to distribute it, it must be distributed with full source code, on the same license terms as the original software.

Free, in a software context, does not necessarily mean free of cost. The free software definition presents the criteria for whether a particular software program qualifies as free software. See gnu general public license and free software foundation. The gnu general public license gnu gpl or gpl is a series of widely used free software licenses that guarantee end users the freedom to run, study, share, and modify the software. The gpl is an example of a copyleft license that requires derived works to be available under the same copyleft. From complete operating systems like gnu, to over 5,000 individual programs and tools listed in the fsfunesco free software directory. In the gnu project, we use copyleft to protect the four freedoms legally for everyone. Gnu general public license unofficial ubuntu wiki fandom.

Software licensed with any gnu license can be used and even modified everywhere, including in a corporate environment, without any restrictions. The gnu general public license gnu gpl or simply gpl is a widely used free software license, originally written by richard stallman for the gnu project. The gpl was created by richard stallman in order to protect gnu software from being made proprietary. Gnu free documentation license simple english wikipedia. The free software foundation fsf maintains a list of what it considers free. Gnu general public license article about gnu general.

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