Brief Introduction to the GNU General Public License
GPL protects software freedom
Ultimate goal: make sure every user has the four freedoms
- Freedom to run the software
- Freedom to study and modify the software.
- Freedom to share the software
- Freedom to distribute modified versions
Every clause in GPL was designed to uphold one of these freedoms.
- ...or, it's a compromise of drafting in "adoption v. freedom" debate
GPL is primarily a copyright license
- Software is copyrighted
- License grants key freedoms
- Requirements prohibit activities that take away freedoms
General concept: copyleft Specific implementation: GPL
17 USC section 102