Version 6 (modified by CarlFK, 14 years ago) (diff)


Licensing Resources


Richard Stallman (Free Software Foundation) describes "copyleft" as the opposite of copyright. Copyright protects a creator's right to control copies and changes to a work, whereas copyleft (also known as the GPL license) protects a user's right to copy and change a work.

It is a license that allows free re-use and modification of creative work so long as the derivative work remains available on the same terms.

(See Free Software Foundation and the CopyLeft page on the site)

Creative Commons Licensing

These licenses all grant certain baseline rights, such as the right to distribute the copyrighted work on file sharing networks.

The rest of the license depends on the version, and is comprised of a selection of four conditions:

  • Attribution (by): Permit others to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and derivative works based upon it only if they give you credit.
  • Noncommercial or NonCommercial (nc): Permit others to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and derivative works based upon it only for noncommercial purposes.
  • No Derivative Works or NoDerivs (nd): Permit others to copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works based upon it.
  • ShareAlike (sa): Permit others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work. (See also copyleft.)

(See this Wikipedia entry on Creative Commons and the Creative Commons site)

Institutions that protect Open Source Software

  • The Software Conservancy is a nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of California. Its primary role is to serve as an independent, neutral organization to hold copyright to open source or free software source code and to fulfill related functions with respect to public software development projects creating such code.
  • The Software Freedom Conservancy is an organization composed of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) projects. As a fiscal sponsor for FOSS projects, the Conservancy provides member projects with free financial and administrative services, but does not involve itself with technological and artistic decisions.

By joining the Conservancy, member FOSS projects obtain the benefits of a formal legal structure while keeping themselves focused on software development. These benefits include, most notably, protection from personal liability for project developers. Another benefit of joining the Conservancy is that projects can use it to hold assets, which are managed by the Conservancy on behalf of and at the direction of the project. The Conservancy is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, so member projects can receive tax-deductible donations to the extent allowed by law. To make a donation to the Conservancy or to its member projects, please visit our donations page.