We all know about copyright and the laws governing them but do you know about the copyleft?
According to the GNU website, “Copyleft is a general method for making a program or other work free, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well.” The main difference of a product/program that is is “copyleft” from one that is simply not copyrighted or made available to anyone freely is that it ensures that all other programs and products arising from the original one remains free as well because “Copyleft says that anyone who redistributes the software, with or without changes, must pass along the freedom to further copy and change it.”
Now with such a nice spirit of sharing why isn’t everyone adopting this new way of thinking and “copylefting” their works? The answer isn’t always just plain economics since you can sell copylefted products thus allowing for a profit. What CANNOT be done is simply disallowing anyone else to your software in whatever way they want to. However, you have to acknowledge that the “copyleft” makes for minimal profit since the creator’s “power to control” his creation is limited to simply saying that others need to also share. No more decades of getting royalty from outdated but important works that were the basis of other works.
What’s interesting is that what many people don’t realize is that there are other ways out there to “copyright” [or not] your works. In this digital age knowing how to protect your rights/wishes or at least the rights of your users is a must if you really wish to attain your goals.
Originally posted on November 22, 2010 @ 3:12 pm