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Collect Bits, boost your Degree and gain actual rewards!

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Scale your career with online video courses. Dive into your learning adventure!
Crypto Terms:  Letter G

What is General Public License?

Meaning:
General Public License - a copyleft software license that allows anybody to use, read, copy, share, change, and distribute a computer program for free.
easy
2 minutes

Let's find out General Public License meaning, definition in crypto, what is General Public License, and all other detailed facts.

The General Public License (GPL) is a copyleft software license. The GPL is the first widely adopted copyleft license that was created for the GNU Project. Richard Stallman, the creator of the Free Software Foundation, invented it in 1989. It allows users to modify and distribute a computer program or other kinds of work.

In contrast to copyright, the word copyleft refers to the possibility provided by GPL to publish derivative works. However, they have to be distributed under the same license terms as the original work. This means that users are unable to utilize software with GPL and then distribute a derivative work under a different license.

However, other forms of free software licenses, such as the BSD and the MIT licenses, do not have this restriction. This is the case because they are permissive. The conditions of copyleft and permissive licenses slightly differ, even though both types provide users with the possibility of copying, modifying, and distributing software. The distinction is pretty clear:

  • Copyleft licenses assure that open-source software stays accessible to everyone. In addition, it doesn’t allow others to profit from work that was made freely available. However, copyleft supporters tend to care more about maintaining at least a fracture of control over their work.
  • Permissive licenses allow users to extensively utilize software. Though there is one condition – the original developers have to be acknowledged and credited. To put it another way, a permissive license allows people to do anything they want with a certain work, as long as they give credit to its creator.

At the moment, the GPL license is very popular for distributing free and open-source software. This license covers popular free software products including the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and even the Linux kernel.