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You know a Copyright, but what is a Copyleft?

1K Blog Marathon: Day 51

Copyright infringement, plagiarism, registration and trademarks, copyright law. These are all the issues creators are facing online. With the ease of using a mouse and a keyboard, with a single “highlight”, Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V, one brilliant idea can be duplicated with or without permission of the publisher. And without proper credits, this simple copy/paste can go a long way, escalates and can even be brought to court. You’re screwed.

Even a single idea, as long as it’s recorded or expressed, can be copyrighted and patented. May it be a piece of paper, a voice record, an online blog, a software or even a single image of a cat – it is under this so-called “ownership”. But if there is a right, there is a left.

The Left

If “Copyright” is a restrictive notion, there is also a counterpart of it – the open arms “Copyleft”. But it’s not illegal, anti-government social movement. That one is “leftist”.

Technically speaking, Copyleft is the idea of granting permission to copy, modify and distribute any intellectual property under the condition that the “same” permission be granted to anything created from it.

It’s like “take this and tell the world about this”.

The GNU General Public License (GPL) written by Richard Stallman and the Creative Commons (CC) share the common idea of giving copyleft license for other forms of intellectual properties, so copyleft is not only limited to software properties but also for documents, pictures, audio and video, and the likes.

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. –

Copyleft Logo, source:


Being a free for all, it’s an oxymoron that copyleft has also governing laws – to be all the way free! And by these laws and goals, we mean the 4 freedoms from the “Free Software Definition”.

Freedom 0The freedom to use the work.

This is the freedom to run the software or program in whatever way the user may wanted, for any reason the user may wanted. It’s like you have a “cracked” version of a paid software. Sweet!

Freedom 1The freedom to study the work.

It states that the user is granted access to dig deep, break down to fully understand and learn how the software works. As a prerequisite, the user must first have the source code to perform this freedom.

Freedom 2The freedom to copy and share the work with others.

The permission to redistribute, copy to other form / media storage, or give away the software under this principle is hereby granted to the user. Under copyleft, having a duplicate copy and offering it for free download is allowed.

Freedom 3The freedom to modify the work, and the freedom to distribute modified and therefore derivative works.

When you have the source code of the free software, this principle gives you the power to make modification directly to the source – make it more usable under your conditions, or make it more usable for a more user. You can also enhance the function of this software so that many user can be benefited.

Although granted these freedoms, the copier should not claim that he/she is the original author of the said works.

The importance of Copyleft in cyber world makes the improvement and creation of amazing products with all minds helping to develop it. It’s like the “One for All” quirk of All Might in My Hero Academia! ^_^

What are your thoughts about copyleft? Is it beneficial if all software are free to use and modify to the user’s desire? Will it push more improvement and progress? Thank you and happy coding! ^_^

“And that’s one blog, stay hungry!”

“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”.



Published by Christian Foster

Code-blooded, coffee-lover, tall, dark and chubby. I love to draw, has motion-sickness and a sleepy-head. BTW, graduate of BS Computer Science, Associate in Computer Science and certified UiPath RPA Developer. Loyal to my partner and a father of a cute bouncing baby daughter!

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