No, this is not a liberal vs.
conservative thing, although you might be tempted to think so when considering the
terms of each. A
copyright, as you know, is legal protection against unauthorized usage or obvious
modification of original works, something a right-winger would like because it represents
a right to private property. A copyleft, on the other hand, is a left-winger's dream because
it permits free distribution of original works with the only restriction being that
it and/or derivative works also be declared copyleft material. That explains why
evil capitalist companies like IBM copyright and patent everything it creates, and
why liberal-dominated companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook allow everything
they create to be freely copied. Oh, wait, no they don't - that 'village' concept
only applies to everyone else.
I have seen the copyleft logo in a few places when searching for freeware and
shareware software and though maybe it was just someone lampooning copyright protection,
but upon further research I learn it is a very real form of protection for original
works. Here is the distinction, in a nutshell (per Wikipedia
The concept of "copyleft," while not explicitly
called that, was first formerly encompassed in the spirit of the 1985
where founder Richard Stallman declared, "GNU is not in the public domain.
Everyone will be permitted to modify and redistribute GNU, but no distributor will
be allowed to restrict its further redistribution. That is to say, proprietary modifications
will not be allowed. I want to make sure that all versions of GNU remain free."
Note that copyleft does not place the works in the
which puts no restrictions on usage. The suspected first public declaration of copyleft
was by Tiny BASIC's
creator Li-Chen Wang. Copyleft, as with copyright, is subject to
Now when you spot a backwards copyright symbol, you know it is for real. As with
copyrighted material, copylefted material is also subject to the "Fair Use Act."
Posted May 10, 2016