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Gnu General Public License Essay

546 words - 3 pages

GNU General Public License

Donny Leath

GNU General Purpose License

Open sourced software is increasing in popularity and use. The concept or definition of free software is basically the freedom to customize open sourced software to your liking without any restrictions on modification or sharing. The freedom to access code in order to alter and redistribute software freely is the motto of the open source software community. Although open source code is free, it must be licensed in order to be available and protected. The GNU General Public License is a free popular software license Linux which allows this freedom by utilizing terms and conditions that developers must follow.
Purpose of GNU General Public License
Licenses for proprietary software are used to deny users the ability to share or change the program. The GNU General Public License was ...view middle of the document...

GNU General Public License Regulations
The strictly enforced regulations of the GPL protect rights for releasing and distributing modifications whether minor or major. If you are simply just interested in exploring open source software under the GPL, there is no need for caution. In order for a modification to be distributed and covered under the GPL, the entire work must be released under the GPL and the terms of the license must be acknowledge by all ensuing distributors (Bond, 2005 p.549). Announcing the changes that have been made is another condition that must be met involving modification. This restriction also addresses the threat of the modified software being patented. Patents on free software defeats the intentions and concept of the open source community, under the GPL, users have assurance that the software will remain truly free (Hacker, 1999). Although the source code is free, a distributor is allowed to charge a user for transfer of the modified software, but the paying user now has the right to transfer the product without occurring more charges for sharing or limits, as with copy written software.
Free software must have a license to be protected. The GNU General Public License achieves this protection by the terms and conditions established under the GPL and the user’s acknowledgment of their responsibilities for releasing modified software. While the popularity of open source software continues to rise, GNU General Public License will continue to provide and protect user’s freedoms of copying, modifying, and distributing software.


Hacker, J. (1991). GNU General Public License. Retrieved from

Bond, H.S. (2005, December). What's So Great about Nothing? The GNU General Public
License and the Zero-Price-Fixing Problem. . Michigan Law Review, 104(3), 547-571. EBSCO Host.

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