A Brief Introduction to Copyright and Licensing

A lot of the content above has been all “license” this and “license” that without a lot of context on what a license actually is and why it’s such a big deal, particularly for free and open source software.

So it’s time for a very brief introduction to copyright, a complicated matter without which free and open source software wouldn’t exist. As you saw above, Richard Stallman realized that he could use the existing copyright laws and systems to ensure software would always remain Free through careful licensing. Copyright therefore underpins everything in FOSS. Without it, and without an understanding of it, FOSS is not possible. Keep in mind: copyright law is a complex subject, so this is only ...

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