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Copyright & Copyleft

Copyright is the set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work. These rights can be licensed, transferred and/or assigned. Copyright lasts for a certain time period after which the work is said to enter the public domain. Copyright applies to a wide range of works that are substantive and fixed in a medium. Some jurisdictions also recognize “moral rights” of the creator of a work, such as the right to be credited for the work. Copyright is described under the umbrella term intellectual property along with patents and trademarks.

The Statute of Anne 1709, full title “An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned”, is now seen as the origin of copyright law.

Copyright has been internationally standardized, lasting between fifty and one hundred years from the author’s death, or a shorter period for anonymous or corporate authorship. Generally, copyright is enforced as a civil matter, though some jurisdictions do apply criminal sanctions.

Copyleft is a play on the word copyright to describe the practice of using copyright law to offer the right to distribute copies and modified versions of a work and requiring that the same rights be preserved in modified versions of the work.

Copyleft is a form of licensing and can be used to maintain copyright conditions for works such as computer software, documents, music and art. In general, copyright law is used by an author to prohibit others from reproducing, adapting, or distributing copies of the author’s work. In contrast, an author may give every person who receives a copy of a work permission to reproduce, adapt or distribute it and require that any resulting copies or adaptations are also bound by the same licensing agreement. Copyleft type licenses are a novel use of existing copyright law to ensure a work remains freely available. The GNU General Public License, originally written by Richard Stallman, was the first copyleft license to see extensive use, and continues to dominate the licensing of copylefted software. Creative Commons, a non-profit organization founded by Lawrence Lessig, provides a similar license called ShareAlike.

Copyleft can also be characterized as a copyright licensing scheme in which an author surrenders some but not all rights under copyright law. Instead of allowing a work to fall completely into the public domain (where no ownership of copyright is claimed), copyleft allows an author to impose some restrictions on those who want to engage in activities that would more usually be reserved by the copyright holder. Under copyleft, derived works may be produced provided they are released under the same copyleft scheme. The underlying principle is that one benefits freely from the work of others but any modifications one makes must be released under the same terms. For this reason copyleft licenses are also known as reciprocal licenses, they have also been described as “viral” due to their self-perpetuating terms.

While copyright law protects the rights of the author by allowing control of distribution and modification, the idea of copyleft is to grant subjective libre freedom to users. Copyleft licenses do not contain clauses which the author considers to impede libre freedom of the user. In computing, free software licenses often require that information necessary for reproducing and modifying the software (e.g. source code) be made available to the user in the same way as the licensed software. The source code files will usually contain a copy of the license terms and acknowledge the author(s).

Official Site:

http://www.copyright.es/?gclid=CPTPjZq_hqECFVBc4wodITMEAQ

More info:

http://what-is-what.com/what_is/copyleft.html

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft

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abril 14, 2010 Posted by | Human Language Technologies | | Deja un comentario