The Copyright Series: Copyleft

Yesterday, we discussed Creative Commons.

Copyleft is essentially an attempt to license copyrighted material with no restrictions: a copyleft license allows any person with a copy of a given work to reproduce, adapt or distribute that work. It has been mostly used for software, but has, in a few instances, been used for various written works. There are some variations of copyleft licenses, primarily concerned with whether or not derived works are also considered copyleft.

Copyleft is often associated with open source works: works that are made with the intention of offering them to the general public at no cost. While this practice can have a number of benefits for quickly distributing a work, it is a less than ideal situation for freelance writers, who rely on payment for the various works they create, and for whom copyright provides an essential shield for their work. Because copyleft (and, similarly, Creative Commons) is very clearly about distributing works for free, it is not an option for most freelance writers.

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  1. Kate Boddie   •  

    This is very interesting information. I had no idea this concept even existed. Even though I’m not a a freelance writer, it’s always useful to have this kind of information handy in case something should come up. Your blog is very informative. Keep it up!

  2. wordsmith   •  

    Your blog is great. Copyleft…I think I may have now heard everything. I can’t even imagine “copylefting” especially as writers are striking to protect their work. It also seems to be a slap-in-the face in a way for legitimate writers…or maybe it helps separate the wheat from the chaff.

  3. thursday   •     Author

    It’s a good option for people who don’t actually want to profit from their work — like if they’re writing manuals for equipment that will go to poverty-stricken areas, but for those who rely on their writing to make a living — not so much.

  4. Pingback: » Blog Archive » The Copyright Series: Founder’s Copyright

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