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## What is Copyleft?

Copyleft is a strategy of utilizing copyright law to pursue the policy goal
of fostering and encouraging the equal and inalienable right to copy, share,
modify and improve creative works of authorship.  Copyleft (as a general
term) describes any method that utilizes the copyright system to achieve the
aforementioned goal.  Copyleft as a concept is usually implemented in the
details of a specific copyright license, such as the GNU
[General Public License (GPL)]( and the
[Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License](
Copyright holders of creative work can unilaterally implement these licenses
for their own works to build communities that collaboratively share and
improve those copylefted creative works.

## What is is a collaborative project to create and disseminate useful
information, tutorial material, and new policy ideas regarding all forms of
copyleft licensing.

This site itself is licensed under a copyleft license, and has received
contributions from experts around the world.  Thus, is the
premier "meta-project" of copyleft: it's useful copylefted information all
about copyleft itself!

### The Copyleft Guide and Tutorial

The primary project currently on this site is a tutorial book entitled
[*Copyleft and the GNU General Public License: A Comprehensive Tutorial and Guide*](/guide/).
This guide describes the policy motivations for copyleft, presents a detailed analysis of the text of
various copyleft licenses, and gives examples and case studies of copyleft compliance situations.

### Getting Involved

There are various ways to get involved with this project.  The primary website is a wiki, and we welcome helpful edits and additions.

For the aforementioned guide and tutorial about GPL and other copyleft concepts,
we seek help in the following ways:

#### Proposing Improvements to the Guide

[Pull requests on's Kallithea site](
to the Guide are most welcome. If you're looking for something to fix, just
grep the *.tex files for "FIXME" and you'll find plenty.  Many of them are
simple and easy to do.  Some of them are writing, and some of them are

#### Joining Mailing Lists

   * Subscribe to our low-traffic [announcements-only mailing list](
   * Join discussion on our [primary mailing list, called "discuss"](

#### IRC Discussion

[IRC channel is #copyleft on](irc://
The [IRC logs are public here on this site](/irclogs/).

### Who Contributes to

This site is a joint project of
[Software Freedom Conservancy]( and the
[Free Software Foundation](  The editor-in-chief of
[the guide](/guide/) is [Bradley M. Kuhn](  The
[recent changes page](/recentchanges) shows who has
contributed to the wiki, and you can see the
[Git commit log on the tutorial](
to see who has contributed to it, and
[[see the list of users who contribute to this Wiki|users]]. may be sponsored by various organizations, and organizations may
also republish some, or all, of the output of this project under the terms of
the CC BY-SA license.  However, contributors' work is their own, and thus the
opinions expressed in their contributions, IRC utterances, commit messages,
mailing list posts, and/or other fora provided by may not
necessarily reflect the views of the contributors' employers and/or
organizations sponsoring the project and/or organizations republishing's materials.  Generally speaking, unless stated otherwise,
please assume that individuals contribute to in their personal

### URLs You Can Memorize! has many easy-to-remember URLs.  These are convenience URLs that
you can memorize and give to people verbally to point them to the right part
of [The Guide](  (Since the guide is very large,
we thought a few easy-to-remember ways to tell people where to look would be
helpful.)  Here are the primary ones:

  * []( points to this page.
  * []( points to the guide itself.
  * []( points to the *GPL Compliance Guide* section of the full Guide.
  * []( points to the *Detailed Analysis of the GNU GPL and Related Licenses* section of the full Guide.

As time goes on, we'll add convenience URLs to refer to specific parts of the
guide, which makes it easy to refer people to portions of the Guide.  Here
are a the ones that exist so far:

  * []( points to
    the "pristine example", the chapter entitled *ThinkPenguin Wireless Router: Excellent CCS*.
  * []( points to
    the section regarding using the offer for source provisions in GPLv3§6(c) and/or GPLv2§3(b).

### Offsite Resources

#### More on "What Is Copyleft?"

Here are a few external resources to read regarding the general concept of copyleft:

  * [Richard M. Stallman's essay on copyleft at](
  * [The Wikipedia entry on Copyleft](
    (The definition of copyleft at the top of this page is modified version
    of the first paragraph of that Wikipedia entry).