What’s the Difference Between Copyright and Copyleft?

Intellectual property is a valuable asset for your business and it’s important that you take the necessary steps to secure its protection. One type of intellectual property that a business can own is copyright. This gives the owner an exclusive right of the copyrighted material to reproduce, reuse, and republish it. However, there is a school of thought that seeks to override copyright and allow anyone to modify specific pieces of work. This form of licensing is known as copyleft and is commonly used in relation to software development. 

Copyright– Copyright attaches automatically to original artistic works. Therefore, you don’t need to register the right. When an author or creator expresses the idea in material form, the work gains copyright protection. Accordingly, you don’t have to publish material work for it to be afforded protection under copyright law.

Copyleft– Copyleft, as the name suggests, heads in the opposite direction to copyright. Playing on the word ‘copyright’, copyleft overrides copyright and promotes the concept that materials should be: freely used, copied, and modified by others.

Copyleft also requires that all versions of the material that users modify are freely accessible so that others can use and modify it. The principles of copyleft are commonly used within the software industry, where source code is often free for anyone to modify.

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