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Copyleft Software
Most if not all free softwares are copyleft to maintain the freedom given in free softwares. One important thing is that copyleft softwares / programs are copyrighted but there must have terms which give everyone the rights to use, modify, copy and redistribute the program's code or any program derived from it but only if the distribution terms are unchanged. Therefore, in a way, copyleft will prevent uncopyrighted public domain softwares to be converted into proprietary softwares.
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The advantages of making softwares/programs copyleft are copyleft provides a way for other programmers to add or make changes to these free softwares while other programmers, users or distributors can change, use, copy and distribute these softwares without giving them the rights to change the licnces that comes with the softwares. Copyleft licences ensure the rights cannot be later revoked and requiring the work and its derivatives are provided in a form that facilitates modification. In software, this requires that the source code of the derived work is made available. This will ensure that other people can enjoy the same freedom that these softwares provide.

In the GNU Project, the specific distribution terms that are important for copyleft are contained in the GNU General Public License. The GNU General Public License is often called the GNU GPL. You can also read about why the FSF gets copyright assignments from contributors.

An alternate form of copyleft by GNU is the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). It applies to a few GNU libraries. The Lesser GPL includes a provision that lets you alter the distribution terms to the ordinary GPL, so that you can copy code into another program covered by the GPL.

Another form of copyleft is GNU Free Documentation License (FDL). It is intended for use on a manual, textbook or other document to provide people/users the freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifications, either commercially or noncommercially. The licence is included in many manuals and in each GNU source code distribution.

I guess it is good and important to use the same distribution terms and licence for the different programs so that it will be easy for distributors and contributors to copy code between various different programs. So I think it is good that free software which wants to be copylefted apply GNU's licences and make sure that you use the entire text of the licences and not partially. Any such licence typically gives everyone possessing a copy of the work the same freedoms as the author, including (from the Free Software Definition):
   1. the freedom to use and study the work,
   2. the freedom to copy and share the work with others,
   3. the freedom to change the work,
   4. and the freedom to distribute changed and therefore derivative works.

Laws on copyleft licences vary from one country to another. So individuals who want to apply for copyleft licence should check with their respective countries. Copyleft licence is usually used for works such as computer software, documents, music, and art.

Copyleft is one of the main issue or difference between the open source movement and the free software movement because there are free softwares that do not need to be copyleft. Some people say that non-copyleft free software licences provide more freedom because they allow the recipient the freedom to create proprietary software.

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