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A form of licensing that encourages the distribution of software at no charge for noncommercial uses.

[After copyright.]

cop′y·left′ed (-lĕf′tĭd) adj.


(Law) law a form of licensing that imposes fewer restrictions on the use of a work than copyright


A distribution agreement that allows everybody who receives a copy of the work in question to freely distribute or adapt it on the condition that they do not claim copyright on it for themselves.
References in periodicals archive ?
Currently, JMRI is Copylefted under the GNU GPL, version 2.0, which means that proprietary hoarding is prohibited.
Linux too allows users to customise, copy and share its source code, developing as a result of what Benkler describes as "voluntary contributions and ubiquitous, recursive sharing." (10) Although both systems are free to download and share, they are not outside of legislative regulation, but remain copyrighted--or, more appropriately perhaps, "copylefted"--under the GNU General Public License (GPL) which allows software authors to be acknowledged and which prevents proprietary restrictions from being placed on any derived software.
The GNU General Public License was the first popular copyleft license, and it still dominates licensing of "copylefted" software.