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GNU General Public License (GPL)

Definition - What does GNU General Public License (GPL) mean?

The GNU General Public License (GPL) is a free, copyleft license used primarily for software. The GNU GPL allows users to change and share all versions of a program. GPL is provided through the Free Software Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that works to provide free software for the GNU Project.

Techopedia explains GNU General Public License (GPL)

In 1989, Richard Stallman produced the first GPL through the GNU Program. The GNU Program was launched in 1984 for the express purpose of developing operating systems that are similar to Unix, except that they are open source. Under the GPL provisions, owners may sell copies of programs under GPL, or distribute them for free. To do so, licensees must adhere to the designated terms and conditions of the GPLs. Under a GPL, owners are permitted to modify digital materials as well. The GPL is widely used and the most popular free license of its kind.

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