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lecture: Understanding Copyleft


Copyleft software licenses, such as the GNU GPL family, try to protect and ensure the users' software freedom by requiring developers to "share alike". But what does that even mean? There are a lot of fears and misconceptions surrounding copyleft licenses and copylefted code.
After a very brief introduction to FLOSS licenses in general, this talk will tackle common questions regarding copyleft and try to clear up several confusions regarding copyleft. There will also be a short pitch as to why copyleft still matters - maybe more than ever. And reasons for both developers and businesses to release their software under a copyleft license.
This talk can be given in either German or English, whichever suits the organizers of the event or the audience most.

More and more code is licensed under FLOSS licenses and more companies than ever are starting to incorporate FLOSS into their business and projects. Yet there is a lot of confusion about the different licenses, especially when it comes to copyleft licenses such as the GNU GPL family.
This talk will start with a very concise introduction to different FLOSS licenses in general and then go into more detail of what copyleft means and what different copyleft licenses require developers to do.
The presenter will specifically address common misconceptions about copyleft licenses - the most prevailing one being that all modifications of copylefted code need to be "made public" or "given back to the community" - and try to explain when and how certain copyleft provisions are triggered and what needs to be shared with whom and when.
In the end, a case for copyleft still being relevant these days (maybe even more so) will be made and different reasons for developers and businesses to release their code under a copyleft license will be given.