Copyleft Confusion

‘Strong copyleft’, ‘weak copyleft’, and ‘permissive’ are all terms that can cause confusion when discussing open source licensing. Simon’s been using some different language to help work round the confusion and keep the different licensing options clear for his clients. In his current InfoWorld article he explores some of this terminology and explains why it’s better suited to the task.

To begin with, ‘reciprocal licensing’ is proposed as an alternative way of talking about ‘copyleft’. As clever as the phrase ‘copyleft’ is, the newly suggested terminology better enables the uninitiated to grasp the concept quickly and fully, as it acknowledges the use of ‘copyleft’ to express the community expectation of reciprocal behaviour by participants.

For more examples of clear language for talking about open source licensing, check out the full article.