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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams

Software Licensing

Free software is licensed to allow users the freedom to decide when and how they will use the product. There is no requirement for the added burden and cost of proprietary software in tracking software licences and usage. Breaching copyright law, even often unwittingly, can expose a business to litigation and fines.

The GNU General Public License (the GPL) is a license developed to enshrine the users rights and freedoms with regard software made available under this license. If you agree to the GPL then you do not lose any rights you would have had if you hadn't agreed to it. The GPL strictly increases the things you are legally allowed to do! Indeed, the act of running the Program is not restricted in any way. From a commercial point of view, you may charge a fee for transferring a copy of the software and you may offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee from those whom you supply the software to.

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