Copyright & Opensource

It is a free Operating System created in 1984 by Richard Stallman. Is short for "GNU is Not Unix." It provides licenses, promotes all open source software. Its aim is to give all users the freedom to redistribute and change GNU software. There is also dotGNU, an open source replacement for Microsoft's .NET. Unix-like operating systems are built from a software collection of applications, libraries, and developer tools—plus a program to allocate resources and talk to the hardware, known as a kernel.

GNU is often used with a kernel called Linux, and here is a list of ready-to-install GNU/Linux distributions which are entirely free software. The Hurd, GNU's kernel, is actively developed, but is still some way from being ready for daily use.

The combination of GNU and Linux is the GNU/Linux operating system, now used by millions and sometimes incorrectly called simply “Linux”.

Below is a screenshot of the Trisquel GNU/Linux distribution running, a free software office suite comparable to Microsoft Office or Apple iWork:


“Free software” is a matter of freedom, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”.

Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
- The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour.
- The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Copyleft is used to make a program (or other work) free, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well.

The simplest way to make a program free software is to put it in the public as copyrighted. This allows people to share the program and their improvements, if they choose to do so. They can make changes, many or few, and distribute the result as a free product. People who receive the program in that modified form do not have the freedom that the original author gave them.

So instead of putting GNU software in the public domain, we “copyleft” it. Copyleft says that anyone who redistributes the software, with or without changes, must pass along the freedom to further copy and change it. Copyleft guarantees that every user has freedom.

Copyleft also encourages other programmers to add to the free software. Copyleft also helps programmers who want to contribute improvements to free software get permission to do so. A programmer may want to contribute her changes to the community.

To copyleft a program, we first state that it is copyrighted; then we add distribution terms, which are a legal instrument that gives everyone the rights to use, modify, and redistribute the program's code, or any program that comes from it but only if the distribution terms are unchanged. Therefore, the code and the freedoms become legally inseparable.

Copyright is a form of protection given to the authors of “original works” and includes such things as literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other creations, both published and unpublished. Copyright does not protect ideas. It only protects the specific and original expression of the idea.

Copyright is an exclusive right and gives its creator, or owner if the rights are sold, the sole right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute and sell any copies of the copyrighted work, to perform or display the copyrighted work publicly. In many countries it will also give the creator of the work special privileges to determine how the work is to be displayed.

In the US and in most European Countries Copyright, in general, it lasts until 70 years after the death of the creator. There are however, different rules for created works that are industrially applied, such as Patent and Design drawings.
Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation located in the United States devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organisation has released several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators. This simplicity distinguishes Creative Commons from an all-rights reserved copyright. Creative Commons was invented to create a more flexible copyright model, replacing "all rights reserved" with "some rights reserved". is a great way of people in and interested in the creative industry to legally share ideas and works. It brings the creative community closer together and allows them to expand on legal existing work in the aim of improvement/ bringing their own style to it.
Google is an online search engine, offering UK-specific pages as well as world results. Google has used CC licenses in a variety of ways throughout their digital services. They have done this by adding the opportunity to use CC-search through their main search engine, image search engine, and book search engine, or by allowing users to CC license their own content in Picasa, Google Knol, and documentation at Google Code.
Some of the best known users of Creative Commons licenses include:
Flickr is an best online photo managment and sharing application in the world. It has placed the Creative Commons licensing option into its user interface, giving photographers around the world the easy ability to share photos on terms of their choosing. As the Flickr community has grown, the number of CC-licensed images have also (with over 200 million on the site). Flickr is the Web’s single largest source of CC-licensed content. Flickr’s services have grown to include a CC image portal and advanced CC search features, making the site a useful resource for discovering creativity that is available for free and legal sharing, use, and remixing.
2. Flickr
3. Google
YouTube allows the user to add their own videos enabling them to share this content with friends, family, and the world. YouTube, which is owned by Google, has also used CC-licenses in their audio-swap program, allowing users to swap “All Rights Reserved” music for similar-sounding CC-licensed tracks, as well as enabling CC-licensing for select institutions.
4. YouTube
Wikipedia is 'the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.' Wikipedia recently changed its licensing structure from the GNU Free Documentation License to a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. The world’s largest collaborative encyclopedia.
By changing to a CC BY-SA license, Wikipedia (and the entire collection of Wikimedia sites) allows content to legally flow in and out of the site with ease, enabling the site to legally interact with similar educational organisations.
5. Wikipedia
6. DeviantART
DeviantART is an 'online community showcasing various forms of user-made artwork.' The site starting using a streamlined uploading system which uses a Creative Commons licence generator in 2006. User of the site are able to select the licence they wish to apply through deciding on whether to allow commercial use or modifications. The site specifies ‘none’ as the default. By opting for a CC licence, the linked CC logo and licence description appear next to the user’s deviation (artwork).

Most software that you buy or download only comes in the compiled ready-to-run version. Compiled means that the actual program code that the developer created, known as the source code, has run through a special program called a compiler that translates the source code into a form that the computer can understand. It is extremely difficult to modify the compiled version of most applications and nearly impossible to see exactly how the developer created different parts of the program. Most commercial software manufacturers see this as an advantage as it keeps other companies from copying their code and using it in a competing product. It also gives them control over the quality and features found in a particular product.

With Open Source software the source code is included with the compiled version and modification or customization is actually encouraged. To be considered as open source software by the software development industry, certain criteria must be met:

- The program must be freely distributed (It can be part of a package that is sold though, such as Red Hat has done with Linux in the example below).
- Source code must be included.
- Anyone must be allowed to modify the source code.
- Modified versions can be redistributed.
- The license must not require the exclusion of other software or interfere with the operation of other software.

An example of open source software includes Linux. Which was created in 1991, by Linus Torvalds, a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland. He developed the new operating system based on Minix, a derivative of Unix, which he dubbed Linux. Torvalds released version 0.02 of Linux under the GNU General Public License, which provides a good legal definition of open source software. A lot of people around the world downloaded Linux and began working with it. Many of these users were programmers in their own right and made modifications to the source code that Torvalds had included. Over the next three years, Torvalds received these modified versions from the other programmers and made many changes to the original version and released Linux version 1.0 in 1994.
A common issue with open source software is the lack of a warranty and technical support. Because the software's license encourages modification and customization, it is nearly impossible to support. This is why Red Hat Software, founded in 1994, created the "Official Red Hat Linux" and is able to sell this normally "free" software. The main value that Red Hat adds to the package is a warranty and technical support. Mozilla (Netscape browser core), Apache (Web server), PERL (Web scripting language) and PNG (graphics file format) are all examples of very popular software that is based on open source.
The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation which aims to educate about and promote the benefits of open source and to build bridges among the open source community.

Open source is a development method for software that uses the power of distributed peer review and the clarity of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in makes a customer dependent on a supplier for products and services, unable to use another supplier without substantial switching costs. Below is a link on how to get a license approved:
7. OSI Certification Mark and Program
Blender is a free 3D Graphics application that can be used for modelling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, water and smoke simulations, skinning, animating, rendering, particle and other simulations, non-linear editing, composition, and creating interactive 3D applications, including video games, animated film, or visual effects.

Blender's features include advanced simulation tools such as rigid, realistic body, fluid, cloth and softbody dynamics, modifier-based modelling tools, powerful character animation tools, a node-based material and compositing system and Python for embedded scripting.
Released as free software under the GNU General Public License, Blender is available for a number of operating systems.

Blender offers many options in terms of creating 3D applications. Its quite complex, but can create amazing things. Below is an example of the blender application in action:
Inkscape is a vector graphics editor application. It is distributed under a free software license, the GNU. Its a powerful graphics tool that gives full support for the Scalable Vector Graphics standard.
It does not yet support animation, or SVG fonts, though base support for the creation of SVG fonts has been implemented as of version 0.47. Inkscape has multi-lingual support, particularly for complex scripts, something currently lacking in most commercial vector graphics applications.

Inkscape can be a bit confusing as the tools are positioned in slightly different places in comparison to programs such as Photoshop. But Inkscapes biggest advantage is that it manages changes and keeps a record of all changes made.

8. Blender Application
9. Inkscape