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GPL and free software licensing: What’s in it for business?

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For a variety of reasons business is often seen as antipathetic to copyleft licensing. The GPL - the GNU General Public License - the most popular copyleft licence, sometimes gets a hostile press, often for reasons that don’t reflect its real and positive effects.

Arguments about the pros and cons of copyleft and permissive licensing go back a long way. A permissive licence is as it says, and allows the user to copy, repackage, sell, or change the code in any way the user likes, as long as some form of attribution is given.

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