SPEC Kit 340: Open Source Software · 91
FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION
GNU General Public License Version 3
The GNU General Public License v3.0 - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html[6/26/14 11:35:43 AM]
use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things.
To protect your rights, we need to prevent others from denying you these rights or asking you to surrender
the rights. Therefore, you have certain responsibilities if you distribute copies of the software, or if you
modify it: responsibilities to respect the freedom of others.
For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must pass on to the
recipients the same freedoms that you received. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the
source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.
Developers that use the GNU GPL protect your rights with two steps: (1) assert copyright on the software,
and (2) offer you this License giving you legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify it.
For the developers' and authors' protection, the GPL clearly explains that there is no warranty for this free
software. For both users' and authors' sake, the GPL requires that modified versions be marked as
changed, so that their problems will not be attributed erroneously to authors of previous versions.
Some devices are designed to deny users access to install or run modified versions of the software inside
them, although the manufacturer can do so. This is fundamentally incompatible with the aim of protecting
users' freedom to change the software. The systematic pattern of such abuse occurs in the area of
products for individuals to use, which is precisely where it is most unacceptable. Therefore, we have
designed this version of the GPL to prohibit the practice for those products. If such problems arise
substantially in other domains, we stand ready to extend this provision to those domains in future versions
of the GPL, as needed to protect the freedom of users.
Finally, every program is threatened constantly by software patents. States should not allow patents to
restrict development and use of software on general-purpose computers, but in those that do, we wish to
avoid the special danger that patents applied to a free program could make it effectively proprietary. To
prevent this, the GPL assures that patents cannot be used to render the program non-free.
The precise terms and conditions for copying, distribution and modification follow.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
“This License” refers to version 3 of the GNU General Public License.
“Copyright” also means copyright-like laws that apply to other kinds of works, such as semiconductor
“The Program” refers to any copyrightable work licensed under this License. Each licensee is addressed as
“you”. “Licensees” and “recipients” may be individuals or organizations.
To “modify” a work means to copy from or adapt all or part of the work in a fashion requiring copyright
permission, other than the making of an exact copy. The resulting work is called a “modified version” of the
earlier work or a work “based on” the earlier work.
A “covered work” means either the unmodified Program or a work based on the Program.