Definition: Free software licence

General concept

A free software license grants the right to modify and redistribute the licensed software, both of which would ordinarily be forbidden by copyright law. In some cases, these rights are accompanied by copyleft restrictions, adding requirements to redistribution. For example, some free software licenses require the distribution of complete source code along with the software or some specific form of attribution of authorship.
Semantic Operability Centre Europe (SEMIC), Initiative by Director-General "Informatics" of the European Commission, Online glossary

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