Copyright and Licensing

how they work

Copyright facts

A copyright is basically the rights you have to any piece of work you create. As soon as you've saved something, or printed it, basically as soon as it exists outside of your head, copyright applies to it. However, if it is a big thing that you really want to protect, you can register it so that the copyright is easy to prove if someone ever steals your work. So basically as soon as you create it, it is yours to sell, lease, lend and alter and no one can copy it without your permission (which would be piracy), unless you put a license on it.

So What's a License?

A license is permission to use your work. There are different types of licenses, with different restrictions and freedoms.


1. Public Domain: public domain isn't protected because either it's copyright license has expired (example: most classics have expired so Jane Austen books and Sherlock Holmes can be copied legally) or it was created using public money, or the creator donated it. If you don't care about making money or people copying your work, you can donate it so that everyone can use it.


2. Freeware: You are allowed to use the work for free, however it is still protected by copyright. For example, safari is freeware.


3. Shareware: this is a piece of work that has a free trial, to get you hooked, before asking you to pay for permanent or full use. This is a great marketing strategy, because once people get attached to your work and the time comes that their trial is over, they are willing to pay the full price. Take for example, minecraft lite, which gives you a free trial but requires you to pay a fee later.


4. All Rights Reserved: may be used by the purchaser as long as they respect the license agreement. For example, Grand Theft Auto is All Rights Reserved.


5.Open Source: software that allows you to change the source code so that you can improve it or make it do something specific for you. For example, chrome allows you to adjust the source code.