By Alec Smith

What Is It?

Copyright is the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same thing.

The Different Licenses

There are 5 different licenses:

Public Domain- Material not protected by copyright laws. The 3 reasons why it might be public: copyright either expired, public money made the material, or the material was donated into the public domain. An example is like classical literature, where the author died centuries ago and the copyright expired.

Freeware- Copyrighted material that you can give away for free (copy it, distribute it, etc)

An example may include Itunes, Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer, Safari etc.

Shareware-Shareware is copyrighted material that’s a portion of the actual product. This could include AOL lite games or App Store 'lite' apps, which aren't the full version.

All Rights Reserved-Only allows the purchaser to use the software according to the details spelled out in the license agreement. This could include most software you buy at Best Buy or other similar stores (GTA, iWork etc.).

Open Source-Software that includes the source code with the idea that someone can improve it. Things like Google Chrome and Firefox are good examples of this.