What is Copyleft? How it Relates to the Market Economy Driven by Proprietary Software

By Chiang Teck Meng (Jim).

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Copyleft is a general concept, and we cannot use a concept directly; we can only use certain specific manifestations of the concept. This paper is focused on the tripartite relationship evolving within the copyleft environment, in particular programmer monetary rewards and programmer employability. Richard Stallman, the originator of the copyleft concept, emphasises that software or programs have to be free for distribution and utilization. These conditions, sometimes derogatorily referred to as "viral" in nature, assure that a work is freely available, remains as such, and ensures the same conditions for any improvements or enhancements of the original. At this juncture, copyleft and copyright do pose certain legal arguments in terms of proprietary software. Nevertheless, these licenses represent a new conceptualization of development in the design and interpretation of intellectual property rights. In the market of digital information goods, this concept is competing with the traditional one, copyright. Both aim to solve a certain set of legal and socio–economic issues, namely the appropriation of economic benefits and the promise of a certain life expectancy to collectively created digital goods.

Keywords: Copyleft, General Public License, Programmer, Historically, Technology, Science, Astonishing Phenomenon, Computer Program

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.109-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.181MB).

Chiang Teck Meng (Jim)

Teaching Support Officer, Electronics Section, Info-Comm Technology, School of Electronics, Institute of Technical Education, Singapore

I am working as Teaching Support Officer in Institute of Technical Education in Singapore for 25 years. This has given me experience of dealing with post secondary students.I teach the practical components of Computer and Industrial Electronics, Network and Communication, Web Development as well as Final Project Development modules. On top of that, I am also a module coordinator in School of Electronics and Info-Comm Technology. I can speak and write both Mandarin and English. I obtained my diploma in Acoustic Engineering and diploma in Electronics, Computer and Communication in year 1995 and 2000 respectively. In year 2003, I am graduated with an advanced diploma in Multimedia Technology and subsequently I am graduated with a Bachelor of Art in Product Design in 2006 as well as a MBA in 2008. I like to translate novels, creating websites, travel and jogging.

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