The licenses for most software are designed to take
away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General
Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change
free software--to make sure the software is free for all its users. This
General Public License applies to most of the Free Software Foundation's
software and to any other program whose authors commit to using it.
(Some other Free Software Foundation software is covered by the GNU
Library General Public License instead.) You can apply it to your
When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price.
Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the
freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this
service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you
want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new
free programs; and that you know you can do these things.
To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid anyone
to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights. These
restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you
distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it.
For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis
or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have.
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.
We protect your rights with two steps: (1) copyright the software, and
(2) offer you this license which gives you legal permission to copy,
distribute and/or modify the software.
Also, for each author's protection and ours, we want to make certain
that everyone understands that there is no warranty for this free
software. If the software is modified by someone else and passed on, we
want its recipients to know that what they have is not the original, so
that any problems introduced by others will not reflect on the original
Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents.
We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will
individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program
proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must
be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all.
The precise terms and conditions for copying, distribution and
GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION
0. This License applies to any program or other
work which contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it
may be distributed under the terms of this General Public License. The
"Program", below, refers to any such program or work, and a "work based
on the Program" means either the Program or any derivative work under
copyright law: that is to say, a work containing the Program or a
portion of it, either verbatim or with modifications and/or translated
into another language. (Hereinafter, translation is included without
limitation in the term "modification".) Each licensee is addressed as
Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
covered by this License; they are outside its scope. The act of running
the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program is
covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the Program
(independent of having been made by running the Program). Whether that
is true depends on what the Program does.
1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's source
code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously
and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice
and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the notices that refer to
this License and to the absence of any warranty; and give any other
recipients of the Program a copy of this License along with the Program.
You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and
you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.
2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion of
it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and distribute
such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1 above, provided
that you also meet all of these conditions:
a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices stating
that you changed the files and the date of any change.
b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part
thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties
under the terms of this License.
c) If the modified program normally reads commands interactively when
run, you must cause it, when started running for such interactive use in
the most ordinary way, to print or display an announcement including an
appropriate copyright notice and a notice that there is no warranty (or
else, saying that you provide a warranty) and that users may
redistribute the program under these conditions, and telling the user
how to view a copy of this License. (Exception: if the Program itself is
interactive but does not normally print such an announcement, your work
based on the Program is not required to print an announcement.)
These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If
identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program, and
can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those
sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you
distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on
the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this
License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire
whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.
Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest
your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to
exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or
collective works based on the Program.
In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program
with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of a
storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under the
scope of this License.
3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it,
under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source
code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2
above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years,
to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of
physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable
copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms
of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software
c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to
distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only
for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in
object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with
Subsection b above.)
The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source code
means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control
compilation and installation of the executable. However, as a special
exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is
normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major
components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on
which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the
If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering access
to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent access to copy
the source code from the same place counts as distribution of the source
code, even though third parties are not compelled to copy the source
along with the object code.
4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program
except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise
to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will
automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties
who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will
not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in
5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not
signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or
distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are
prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by
modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the
Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all
its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the
Program or works based on it.
6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions
on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein. You are not
responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to this License.
7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute
so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and
any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not
distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent license would
not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who
receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you
could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from
distribution of the Program.
If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable under
any particular circumstance, the balance of the section is intended to
apply and the section as a whole is intended to apply in other
It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe any
patents or other property right claims or to contest validity of any
such claims; this section has the sole purpose of protecting the
integrity of the free software distribution system, which is implemented
by public license practices. Many people have made generous
contributions to the wide range of software distributed through that
system in reliance on consistent application of that system; it is up to
the author/donor to decide if he or she is willing to distribute
software through any other system and a licensee cannot impose that
This section is intended to make thoroughly clear what is believed to
be a consequence of the rest of this License.
8. If the distribution and/or use of the Program is restricted in
certain countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces, the
original copyright holder who places the Program under this License may
add an explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding those
countries, so that distribution is permitted only in or among countries
not thus excluded. In such case, this License incorporates the
limitation as if written in the body of this License.
9. The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions
of the General Public License from time to time. Such new versions will
be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to
address new problems or concerns.
Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program
specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any
later version", you have the option of following the terms and
conditions either of that version or of any later version published by
the Free Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version
number of this License, you may choose any version ever published by the
Free Software Foundation.
10. If you wish to incorporate parts of the Program into other free
programs whose distribution conditions are different, write to the
author to ask for permission. For software which is copyrighted by the
Free Software Foundation, write to the Free Software Foundation; we
sometimes make exceptions for this. Our decision will be guided by the
two goals of preserving the free status of all derivatives of our free
software and of promoting the sharing and reuse of software generally.
11. BECAUSE THE PROGRAM IS LICENSED FREE OF CHARGE, THERE IS NO
WARRANTY FOR THE PROGRAM, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW.
EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR
OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THE PROGRAM "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE
ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE PROGRAM IS WITH
YOU. SHOULD THE PROGRAM PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL
NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR OR CORRECTION.
12. IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN
WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MAY MODIFY
AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE THE PROGRAM AS PERMITTED ABOVE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR
DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL
DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE PROGRAM
(INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED
INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF
THE PROGRAM TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER PROGRAMS), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR
OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS
If you develop a new program, and you want it to be
of the greatest possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this
is to make it free software which everyone can redistribute and change
under these terms.
To do so, attach the following notices to the program. It is safest to
attach them to the start of each source file to most effectively convey
the exclusion of warranty; and each file should have at least the
"copyright" line and a pointer to where the full notice is found.
Copyright (C) 19yy
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your
option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General
Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
Also add information on how to contact you by electronic and paper
If the program is interactive, make it output a short notice like this
when it starts in an interactive mode:
Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) 19yy name of author
Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `show
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it under
certain conditions; type `show c' for details.
The hypothetical commands `show w' and `show c' should show the
appropriate parts of the General Public License. Of course, the commands
you use may be called something other than `show w' and `show c'; they
could even be mouse-clicks or menu items--whatever suits your program.
You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer) or your
school, if any, to sign a "copyright disclaimer" for the program, if
necessary. Here is a sample; alter the names:
Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright interest in the program
`Gnomovision' (which makes passes at compilers) written by James Hacker.
, 1 April 1989
Ty Coon, President of Vice
This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program
into proprietary programs. If your program is a subroutine library, you
may consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications
with the library. If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Library
General Public License instead of this License.