The latest license can be located at:
Version 2, June 1991
Copyright © 1989, 1991 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Place, Suite 330
Boston, MA 02111-1307
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
Version 2, June 1991
Version 2, June 1991
Copyright (C) 1989, 1991 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
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 Lesser General Public License instead.) You can apply
it to your programs, too.
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 authors' reputations.
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 modification follow.
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 "you".
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
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
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
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
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 interchange; or,
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
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 full compliance.
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 circumstances.
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
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
END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS
How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs
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.
one line to give the program's name and an idea of what it does.
Copyright (C) yyyy name of author
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., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301,
Also add information on how to contact you by electronic and paper mail.
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) year name of author
Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details
type `show w'. This is free software, and you are welcome
to redistribute it under certain conditions; type `show c'
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.
signature of Ty Coon, 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 Lesser General Public License instead of
Return to the GNU Project home page.
Please send FSF & GNU inquiries to [email protected] There are also other
ways to contact the FSF.
Please send broken links and other corrections (or suggestions) to [email protected]
Please see the Translations README for information on coordinating and submitting
translations of this article.
Copyright notice above.
51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110, USA
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in
any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.