"Since the 1980 computer-software amendments to the Copyright
Act of 1976, copyright has been the chief way to control software
rights. Generally, that control extends to both binary and source
"Although people sometimes refer to selling or buying
software, these terms are generally incorrect. Usually, software is
not sold, except in the case where it is part of the sale of the
assets of a company. More commonly, software is licensed to
users. (Richard Stallman states, however, that free software
really is sold [or given] to people.)"
"A license is the permission or authority to do something
granted by someone who has the right to allow that thing. With
software, copyright law automatically attaches rights upon the
development of the software. As such, the software developer
automatically becomes the owner of certain copyright rights in the
Some of the products that appear on this site are from companies from which QuinStreet receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. QuinStreet does not include all companies or all types of products available in the marketplace.