Short for General Public License, the license that accompanies some open source software that details how the software and its accompany source code can be freely copied, distributed and modified. The most widespread use of GPL is in reference to the GNU GPL, which is commonly abbreviated simply as GPLwhen it is understood that the term refers to the GNU GPL. One of the basic tenets of the GPL is that anyone who acquires the material must make it available to anyone else under the same licensing agreement.
The GPL does not cover activities other than the copying, distributing and modifying of the source code.
A GPL is also referred to as a copyleft, in contrast to a copyright that identifies the proprietary rights of material.