What is the GNU License?

We were recently looking for images for some websites we were building. We're familiar with stock photography websites like www.istock.com and others. However, there is a trove of open license photography and content available under certain conditions. In many cases the content is even available for commercial use. 

One of the common licenses is the GNU license. It is widely used, especially by large websites like Wikipedia and others.

Here are some of the highlights of the GNU licenses:

"The GNU Free Documentation License (GNU FDL or simply GFDL) is a copyleft license for free documentation, designed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) for the GNU Project. It is similar to the GNU General Public License, giving readers the rights to copy, redistribute, and modify a work and requires all copies and derivatives to be available under the same license. Copies may also be sold commercially, but, if produced in larger quantities (greater than 100), the original document or source code must be made available to the work's recipient."


  • All previous authors of the work must be attributed.
  • All changes to the work must be logged.
  • All derivative works must be licensed under the same license.
  • The full text of the license, unmodified invariant sections as defined by the author if any, and any other added warranty disclaimers (such as a general disclaimer alerting readers that the document may not be accurate for example) and copyright notices from previous versions must be maintained.
  • Technical measures such as DRM may not be used to control or obstruct distribution or editing of the document.

Consider using great content under the GNU license for your projects. Be sure to review the requirements and it'll be a smooth process



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