Free license is such license agreement, which contain conditions permit to the user from the holder on a specific list of uses for his work, which gives him four major freedoms (or based on them).
Without a special license these uses are prohibited by the laws of copyright.
Most free licenses are worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, and perpetual (see Copyright Durations).
Free licenses often are basis of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding projects.
The invention of the term "free license" and focusing on the rights of users were connected to the traditions of the hacker culture of the 1970s and the social and political free software movement (since 1980). Since then times ideas of free licenses spreaded into different spheres of society. Open source, free culture, anticopyright, Wikimedia Foundation projects, pirate parties are connected with free licenses.
Classification and licenses
By type of content
Creative Commons has affiliates more in 100 jurisdictions all over the world.
EUPL was created in the European Union.
Harald Welte created gpl-violations.org