All rights reversed

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This article is about the phrase. For the song by the Chemical Brothers, see We Are the Night.
The copyleft symbol. Unlike the copyright symbol, it has no legal meaning.

All rights reversed is a phrase that indicates a release of copyright or a copyleft licensing status. It is a pun on the common copyright disclaimer "All rights reserved", a copyright formality originally required by the Buenos Aires Convention of 1910.[1] "All Rights Reversed" (sometimes spelled rites) was used by author Gregory Hill to authorize the free reprinting of his Principia Discordia in the late 1960s. Hill's disclaimer was accompanied by the kosher "Ⓚ" (for kallisti) symbol, a play on ©, the copyright symbol.[2]

In 1984/5 programmer Don Hopkins sent Richard Stallman a letter labeled "Copyleft—all rights reversed". Stallman chose the phrase to identify his free software method of distribution.[3] It is often accompanied by a reversed version of the copyright symbol (see illustration).[4]

"All Rights Reversed", its homophone, "All Rites Reversed", and/or the "Copyleft" symbol, are occasionally used among those who publish or produce media (or any other material that might normally be copyrighted) as a clever means of saying "This is not copyrighted. Please, do with it what you will." and encouraging the duplication and use of the "copy-lefted" material thereof. An additional meaning is that if the material is labeled with the copyleft symbol, it should stay open under the credits of the original creator. It may be edited, but only if credit is given. It may also not be redistributed under copyright laws.

The open source character Jenny Everywhere is released under an "All rights reversed" licence.


  1. ^ Engelfriet, Arnoud (2006). "The phrase "All rights reserved"". Ius mentis. Archived from the original on 1 January 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  2. ^ Hill, Gregory (1965). Principia Discordia. Ⓚ All Rites Reversed - reprint what you like 
  3. ^ Stallman, Richard (1999). Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution. O'Reilly Media. p. 59. ISBN 1-56592-582-3. 
  4. ^ Muffatto, Moreno (2006). Open Source: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Imperial College Press. p. 40. ISBN 1-86094-665-8.