A requirement in the GNU GPL software license and other "free" software licenses that anyone who redistributes the software does so under the same license and also includes the source code. The "free" means free of restrictions (see free software
). The copyleft clauses were written to support copyright laws, not eliminate them.
Strong vs. Weak
A "strong copyleft" license, such as the GNU GPL license, applies to all derived works and software components in the package. A "weak copyleft" license, such as the GNU Lesser GPL, applies only to the original copylefted work.
Full vs. Partial
"Full copyleft" means that all of the work may be modified, whereas "partial copyleft" restricts some parts of the work from being altered. See GNU General Public License