August 20, 2008
The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), provider of pro-bono legal services to protect and advance Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FOSS), today published a guide to effective compliance with the GNU General Public License (GPL) and related licenses.
The guide provides a basic legal overview of GPL compliance and recommends procedures that companies can implement to avoid violations. It also discusses effective response to enforcement actions by copyright holders.
The guide, entitled A Practical Guide to GPL Compliance, is available online in various formats.
“While SFLC's lawsuits filed on behalf of Busybox are the most visible recent enforcement actions, the vast majority of our enforcement work is conducted quietly and cooperatively on behalf of many different clients”, said Aaron Williamson, a lawyer at SFLC and a co-author of the paper. SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn, who has conducted GPL enforcement since 1998 and co-authored the guide, added, “Cooperative and non-confrontational enforcement has always been and remains the norm and preference of everyone in the community. Through this guide, we further advance that goal by providing even more information to help those who commercialize FLOSS to comply easily from the start”.