Useful Compliance Tips For Vendors
These useful tips can help you locate some common issues when
releasing software that contains code under the GNU GPL licence.
For a complete and authoritative guide to releasing software under
the GNU GPL you should read the FSF's
GNU GPL FAQ and the FSF's
HOW-TO for using the GNU GPL.
This is not legal advice. If you have doubts consult a legal
Check if the source code of the software is available to users.
Check if you are the copyright holder of the software and if you
include Free Software copyrighted by third parties make sure you
give proper credit.
Check if you are distributing the correct version of the source
code. The source code shipped must be the same source code used
to build the binary.
Check if you include the source code for any derivative works of
the GNU GPL code you are using, not just of the third-party GNU
GPL components themselves.
Check if you include the scripts used to control compilation and
If the toolchain is released and contains tools under the GNU
GPL (like the GCC compiler), check if the source code for those
tools is also released.
Before shipping the product
Check if your purchasing contracts require suppliers to disclose
the presence of any GPL software.
Check if your suppliers provide all the materials you need to
comply with the GNU GPL licence.
It helps to ensure that if your supplier turns out to not comply
with the GPL they agree to rectify the situation in a timely
Shipping the product
Check if a copy of the GNU GPL licence is shipped with the
Check if a copy of the source code is shipped with the product
or that you include a written offer to provide the source code
on a physical media like a CD ROM for no more than the cost of
production and shipping.
Remember you cannot offer a download link to the source code
instead of a written offer to ship the source code on physical
media. You can supplement the written offer with a reference to
a download site. This may reduce the number of requests for
Remember that if you distribute binaries over the Internet you
must host the source code on a server that you operate or that
is operated by someone you have an explicit arrangement with.
Don't forget to review the FSF's
HOW-TO for using the GNU GPL. It's short, clear and explains
exactly what you need to do when you release code under the GNU GPL