A Guide to GPL Compliance for Software Engineers and Managers
Bradley M. Kuhn
Linux World, Moscone Center, San Francsico, CA, USA
August 5, 2008
According to hosting sites like Sourceforge, the GNU General Public License (GPL), and related licenses like the LGPL, are the distribution terms for the majority of FOSS, including Linux. However, few software developers and managers understand the how to properly prepare a compliant "complete and corresponding" source code release to accompany binary distributions, and how to keep their product in ongoing and correct compliance thereafter. This session, given by one of the world's most experienced GPL enforcers, will cover the basics of keeping your distribution in compliance, particularly in the embedded architecture space, where most GPL violations now occur.
Most companies find that the rules of the GPL are easy and unburdensome, and are an excellent catalyst to improve their engineering build and packaging processes. In addition, many companies have discovered that GPL compliance vetting is essential in software redistribution deals, lest they inherent compliance problems from an upstream provider.