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Practical GPL Compliance

Practical GPL Compliance is a guide for startups, small businesses, and engineers tasked with shipping products that contain GNU General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2) code.

Whether you work in consumer electronics, drones, IoT, or automotive devices based on generic Linux or Android code-bases, this guide is for you.

In this 50+ page guide produced by The Linux Foundation, you’ll find simple instructions, checklists, and flowcharts that empower compliance teams to work with open source as efficiently as possible.


Shane Coughlan
Shane Coughlan
, OpenChain Program Manager, led the licensing team that elevated Open Invention Network into the largest patent non-aggression community in history, established the leading professional network of open source legal experts, and launched both the first law journal and the first law book dedicated to open source.

Armijn Hemel
Armijn Hemel is the owner of Tjaldur Software Governance Solutions. He is an active researcher of and internationally recognized expert in open source license compliance and supply chain management. He studied computer science at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, where he pioneered reproducible builds with NixOS. In the past he served on the board of NLUUG and was a member of the coreteam of Currently he is a board member at NixOS Foundation.

What Experts Have To Say

“Today it takes more than a simple legal advice to be compliant with the requirements of open source licenses. This guide is based on long-term experience and authors and represents a unique collection of practical information about how to solve the technical challenges compliance engineers are facing.”

– Dr. Till Jaeger, Partner at JBB Rechtsanwalte

“Armijn Hemel is the world’s foremost expert on the technical aspects of GPL compliance. This book is an indispensable starting point for all compliance engineers.”

– Professor Eben Moglen, President and Executive Director at Software Freedom Law Center

“Shane Coughlan and Armijn Hemel have created a wonderful resource for anyone working with open source software being shipped in a device. They describe in detail how to ensure compliance with the various software licenses and communities in which we all rely on.”

– Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Kernel Maintainer and Fellow at The Linux Foundation

“A practical guide with hands-on advice that condenses the significant experience of pioneers in GPL compliance who actually made some of the tools of the trade. Given their longstanding and recognized experience in compliance this is one of the most keenly awaited texts by compliance advisors and in-house officers. I am glad we now have it and that it exceeds my high expectations.”

– Carlo Piana, Founder at Array Law and General Counsel at Free Software Foundation Europe e.V.

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