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  4. <title>Useful Compliance Tips For Vendors - FSFE Legal</title>
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  9. <p id="category"><a href="/activities/ftf/ftf.html">Legal</a></p>
  10. <h1>Useful Compliance Tips For Vendors</h1>
  11. <p id="introduction">
  12. These useful tips can help you locate some common issues when
  13. releasing software that contains code under the GNU GPL licence.
  14. For a complete and authoritative guide to releasing software under
  15. the GNU GPL you should read the <a
  16. href="http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html">FSF's
  17. GNU GPL FAQ</a> and the <a
  18. href="http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-howto.html">FSF's
  19. HOW-TO for using the GNU GPL</a>.
  20. </p>
  21. <p>
  22. This is not legal advice. If you have doubts consult a legal
  23. advisor.
  24. </p>
  25. <h2>Basic guidelines</h2>
  26. <ol>
  27. <li>
  28. Check if the source code of the software is available to users.
  29. </li>
  30. <li>
  31. Check if you are the copyright holder of the software and if you
  32. include Free Software copyrighted by third parties make sure you
  33. give proper credit.
  34. </li>
  35. <li>
  36. Check if you are distributing the correct version of the source
  37. code. The source code shipped must be the same source code used
  38. to build the binary.
  39. </li>
  40. <li>
  41. Check if you include the source code for any derivative works of
  42. the GNU GPL code you are using, not just of the third-party GNU
  43. GPL components themselves.
  44. </li>
  45. <li>
  46. Check if you include the scripts used to control compilation and
  47. installation.
  48. </li>
  49. <li>
  50. If the toolchain is released and contains tools under the GNU
  51. GPL (like the GCC compiler), check if the source code for those
  52. tools is also released.
  53. </li>
  54. </ol>
  55. <h2>Before shipping the product</h2>
  56. <ol>
  57. <li>
  58. Check if your purchasing contracts require suppliers to disclose
  59. the presence of any GPL software.
  60. </li>
  61. <li>
  62. Check if your suppliers provide all the materials you need to
  63. comply with the GNU GPL licence.
  64. </li>
  65. <li>
  66. It helps to ensure that if your supplier turns out to not comply
  67. with the GPL they agree to rectify the situation in a timely
  68. fashion.
  69. </li>
  70. </ol>
  71. <h2>Shipping the product</h2>
  72. <ol>
  73. <li>
  74. Check if a copy of the GNU GPL licence is shipped with the
  75. product.
  76. </li>
  77. <li>
  78. Check if a copy of the source code is shipped with the product
  79. or that you include a written offer to provide the source code
  80. on a physical media like a CD ROM for no more than the cost of
  81. production and shipping.
  82. </li>
  83. <li>
  84. Remember you cannot offer a download link to the source code
  85. instead of a written offer to ship the source code on physical
  86. media. You can supplement the written offer with a reference to
  87. a download site. This may reduce the number of requests for
  88. source code.
  89. </li>
  90. <li>
  91. Remember that if you distribute binaries over the Internet you
  92. must host the source code on a server that you operate or that
  93. is operated by someone you have an explicit arrangement with.
  94. </li>
  95. </ol>
  96. <p>
  97. Don't forget to review the <a
  98. href="http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-howto.html">FSF's
  99. HOW-TO for using the GNU GPL</a>. It's short, clear and explains
  100. exactly what you need to do when you release code under the GNU GPL
  101. licence.
  102. </p>
  103. </body>
  104. <timestamp>$Date$ $Author$</timestamp>
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