Chapter 19

GPL compliance need not be an onerous process. Historically, struggles have been the result of poor development methodologies and communications, rather than any unexpected application of the GPL’s source code disclosure requirements.

Compliance is straightforward when the entirety of your enterprise is well-informed and well-coordinated. The receptionists should know how to route a GPL source request or accusation of infringement. The lawyers should know the basic provisions of Free Software licenses and your source disclosure requirements, and should explain those details to the software developers. The software developers should use a version control system that allows them to associate versions of source with distributed binaries, have a well-documented build process that anyone skilled in the art can understand, and inform the lawyers when they bring in new software. Managers should build systems and procedures that keep everyone on target. With these practices in place, any organization can comply with the GPL without serious effort, and receive the substantial benefits of good citizenship in the software freedom community, and lots of great code ready-made for their products.