Sharing GPL Compliance With 1,000 People

A Book Intended For Intense Use

‘Practical GPL Compliance’ was released by Armijn Hemel and myself at the end of April. I am delighted to announce that in just two weeks it has been picked up in printed or digital form by over 1,000 people.

This book is more Armijn’s brainchild than my own and he deserves the greatest credit. Indeed, if anything this book is an amalgamation of his knowledge and experience in the field, carefully reviewed together, and distilled into a distinct set of chapters, checklists and flowcharts designed to demystify compliance engineering.

‘Practical GPL Compliance’ is the culmination of ten years of working together in the Open Source compliance field. We started in European NGOs like and FSFE. As time went by our activities became more global and we started to address a more business-orientated audience. Our book bridges some of the knowledge obtained from and useful for both sectors.

I am delighted with the reception we have had so far. The feedback received has been tremendous and – because this is the digital age – it is being taken into account for improvements. Over time we will make the book better both through introducing new ways to access or share it and through revising the text itself. You can expect announcements around the former over the coming weeks. You can expect announcements around the latter in 2018.

A little bird told me that more printed copies of the book are on their way to Asia and will be shared at a significant event in Japan. Meanwhile, everyone anywhere in the world can get a free digital copy at this link:

Thanks are due to Linux Foundation for supporting the creation of this book and its distribution to a broad audience. I would particularly like to thank Mike Dolan for helping make magic happen, Kate Stewart for helping to realize the final text, Greg K-H for providing some great feedback, and Jim Zemlin for building an environment that allows projects like this come to life.

Thanks are also due to Harald Welte, Jake Edge and Karen Copenhaver for productive, insightful and actionable suggestions around the text. Your input, and the input of so many others, has been greatly valued by Armijn and myself.

There have been a few constants over the last ten years of working with Armijn. One is that we have constantly collaborated together. Creating and launching the Binary Analysis Tool is an example and our book is another. A second constant is that we have continually worked with great people at organizations like The Linux Foundation, Open Invention Network and NLnet Foundation. We have been fortunate.

Onward! Let’s see if we can share ‘Practical GPL Compliance’ with over 2,000 people. After all, having more people savvy in the craft of compliance engineering can only be a good thing, and it may help to address some of the issues we see arising in the global supply chain.