GPL Compliance Lab

About the GPL Compliance Lab

The GPL Compliance Lab has been an informal activity of FSF since 1992 and was formalized in December 2001. Its main purpose is to provide Free Software Developers with licensing support.

Community Licensing Support

The Free Software community wants to write software without worrying about licensing. Unfortunately, the profusion of software licenses can make licensing confusing. The GPL Compliance Lab maintains resources for Free Software developers and others to learn about licensing:

The Lab also answers licensing questions from the Free Software community at

Gnu with magnifying glass

Consultation Services

With increasing interest in Free Software, the Lab now provides support to the corporate and legal communities with a general "knowledge infrastructure" concerning the GNU GPL and Free Software licensing. These services are delivered on a paid consultation basis, and include license compliance, engineering guidance, legal and engineering seminars and a software certification program.

Software Certification Program

The certification program provides corporations with the assurances they require when building products upon a Free Software infrastructure. When you purchase certification, FSF undertakes a comprehensive engineering and legal review of your software release to determine that your work has been done in compliance with GPL and related Free Software licenses. Upon certifying compliance, our legal department issues a letter of opinion about the compliance status of your product.

Certification is a complex activity and consultation is required to provide an adequate cost estimates.

Access to the Compliance Lab's consultation services is available by initial email to:

License Enforcement

The Compliance Lab also handles the investigation of reported GPL (and LGPL) violations and subsequent license enforcement when violations are confirmed. The Lab also assists other copyright holders (besides FSF itself) when they wish to enforce the GPL. If you find a violation of the GPL, please visit this page.

Related Links