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<title>Violations of the GNU Licenses
- GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>
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<h2>Violations of the GNU Licenses</h2>
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<p>
If you think you see a violation of the GNU
<a href="/licenses/gpl.html">GPL</a>,
<a href="/licenses/lgpl.html">LGPL</a>,
<a href="/licenses/agpl.html">AGPL</a>, or
<a href="/licenses/fdl.html">FDL</a>,
the first thing you
should do is double-check the facts:</p>
<ul>
  <li>Does the distribution contain a copy of the License?</li>
  <li>Does it clearly state which software is covered by the License?
       Does it say anything misleading, perhaps giving the impression
       that something is covered by the License when in fact it is not?</li>
  <li>Is source code included in the distribution?</li>
  <li>Is a written offer for source code included with a distribution of
       just binaries?</li>
  <li>Is the available source code complete, or is it designed for
       linking in other non-free modules?</li>
</ul>
<p>
If there seems to be a real violation, the next thing you need to do
is record the details carefully:</p>

<ul>
<li>the precise name of the product</li>
<li>the name of the person or organization distributing it</li>

<li>email addresses, postal addresses and phone numbers for how to
contact the distributor(s)</li>

<li>the exact name of the package whose license is violated</li>

<li>how the license was violated:
<ul>
    <li>Is the copyright notice of the copyright holder included?</li>
    <li>Is the source code completely missing?</li>
 
    <li>Is there a written offer for source that's incomplete in some
    way?  This could happen if it provides a contact address or
    network URL that's somehow incorrect.</li>

    <li>Is there a copy of the license included in the distribution?</li>

    <li>Is some of the source available, but not all?  If so, what parts
        are missing?</li>
</ul>
</li>
</ul>

<p>
The more of these details that you have, the easier it is for the
copyright holder to pursue the matter.</p>

<p>
Once you have collected the details, you should send a precise report
to the copyright holder holders of the packages that are being misused. wrongly
distributed.  The GNU licenses are copyright holder is licenses; free licenses
in general are based on copyright.  In most countries only the one who is
copyright holders are legally authorized to take action empowered to enforce the license.</p> act against violations.</p>

<p>
If
The Free Software Foundation acts on GPL violations reported on
FSF-copyrighted code.  Thus, 
<strong>if</strong> the program includes code that is copyright holder <strong>is</strong> the Free
Software Foundation, please send the your report
to <a href="mailto:license-violation@gnu.org"><license-violation@gnu.org></a>.
It's
</p>

<p>It's important that we be able to write back to you to get more
information about the violation or and the product.  So,  Thus, if you use an
anonymous remailer, please provide a return path of some sort. If
you'd like to encrypt your correspondence, just send a brief mail
saying so, and we'll make appropriate arrangements.</p>

<p>
Note that arrangements. Because the GPL, and other copyleft licenses, are copyright licenses.
This means FSF
endorsed <a href="https://www.fsf.org/licensing/enforcement-principles">the
Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement</a>, you can rest
assured that only the copyright holders are empowered your report will not lead to act against
violations. punishing anyone for an
innocent mistake who is willing to correct it.</p>

<p>
The FSF acts on all GPL violations reported on FSF
copyrighted code, and we offer offers assistance and advice to any other copyright holder who
wishes to do the same.</p>

<p>
But, enforce GNU licenses.  But we cannot act on our own if where we
do not hold copyright.  Thus, be sure to find out who are the
copyright holders of the software are before reporting software, and report the violation to
them.</p>

<p>
Our colleagues at the Software Freedom Conservancy do GPL enforcement
for many free programs, through their own copyrights and with
coalitions of copyright holders in those programs.  The programs
include Linux, Git, Samba, QEMU, and others.  If you encounter a violation.</p> GPL
violation on those programs, we suggest you
visit <a href="https://sfconservancy.org/copyleft-compliance/"> the
Conservancy's copyleft compliance page</a> for the up-to-date list
of programs it handles, and how to report violations.</p>

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<p class="unprintable">Updated:
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$Date: 2018/09/14 16:28:06 $
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