FSF Licensing & Compliance Team
I make my code available for use in free software, and not for use in proprietary software, in order to encourage other people who write software to make it free as well. I figure that since proprietary software developers use copyright to stop us from sharing, we cooperators can use copyright to give other cooperators an advantage of their own: they can use our code.
Richard Stallman, Copyleft: Pragmatic Idealism
Education & Support
We have a number of online resources as well as community-based and paid support.
See our licensing recommendations, analysis, and FAQ
- Guide to choosing a license for your own work
- Comprehensive FAQ about the GNU Licenses
- List of other licenses and whether they are free, copyleft, or compatible with the GPL.
Learn why we must put an end to software patents:
Have a question that you couldn't find the answer to? For general free software licensing questions please email email@example.com. Our team of licensing volunteers along with FSF staff will gladly answer questions for free software community members. We also offer paid support to proprietary software developers.
Copyright & Compliance
- The Free Software Foundation holds the copyright to many GNU packages, such as GCC and EMACS. When hackers contribute to these projects, we ask that they assign their copyright to enable us to enforce the license. For questions about assigning to the FSF, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Free software is everywhere these days, inside our computers, phones, and even televisions. With so much free software being distributed every day, we have to remain vigilant against potential violations. You can help to make sure that free software is always free by reporting violations to our compliance lab.
- The FSF can only enforce the license on works to which we hold the copyright, but we can still help bring about compliance even when the copyright lies elsewhere. If you need help with enforcement, please don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com
Verification & Certification
- Fully free GNU/Linux Distributions. These distributions meet our guidelines for a fully free distro, and are fully committed to keeping their distributions free.
- You can help keep those distributions free and earn a GNU Buck by filing a bug regarding a licensing issue in one of our endorsed distributions and sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Free Software Directory is our community curated listing of over 6500 free software packages. A great resource for finding and promoting software that respects its users.
- Respects Your Freedom Hardware certification program
- Looking to buy hardware that works well with free software? Check out h-node, a community run project to catalog how well different pieces of hardware work with fully free software.