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Topic: What is Piracy with respect to Arduino? (Read 3 times) previous topic - next topic

Arduino Malaysia


Thanks for the good words. If Duemilanove (or any of the official board name) is not a trademark and can be use in the clone name. Then we are going to be hurt by this.

Any other people with feedback on this?


Believe it or not, there are people who would buy Arduino boards due to its branding and/or because they want to show support to people behind Arduino. So that these people will keep innovating the product.

Since the "pirates" is presenting their product as the official Arduino product either by using Arduino trademark or same name as official board. Unsuspecting buyer with intention to buy the official product will then feel cheated.

Add this to the after effect that everyone will have to be careful. Choose not to buy online because they can not check the product physically.

Worst, what stopping this "pirate" from selling clones at official product price? After all they advertised/list the clone using Arduino branding and official product name.

This is the bad reps that I refer to earlier.

Where I come from. This kind of activity, selling clone as original product is called piracy. We have learn to differentiate it from the other pirate who "kidnap, murder and rape on the high seas".


What i generally need to know, nowadays with Arduino as a trademark, is it forbidden to market a board with the term "Arduino", but clearly state that it is a clone (e.g. Seeduino, Severino) or fork of the original?

I do not want to fool people into thinking they buy the real DMN/Uno, but rather a compatible board with its own advantages.

Arduino Malaysia

Oct 10, 2010, 04:41 am Last Edit: Oct 10, 2010, 04:41 am by arduino-malaysia Reason: 1
Here is excerpt from Arduino FAQ >> What should I call my boards? (http://arduino.cc/en/Main/FAQ) :


"Arduino" is a trademark of Arduino team and should not be used for unofficial variants.


While unofficial products should not have "Arduino" in their name, it's okay to describe your product in relation to the Arduino project and platform.



   * Xxxxxx for Arduino - products that work with official Arduino boards (e.g. shields or kits)
   * Xxxxxx (Arduino-Compatible) - variations and clones which are software and hardware compatible

I am not a lawyer ;). But from reading the FAQ, while we can not use Arduino in the name of unofficial product. It can be used as description in above fashion.


Thanks for the link, Arduino Malaysia. This was what i wanted to know. I did not think it was clearly stated in the FAQ though.




Where I come from. This kind of activity, selling clone as original product is called piracy.

The term "piracy", I am pretty sure, isn't the legal definition. The proper legal terms are more prosaic:

1. Copyright Infringement
2. Patent Infringement
3. Trademark Infringement

Of which the use of the name Arduino without proper licensing is an example of variant number 3, of course.

The term "piracy", as applied to these intellectual property (IP) violations, was coined by an organization known as the "Business Software Alliance":


They are basically a non-governmental enforcement and lobbyist organization whose purpose is to conflate the terms of intellectual property violations, which produce mainly only monetary damages, with those terms which represent heinous criminal acts, which typically produce not only monetary damage, but social, psychological, and bodily damage, not to mention violence and assault. Obviously (and sadly) they have been very effective with this strategy, since in most areas of the world, IP violations are no longer considered civil property crimes (as they once were), but generally hold a status that is rapidly closing in on a definition closer to the terminology of "economic terrorism".

It would be one thing if these IP violations actually removed product from the shelves to be sold, but it generally does not. Most IP violations have nothing to do with actual theft (that of deprivation of an individual or company of actual product), but rather that of "loss of profit"; the BSA (and other similar organizations like the RIAA and the MPAA), therefore, is nothing more than an extra-governmental organizations dedicated to ensuring and enforcing the profitability of their member constituent companies.

As if by their very existence, they are owed, by us citizens, money for making "stuff". I say they are not owed a damn thing.

The concepts of open source software (and now hardware, and other endeavors) and especially that of the Free Software Foundation, were established as means of taking back the real concepts that software, and intellectual property as a whole, was based on: that of freedom of speech. These companies, and their enforcement agencies, want nothing more so much than to package up your thoughts and speech, and resell it back to you while reaping a (generally large) profit. If you don't agree with them, they will attempt to do what they can (legally or otherwise) to silence and/or marginalize you in whatever way necessary.

What disturbs me most about all of this, is that by supposedly open-source projects worrying about IP rights and such, as well as by fewer people understanding the etymology of the terms being used to describe what is happening (ie, conflating the derogatory term "piracy" with that of the more prosaic "intellectual property violation"), that the open source movement may be playing right into the hands of the corporate hegemony.

Is this what we really want? I don't think its what I want...


I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

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