Here is a simple question. It seems to me that Arduino has vast potential to be used as a prototyping platform for a commercial product. After nearly 4 hrs. of researching about the GNU GPL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
), I still haven't answered my own question: can a commerical, proprietary product be created using Arduino?
And if so, does the source code for the product have to be released, or can it remain proprietary? Does it [your product and "sketch," or source code] fall under the terms of the GPL, LGPL?
And if so, which version of the GPL (it would be GPL 2 from what I can tell, if it falls under this at all).It seems to me that if one uses an Arduino, or Arduino-compatible device to create a stand-alone piece of hardware, they CAN commercialize and sell their product with*out* releasing their sketch source code
, but I am not 100% sure. One particular sentence in Wikipedia, here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License
), under the heading "Use of Licenses Software," catches my attention and supports my conclusion. It says, "Software under the GPL may be run for all purposes, including commercial purposes and even as a tool for creating proprietary software, for example when using GPL-licensed compilers." This means that using the Arduino IDE does NOT require the GPL license to be passed down to programs created using the IDE (I think). However, further down it reads, "the licensing depends only on the used libraries and software components and not on the underlying platform." Well, from what I can tell, some of Arduino is GPL V2, and the libraries are LGPL. So, if you use any Arduino functions, this indicates that you are using GPL licensed source code/functions in your source code, and that muddles the situation.
Anyone a license expert here? Or, does anyone have specific real-life examples of one way or another that you can cite?