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Author Topic: Examples of commercial use?  (Read 2425 times)
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SF Bay Area
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Correct license or not, aren't you missing the key point that the Arduino platform is comprised of many 3rd party components (Processing, Gcc, AVRDUDE, etc) in which the Arduino firm has no control over what license was used and could not change it even if they wanted to ? They simply don't 'own' all the software components used in the platform.

Simply put, Arduino is in no position to take action on your re-licensing idea even if they agreed with it.

Very good point! I wasn't really thinking along those lines.

Processing doesn't really come in to play, cause that's only for the IDE. But, yes the arduino IDE makes the most sense to stay under GPL.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but just using gcc to compile your code doesn't mean you have to release your code.

AVRDUDE is under a BSD license, but I see AVRDUDE much like a compiler. It's difficult to imagine that it would restrict arduino core & libraries from being released under any license they choose. In fact, they should be able to release it under multiple licenses.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but just using gcc to compile your code doesn't mean you have to release your code.

Not sure, but there are lots of gcc or other 3rd party C/C++ libraries also part of the package and not written by the arduino folks and I'm sure also enter the licencing question at hand. Not an expert, don't even really care, to me it's just all free software for me to use in my hobby projects.  smiley-grin

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Another thought on this vein that I've considered is the viability of "Webinars" or telepresence lectures.  If you look in the "Gigs" and "Education" sections of the forum, you'll frequently see requests from groups looking for an "Introduction to Arduino" lecture.  You don't get the "hands on" impact of a physical lecturer in the room, but then again, requests come from from everywhere- with some of the locations physically difficult to get to cheaply, etc.  Though less than ideal, a Videochat type system would work.. at least it would be interactive rather than a canned YouTube video.

Telepresence education is common these days; I wonder how often the word "Arduino" is uttered via online lectures- and if a business of sorts could be driven from simply assembling a decent 2-3 hour "Arduino 101" curriculum and presenting it well.  When I say "Simply", that's not a really good term.. having been a teacher, that right there is enough content to found a career.  Teaching is one of the hardest jobs there is, even when the students are willing, engaged participants.

As for a commercial product, it's just too easy to avoid the issue if you wanted to.  If you skip using a bootloader on the finished product, and lock the chip for read operations (isn't there a fuse for this?  I thought there was, in the 328) it'd be practically impossible to prove what you did to build your code.  Then, if you use a chip other than a 328 (like an atTiny), it's even more obscured.  What I'm saying is that if you wanted to be dishonest about it, it would be simple to do so.. atmel sells these by the millions, Arduino is a tiny fraction of that.

I guess if something became a real hit and immensely popular and profitable it could become a problem; however I think if I were in the position, I'd WANT to give reference back to the Open Source foundation of my product and also give back financially to the project.  I think what you'd really need to fully answer this would be a patent attorney-- because that's what's in play, protection of intellectual property.

I've wondered to myself what I might do if I built something and posted it, and then found some company making a ton of money off something I designed while not paying me a cent.. that's a risk we all run in posting the code and such.  I'd not be happy, that's for sure.. at some levels it's the same question.  I think I just settle with "This is a hobby for me, and if I get lucky I'll deal with that bridge when I get to it, if I need to..."

I think that it's usually "fairly" safe to post a project, you've got two possible groups:  those who are willing to undertake all the grief to make what you did, for fun (these are hobbyists, etc.. the target audience) and those who might try to steal a design for profit.  Though hardly ironclad, it does occur to me that posting a project is a form of publication, with a verifiable date of origination.  When it comes to intellectual property, being able to prove origination is the key.  

The other thing is that any manufacturer wants to avoid the whole mess; the potential legal costs far outweigh the cost of simply buying/licensing a design from a designer.. in that way, it's much like media- very few companies are foolish enough to use jacked-copyrighted photos in their ads, or copyrighted music-- that gets expensive really fast.  It does happen- but thankfully it usually gets caught pretty quickly.  The question then becomes (in my mind) if your design gets bought by someone, how much should you donate back to the Open Source and Arduino community projects?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 01:39:08 pm by focalist » Logged

When the testing is complete there will be... cake.

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