Currently I am developing a product based on microcontroller application. The product consists of 2 microcontrollers, the first one contains a GPL'ed binary code with some modifications, and the second microcontroller communicates with the first microcontroller using serial communication, and it sends it some commands to control it.

I have some questions:

  1. I want the whole product to be sold without declaring the source code of the second microcontroller (the code should be proprietary).
    Will it be enough to make it available to download the modified GPL'ed code of the first microcontroller?

  2. I have read somewhere, that a proprietary software can use GPL'ed kernel of Linux, is my case similar to this? And if not, how can I make any workaround to comply with GPL license, and in the same time to keep the code of the second microcontroller to be proprietary?

  • 1
    I suggest you get your advice from an intellectual property attorney. When you're using words like "workaround to comply" I'd get the advice of someone who makes it his profession to know the right answers. – TomServo Jul 31 '17 at 21:46
  • I hoped that I could do so, but getting an advice from an intellectual property attorney is not available. I meant by "workaround" anything that I need to add/modify/omit during product design, so no violation happens. For example, does making output port in the product for reprogramming the first microcontroller would solve the issue? in this case I think that I do not prevent the user from changing the gpl'ed code in the product, so I see that this is the same case as if I am doing a software that runs only under linux, so I give the user both gpl'ed linux distro + my proprietary software – Mostafa Ahmed Jul 31 '17 at 22:19
  • If your code in the second micro is all proprietary I can see no reason why you'd have to have to release that code. It's nothing to do with the GPL code even if you talk to it over serial comms. Bear in mind IANAL. Quite why advice from a lawyer or solicitor is "not available" seems like a very odd thing to say. Do you not have layers in your country? – DiBosco Aug 3 '17 at 9:03
  • 1. I just thought that any kind of interaction with GPL code, will lead that the whole thing needs to be GPL'ed too, so this is my concern. 2. There are lawyers in my country of course, but not many lawyers here knows about these things related to licenses , moreover I am not the owner of the product I am just a developer who is programming the product for its owner, so even if there is a lawyer that I can consult I can not pay for him the charges for such consultancy. I am asking here only to see if there is something that shows explicit violation to the GPL license,not for any legal actions – Mostafa Ahmed Aug 3 '17 at 14:07

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