I have a question regarding licensing of mblock based products.

The mBlock 5 is a software tool for STEAM education. It is inspired by Scratch 3.0 and supports graphical and text programming. Also, Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.

Which kind of license is applicable in both of the following situations:

  • I made a product based on the Arduino (open hardware). I also made new extension blocks in mblock that enable kids to program my product. I sell these products.

  • In another situation I do not sell my product. Instead I teach kids how to use my product along with mblock (along with new blocks that I have created).

In short I want to know if I am legally allowed to commercialize my own product that uses mblock.

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    The mBlock website makes no mention of the software being open source. Whether or not it is “inspired” by scratch is irrelevant for licensing. If mBlock is open source software, could you please point to the exact licensing conditions? Without that info, the question is unanswerable. – amon Aug 3 at 17:26
  • But they release code . forum.makeblock.com/t/mblock-3-3-source-code-release/5783/3 – gpuguy Aug 4 at 1:20
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    Releasing code is irrelevant. If you use the version from Github then you can use it under the GPL 2. I didn't check what license the main downloadable version has, it might not be open source (thought components would be). – curiousdannii Aug 4 at 2:46
  • @curiousdannii on this link it has the same license. It is GPL 2, so does not that mean I can commercialize ? GPL= open source ? Sorry my understanding of licenses is very poor. github.com/Makeblock-official/mBlock – gpuguy Aug 4 at 2:52

Scratch is licensed under the GPLv2, as long as you comply with the GPL terms you can do what you want. In simple terms, you must make your source code modifications available to any users of your software.

As mblock is a fork of scratch it is also bound by the same GPL terms.

There are no restrictions on you charging for your time teaching users.

You can sell a hardware product that has the software bundled with it, as long as the source is available.

  • Thanks for your answer. But I could not find anywhere that mblock is opensource. I emailed them but they did not respond as of now. I – gpuguy Aug 4 at 2:33
  • I do agree with what you said about scratch. but what about the derivatives of scratch? – gpuguy Aug 4 at 2:34
  • Any modified variations of scratch must also be under the GPL the same as any modifications you make for your version. Your comment has a link to the mblock license in its github repo which is GPL. – sambler Aug 4 at 2:55
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    @Zizouz212 Scratch v1.4 is a locally run program, while v2 is a browser based flash program, users are running it in their browser, not just displaying content generated from the server, therefore users of both versions should get access to the source. My second and third paragraphs address both scenarios in the question. – sambler Aug 4 at 3:28
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    @amon mblock is a fork of scratch which is gpl. The makers of mblock started with the gpl code and modified it to their needs, therefore mblock developers do not have copyright ownership to remove gpl terms. – sambler Aug 6 at 3:13

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