I am currently developing a IoT based software which will run on a Raspberry pi and distributed to user(like a product). I also want to place another software on the Raspberry pi which will work in conjunction with my software.

But the problem is the software the I want to use has a GNU GPL v3 licence. So this means and redistribution will require to have same licence.

I actually don't want to modify that software just want it to run on same Raspberry Pi along with my own software.

My question is can I use a different licence to my software? Can I use those two software side by side?

I am actually very new to building such commerical applications. So any advice or corrections to my question is welcomed.

  • 2
    It sounds like your program is a separate work, but you should review what the GPL v3 has to say about "compilation" and "aggregates." If the programs do not combine to form a larger program, the GPL considers them separate. – Brandin Oct 9 '18 at 11:28
  • For GPLv3 you should also read the part about “Installation Information” for a User Product. It means that you must allow users to install a modified version of the GPLv3 software. In practice it means you cannot lock the device in some way without also giving your customers a key to allow them to unlock it and possibly install their own version of that GPLv3 software. – Brandin Oct 9 '18 at 14:03
  • @Brandin does allowing users to run means that they must have access to the Raspberry pi or I should make the source code of that software available? I really don't want users to run their own software on the Pi – Devakanta Rao Oct 9 '18 at 14:06
  • For GPLv3 you must make the source code available and if it is on a "user product" (that's what your device sounds like) then you must include as well Installation Instructions which are defined as "any methods, procedures, authorization keys, or other information required to install and execute modified versions of a covered work in that User Product from a modified version of its Corresponding Source." If you do not want to allow that, then you should not use GPLv3 software on your device. – Brandin Oct 9 '18 at 14:13
  • Ohhk I see. So there is no way to use an GPLv3 licensed software on a User product and lock users from not installing custom software on it. Right? – Devakanta Rao Oct 9 '18 at 14:15

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