14

To answer your question with a question: "Can you build the firmware without needing to violate the copyright or trade secret protection of the target hardware?' The answer to this question is the answer to your question. So, if the target hardware is 'just an ARM chip with a conventional boot process', sure, you can write new code for it. One tricky part ...


9

I would like to know if selling a hardware product which runs a firmware is considered as conveying that firmware. Yes. The binaries are inside the device and are therefore redistributed with the device aka. conveyed. For example, if I want to use a GPLv3 library statically linked with my own code, I am required to inform the customers that buy my ...


5

Firmware is nothing more than software that lives on a difficult to write to medium. Just as you can can run free software on non-free processors, for example Linux on an Intel i5 processor, you can run free firmware on non-free processors.


5

This is certainly distribution (i.e., what the GPLv3 defines as "conveying"). In particular you are conveying the software "in, or embodied in, a physical product" so your options for required source distribution are described in 4(a) and 4(b), so you may either accompany your device with a piece of computer media that contains the ...


5

To add to bmargulies's answer you need to consider that firmware is a special breed of software. Firmware, by it's definition, runs on special-purpose hardware. This hardware platform may have highly proprietary components (ASICs for example, or special sensors, etc). Firmware is very intimately aware of that hardware, and usually developed with access to ...


4

Generally, the output of a piece of software is not covered by the piece of software's licence, because the output is not a derivative work of the piece of software. Using a GPL-covered program to upload a firmware blob no more forces the firmware blob to be GPL'ed than using a GPL-covered file transfer program to upload your photograph requires freely-...


1

Freedom is not a property that inheres in software; it's a set of rights that attach to software through the act of conveyance. Even less does it inhere in an installed system, powered-down, on a table. So it's not very meaningful to speak of your system as being free, or non-free, in isolation. If you have the rights and capability to exercise all four ...


1

I believe they have to credit the SPI library somehow. It's not too onerous, anyway, to place a link on their webpage.


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