Arduino firmware permissible to include?

Peter Robinson pbrobinson at
Sat May 25 08:36:20 UTC 2013

On Sat, May 25, 2013 at 8:59 AM, Paolo Bonzini <pbonzini at> wrote:
> Il 23/05/2013 15:25, Peter Oliver ha scritto:
>> Arduino is an electronics prototyping board, and also a GNU
>> GPL2-licenced IDE for writing and uploading code to such boards.  Fedora
>> has packages for the IDE.
>> Recent versions of the IDE include WiFi firmware for Arduino
>> (  The Arduino "source"
>> bundles include the binary firmware.  Source code for the firmware is
>> also included, but there are no build scripts, and the firmware is not
>> built when the IDE itself is built.
>> Is it permissible to include this firmware in the Fedora packages?  My
>> impression is that it's not firmware in the sense described at
>>, because
>> it's not firmware for hardware on which Fedora runs.  Rather, I believe
>> that it is content
>> (
>> Without access to the build scripts (which the GNU GPL2specifically says
>> must be included), do we even have a licence to redistribute the firmware?
> The firmware is merely aggregated to the IDE, so the GNU GPLv2 doesn't
> matter here.
> The firmware license is definitely not free.  I don't know if you can
> get an exception because it doesn't run on the CPU.  The safest bet is
> to ask FESCo.

Definitely one for Fedora legal. Probably the easiest way to do this,
but not the only way, is to file a package review request and have it
block FE-LEGAL.

The minimum requirement with firmwares is that it needs to be freely
distributable but I suspect we do need an exception on top of that.


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