[FYI] QT4 licensing looks very bad for *BSD

Danny Pansters danny at ricin.com
Fri Jul 1 03:10:53 GMT 2005

Sorry for top posting...

The crucial words are: "under the terms of this License". The confusion is due 
to contradictions in the License. Which are theirs. And it's very disputed as 
in "might be void".

What GPL quotes can be used (remember it's a license not a law, BTW) for the 
case when I use python bindings instead of C++ and (real) binding?

And what about "Use" of the "Program". A toolkit has a clear "Use". And there 
we have the "LGPL" case all over again.

Personally I wouldn't mind if the QPL came back to life. For *BSD it was a 
workable solution.

On Friday 1 July 2005 04:44, Josh Ockert wrote:
> I'm not so sure you guys have this right.
> No BSD-licensed code is allowed to use a GPL library and remain
> BSD-licensed. According to the GPL, Section 2:
> "b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
> whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part
> thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties
> under the terms of this License."
> This very specifically includes works which use libraries; use of
> libraries with non-GPL software is to be done with the LGPL. That's
> why the first L in LGPL used to stand for "Library". Now it stands for
> "Lesser", because RMS wants to discourage its use; he has in fact
> claimed that many projects have been made open source because they
> wanted to use the readline library: "The Readline library implements
> input editing and history for interactive programs, and that's a
> facility not generally available elsewhere. Releasing it under the GPL
> and limiting its use to free programs gives our community a real
> boost. At least one application program is free software today
> specifically because that was necessary for using Readline" (see
> http://software.newsforge.com/software/04/07/15/163208.shtml).
> The GPL clarifies this point: "This General Public License does not
> permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs. If your
> program is a subroutine library, you may consider it more useful to
> permit linking proprietary applications with the library. If this is
> what you want to do, use the GNU Library General Public License
> instead of this License." While this only explicitly refers to
> proprietary licenses, other open source licenses are also excluded
> because the 'viral' part of the GPL requires that they be distributed
> under the terms of "this License" (meaning the GPL).
> I believe where the confusion comes in is here: The QT Public License.
> It allowed redistribution of any linked work under any Open Source
> license. To wit:
> "6. You may develop application programs, reusable components and
> other software items that link with the original or modified versions
> of the Software. These items, when distributed, are subject to the
> following requirements: (a) You must ensure that all recipients of
> machine-executable forms of these items are also able to receive and
> use the complete machine-readable source code to the items without any
> charge beyond the costs of data transfer. (b) You must explicitly
> license all recipients of your items to use and re-distribute original
> and modified versions of the items in both machine-executable and
> source code forms. The recipients must be able to do so without any
> charges whatsoever, and they must be able to re-distribute to anyone
> they choose. (c) If the items are not available to the general public,
> and the initial developer of the Software requests a copy of the
> items, then you must supply one."
> You can read a whole flamewar on the Debian lists from when the QPL
> was first coming out:
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/1999/03/msg00064.html
> If QT4 is licensed exclusively under GPL I do not believe that BSDL
> software can continue to be written with it without exploiting some
> kind of legal loophole. I'd need to read the GPL in more detail before
> giving my opinion. Please note that I'm not a licensed lawyer, just a
> law geek applying to law school and finishing up his senior year in
> undergrad; take my opinion with a grain of salt. But please do look up
> the references, and if you have doubts, read the BSDL, the QPL, the
> GPL, and the LGPL, and any clarifying text thereon.

No. It's not about being licensed GPL. That allows for parts being BSDL. It's 
about having to relicense BSDL -> GPL and we believe that can not be 
enforcable (at least not when abiding to GPL)



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