[FYI] QT4 licensing looks very bad for *BSD

Danny Pansters danny at ricin.com
Fri Jul 1 02:15:23 GMT 2005


I'd like to say that my mail to trolltech was before yours and I haven't had 
an answer yet save for an automated reply. Perhaps I'm not important 
enough :)

I'm not sure if I want this to go on the list (and archive) but this is what I 
sent them, and yes, I was voicing concern but I don't think I got abusive or 
impolite at any point. If anything I'm directly pointing out where problems 
may/will arise (after re-reading I thought there's nothing wrong copying it 
to the list):


LIcensing of new QT4
From: Danny Pansters <danny at ricin.com>
To: info at trolltech.com
Date: 29/06/05 13:02

Hi there,

congratulations with the new QT. 

But there was something on your download page where the licensing is explained 
that made me very worried. I use and work on FreeBSD and there is no way I'm 
going to write code (for FreeBSD/KDE and in most cases useless for Linux) 
that is forced to become GPL because it uses QT. And I don't think you can 
enforce relicensing like that.

See, if I release code under BSDL that uses (but not changes) any GPL'd QT 
code I am abiding to the GPL. So is this situation still the same and is the 
wording on the webpage a bit mangled, or do you really mean that any and all 
code (including code under other open source licenses from people external to 
QT) must be released under GPL if it use QT?

Please give me a clear answer on this, because for *BSD people this means a 
lot and we'd need to have a long hard talk about QT if indeed everything is 
forced into GPL. I'm working on a TV app for FreeBSD using PyQt and now I'm 
wondering if I should just keep it to myself. That can't be the intention of 
the licensing.


Danny Pansters


They're still not clear about this as far as I can tell.

It's interesting that what you said about relicensing in a GPL context (that 
this may not be a requirement if to be GPL compliant/compatible) was also the 
first thing that came to my mind. It may even void their GPL based license if 
taken to the letter. I fact that would be likely.

I'll be satisfied if they make a statement about this or something alike, but 
I do agree with you that a requirement to relicensing while complying with 
gpl would not be possible if abiding to gpl themselves.

Again, thanks, you clearly know what this stuff (from a *bsd perspective) is 
about, unlike others even if they *gasp* wrote a book.

I dunno I feel somewhat silly about persuing this, but I also feel that if no 
one does we might end up with a dreadful deal etched in stone and that would 
be bye bye qt/kde development specifically for *BSD and released as such. 
That would very much hinder newcomers or veterans alike who want to enhance 
our desktop (can you say pc-bsd which adapted a GPL license based on exactly 
this presumable FUD!)

Anayway I apreciate your input and effords talking with the Trolls. Thanks.



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