[FYI] QT4 licensing looks very bad for *BSD

Chuck Swiger cswiger at mac.com
Wed Jun 29 14:47:35 GMT 2005

Danny Pansters wrote:
> I don't want to scare anyone but today QT4 was released and their web page
> (http://www.trolltech.com/download/opensource.html)
> specifically states several times that if using the free version one is 
> required to release their own code under GPL. That's effectively a 
> requirement to relicense which goes much further than the GPL itself. The 
> former licensing amounted to "abide to the GPL or QPL" as is normal for a GPL 
> project and in that case one could release code under BSDL and if anything 
> let the next guy worry about it (if they want to distribute a derivative).

TrollTech is playing the same type of game that MySQL is doing.  If you write 
your own program, and use it with QT which results in a derivative work, then 
you may not redistribute your program without complying with the terms of the 
GPL.  Nothing in the GPL requires someone else's code to be relicensed under 
the GPL, it just requires that code to be under a GPL-miscable license.  The 
"new" BSDL (ie, without the advertizing clause) is fine.

Also note that the Open Source Definition does not allow restrictions on the 
field of endeavor:

"The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a 
specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from 
being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

Rationale: The major intention of this clause is to prohibit license traps that 
prevent open source from being used commercially. We want commercial users to 
join our community, not feel excluded from it."


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