[FYI] QT4 licensing looks very bad for *BSD

Danny Pansters danny at ricin.com
Wed Jun 29 23:28:29 GMT 2005

Hey Chuck, thanks for answering.

On Wednesday 29 June 2005 16:47, Chuck Swiger wrote:
> 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.

But they specifically state it:


"Add a notice to your program that it is GPL licensed when it runs

This is because the Open Source versions of our software are governed by the 
terms of the GNU GPL license. Using the Open Source Edition means you agree 
that the source of the software you write also will be published according to 
this license."

on their download page: http://www.trolltech.com/download/opensource.html

Their licensing page (I just noted) OTOH, has:


"If you wish to use the Qt Open Source Edition, you must contribute all your 
source code to the open source community in accordance with the GPL when your 
application is distributed."

That's on http://www.trolltech.com/products/qt/opensource.html

The two are obviously different (the latter being the same as for qt3-gpl). 
Abiding to and applying a licence are not the same. And that's what get's 
mangled up (perhaps accidentally).

> 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."

Yeah but if the letter of (I) is to be followed we'd be barred from releasing 
any qt/kde desktop enhancing stuff for *BSD if we'd insist on releasing that 
code (our own) on our own license terms (to be expected) which complies with 
what GPL asks of us. Hence I'm saying that (I) would go a lot further than 
GPL requirements.



More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list