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Trolltech Adopts GPL 3 for Qt 240

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the for-making-cute-software dept.
Funkmaster F writes "At the KDE Developer Conference today, Trolltech CEO Havaard Nord announced that its Qt application development toolkit will be released under GPL 3. 'Here at the KDE release event, Nord's announcement was met with applause. Like Trolltech's initial decision to move from its own QPL license to the GPL, this announcement and the company's more recent decision to adopt the GPL for all platforms rather than just Linux, demonstrate the company's ongoing commitment to openness.'"
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Trolltech Adopts GPL 3 for Qt

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  • Re:Gnome (Score:2, Informative)

    by AJWM (19027) on Friday January 18, 2008 @11:46PM (#22104892) Homepage
    I don't think that complaint has been valid in the last ten years, or whenever it was that Trolltech released the Qt library under GPL 2.

    Arguably Gnome is the less open desktop, since GTK is licensed under the lesser GPL.
  • Re:Gnome (Score:4, Informative)

    by philipp-de (1154309) on Friday January 18, 2008 @11:48PM (#22104918)
    Actually, the LGPL gives you somewhat more "freedom" than the GPL does. LGPL allows you to integrate code into commercial products, without putting your "derivative" application under the LGPL too. The GPL requires this.
  • by AJWM (19027) on Friday January 18, 2008 @11:48PM (#22104924) Homepage
    So I can no longer use QT to make whatever application I choose..

    Sure you can; just pay Trolltech for a commercial license. That's always been an option.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2008 @11:51PM (#22104938)
    You are plain wrong. Qt is released under GPL v3 and GPL v2. Just chose the license you prefer at your convenience.
  • Do your research. (Score:5, Informative)

    by AJWM (19027) on Friday January 18, 2008 @11:56PM (#22104998) Homepage
    Trolltech first released its Qt toolkit (for X11) under the GPL (v2) back in 2000. The Mac version was GPL'd in 2003 and the Windows version in 2005.

    This announcement just means that they're adding GPL v3 to the licensing (it will remain licensed under GPL v2 also).
  • by Omnifarious (11933) * <<gro.suoirafinmo> <ta> <hsals-cire>> on Friday January 18, 2008 @11:58PM (#22105008) Homepage Journal

    Wow, way to spread FUD.

    The GPLv3 requires that if you sell a piece of hardware that allows the software in it to be updated, and that software is covered by the GPLv3, the user must be able to update it with their own version as well as versions you supply. There's nothing about not allowing DRM.

    This makes it easier for a user to bypass DRM for end-user devices like Kindle or the iPhone and such. But it doesn't disallow you from implementing it. So your point is basically as wrong as saying that the GPLv2 doesn't allow you to make money on your software.

  • by knuty (136597) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @12:03AM (#22105054) Homepage
    The press statement [trolltech.com] says:
      Qt is already available under the GPL v2 and will continue to be so in addition to the GPL v3.
  • by Fry-kun (619632) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @12:11AM (#22105108)
    Wrong again: if you pay for a commercial QT license, you can develop ANYTHING YOU WANT on top of it.
  • by Artraze (600366) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @12:15AM (#22105130)
    The GPL isn't, and never was, about developer freedom; it's about end user freedom. TrollTech understands this very well. If you want freedom as a developer then you'll have to pay them for it. That's their business model. They'll let you have their library for free if you give your software away for free as well. Otherwise you pay. Switching to the GPL 3 just furthers this policy.
  • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @12:19AM (#22105152) Homepage
    QT has two different licenses - their open-source license, and their commercial license. This is not a problem - I'm fine with this.

    The problem I have is that they require that any software written for their commercial-license library be only written for their commercial-license library. This means that if, like me, you're someone trying to start a game studio looking for a basic windowing library for an editor, you have three basic choices:

    * Write your editor with their free library, then never be able to distribute it in any way without GPL'ing it
    * Shell out $$$ for the commercial library, whether or not you'll ever need to distribute it
    * Use a different library

    Obviously I've chosen #3, but I can't help but think that perhaps Trolltech lost a sale there - I probably would have used QT if it had been a viable option, and if I'd ever decided to distribute the editor I likely would have gladly paid the licensing fee. It's a bizarre licensing decision.
  • by Brandybuck (704397) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @12:29AM (#22105212) Homepage Journal
    The problem I have is that they require that any software written for their commercial-license library be only written for their commercial-license library.

    Nonsense! You can use the commercial version to write BOTH commercial and Free Software.

    Write your editor with their free library, then never be able to distribute it in any way without GPL'ing it

    Not entirely correct. Their GPL license includes disclaimers for several common Open Source licenses. You still need to open your source, but you are not limited to a single license.

    As for the future of your app, decide before you start which license you will be using. It is not fair to the Qt developers (who get paid from license sales) to "cheat" by developing under the Free Software license and then switching to the commercial license when you release it.

    You may use the GPL version for training and learning the library. And there is an Evaluation license if you wish to evaluate Qt for your own project. But when you start the actual coding of your software, purchase a commercial license if you intend for your software to commercial itself.

    It's quid pro quo. Do unto Trolltech as you would have Trolltech do unto you.
  • No! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rix (54095) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:32AM (#22105560)
    The LGPL allows you to *link* code into commercial products. You still have to release the LGPL'd code, and anything you've added to it.
  • by dschl (57168) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @03:11AM (#22106152) Homepage
    Ummm.....no.

    As others have noted already in this thread, that sort of behaviour is expressly forbidden under the QT licensing. The GPL licensing only applies to open source code developed with QT. If you wish to release commercially, you have to make that decision before you start writing code, and follow their commercial license terms (not the GPL). Their commercial license overview is fairly clear in stating that you cannot legally release commercial code that was developed using the GPL edition.

    From Trolltech: [trolltech.com]

    You must purchase a Qt Commercial License from Trolltech or from any of its authorized resellers before you start developing proprietary software. The Commercial license does not allow the incorporation of code developed with the Open Source Edition of Qt into a proprietary product.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2008 @03:19AM (#22106190)

    Wrong again: if you pay for a commercial QT license, you can develop ANYTHING YOU WANT on top of it.
    Actually, that's not exactly true.

    Qt's commercial license indeed has a restriction, that you can not develop an application that was *previously* developed on the GPL version of Qt. So you can't develop your software against the GPLed Qt, test the waters, and only when there looks like to be profit, buy a commercial lincense and ship it.

    This is a very reasonable restriction, but a restriction nontheless. So it's not "anything you want" as you claimed.
  • by PeterBrett (780946) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @03:43AM (#22106350) Homepage

    But by doing so I cannot make a GPL 2 app, or an other Open Source app.

    ( -1, RTFA )

    Qt is now triple-licensed [trolltech.com]:

    For clients and users who are somehow constrained to the GPLv2, nothing changes. Qt is now a triple-licensed toolkit: commercial, GPL version 2 and GPL version 3 (technically, the X11 version is even quadruple-licensed). In the Open Source version, you get to choose which one you want to apply to your code. And if neither option is suitable for your needs, theres always the commercial alternative. One other thing I would like to point out is the fact that we are future-proofing it. The new license headers say specifically that you may:

    (at your option) use any later version of the GNU General Public License if such license has been publicly approved by Trolltech ASA (or its successors, if any) and the KDE Free Qt Foundation.

    So, I hope your fears are thoroughly allayed, and you can go about your business today with piece of mind that at least on commercial software vendor understands your software licensing worries.

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:2, Informative)

    by lloydchristmas759 (1105487) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:45AM (#22106918)

    Adobe Flex was $500 (last I looked, $250), the mid range Visual Studio is about $500

    Last time I checked Visual Studio was not a multiplatform development environment, whereas Qt is.
    And come on ! How can you compare Qt with Adobe Flex ?
  • by Hooded One (684008) <hoodedone&gmail,com> on Saturday January 19, 2008 @06:36AM (#22107148) Journal
    There are no separate versions. There is only one codebase for any given version of Qt, with the only difference being the license headers, and the few features that are only available in the commercial version (the website mentions "commercial database drivers and the Visual Studio Integration on Windows.") The Open Source edition is a single package containing all the applicable licenses.

    (Or, for the short answer, "they will be.")
  • Re:Yes it is (Score:2, Informative)

    by lloydchristmas759 (1105487) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @07:56AM (#22107472)
    Again, last time I checked, Windows Vista was not a platform but an OS. The platform here is Win32. Similarly, Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbons is an OS, whereas Linux is a platform. Concerning Windows Mobile 5/6 (forgot 2003) these are OS. The platform is Windows CE. So to be exact, VS2005 supports only two platform, where Qt supports X11, Mac OS X, Windows (Vista, 2003, XP, 2000, NT4, Me, 98 !!!), Linux Embedded and Java, i.e. 5 different plaforms. GNU/
  • by Brandybuck (704397) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @07:13PM (#22112976) Homepage Journal
    I am not a Trolltech employee, but I do work closely with them.. I have a commercial license. What you are telling me does not describe Trolltech. Not at all. I have never heard of a workstation inspection. What I have heard instead, is offering waivers for those developers who genuinely did change their mind later on. And I have seen cheaters. I have seen companies release a signficant product two months after purchasing a single license.

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