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Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the who-doesn't-like-freedom-zero dept.

Open Source 117

Digia has announced that existing Qt modules will now be covered under the LGPLv3 in addition to the LGPLv2.1, GPLv3, and the enterprise (proprietary) license. New modules will be dropping LGPLv2.1 and GPLv3+ and be released under the LGPLv3 and GPLv2+ instead. This should be a good move: new Qt modules will be Apache license compatible, LGPLv3 code can trivially be converted to GPLv3, and Digia is even releasing a few modules it intended to make proprietary as Free Software. The KDE Free Qt Foundation is on board. The move was made because of device vendors exploiting a loophole in the GPLv2/LGPLv2.1 that denied users the right to modify Qt or write their own applications. Digia has some self-interest as well, since those vendors were exploiting the tivoization loophole to avoid buying enterprise licenses. From the announcement: We also consider locked-down consumer devices using the LGPL’ed version of Qt to be harmful for the Qt ecosystem. ... Because of this, we are now adding LGPL v3 as a licensing option to Qt 5.4 in addition to LGPL v2.1. All modules that are part of Qt 5.3 are currently released under LGPL v2.1, GPL v3 and the commercial license. Starting with Qt 5.4, they will be released under LGPL v2.1, LGPL v3 and the commercial license. ... In Qt 5.4, the new Qt WebEngine module will be released under LGPL v3 in the open source version and under a LGPLv2.1/commercial combination for Qt Enterprise customers. ...

Adding LGPLv3 will also allow us to release a few other add-ons that Digia before intended to make available solely under the enterprise license. ... The first module, called Qt Canvas3D, will give us full WebGL support inside Qt Quick. ... The second module is a lightweight WebView module ... There is a final add-on that will get released under LGPL v3. This module will give native look and feel to the Qt Quick Controls on Android. This module can’t be released under LGPL v2.1, as it has to use code that is licensed under Apache 2.0, a license that is incompatible with LGPL v2.1, but compatible with LGPL v3.

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47712587)

First post if free!

About time Quicktime went open source (4, Funny)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47712641)

Good for you, Apple!

Re:About time Quicktime went open source (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 2 months ago | (#47713303)

That would be "QT", not "Qt".

Re:About time Quicktime went open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47716347)

woosh

*sigh* (4, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 months ago | (#47712699)

Licensing is more complex than program itself. Everybody's getting sucked in to the lawyers' game.

Re:*sigh* (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 months ago | (#47713087)

Licensing is more complex than program itself. Everybody's getting sucked in to the lawyers' game.

This isn't surprising because one side is working with human nature - the tendency to share whatever makes them happy, and the other side is focused on battling government monopolies called "intellectual property", which is artificial scarcity enforced at the point of a gun.

Copyleft is just a hack to route around copyright damage. Absent governments enforcing it, we'd all just either release code or not release code and the licensing friction would all go away. Some dude would just issue a pull request and move on. There'd be nobody jumping up and down shouting about courts, fines, SWAT raids, caging and sexual torture over duplicating digital data.

But that's the reality we have to face. If more people chose WTFPL we'd get more done as a non-zero-sum group. The trick with the 'rising tide' analogy is that it's the sum that's non-zero; every individual value may or may not be positive, and some of those values that are currently positive might be negative and, man do humans waste time protecting their downside risks to the point of eliminating their upside potential.

Re:*sigh* (4, Interesting)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 2 months ago | (#47713431)

Copyleft is just a hack to route around copyright damage. Absent governments enforcing it, we'd all just either release code or not release code and the licensing friction would all go away.

GPL does far more than "route around copyright damage" - its aims are to give the _end user_ freedom, freedom which often wouldn't exist even without copyright.

Lets look at how things work with GPL'd code:

1. Developer A writes some code, releases it under the GPL.
2. Company B takes A's code, modifies it a bit, maybe integrates it into a product (mobile phone, TV, whatever), puts the finished product (i.e. including the binaries) up for sale.
3. End user C buys B's product, wants to modify it, so asks B for the source.
4. B gives C the source, since the GPL says they have to
5. C is happy since he can now modify the code.

(Ok, so it isn't alays plain sailing - B often has to be threatened before they will comply with the GPL; in the case of GPLv2 code, B's product may be Tivoised; frequently devices have a mix of GPL/proprietary code and its extremely difficult to integrate modifications into a device with only the GPL code, etc. but in theory at least this is how it should work).

Ok, so lets look at how this would work if there was no copyright law:

1. Developer A writes some code, releases it.
2. Company B takes A's code, modifies it a bit, maybe integrates it into a product (mobile phone, TV, whatever), puts the finished product (i.e. including the binaries) up for sale.
3. End user C buys B's product, wants to modify it, so asks B for the source.
4. B tells C to piss off because the source is a trade secret and B is under no obligation to release it.
5. C cries.

The GPL relies on copyright law to reach its goals of giving the end users the freedom to do as they wish with their own devices. Without copyright, the end users would be in a much worse position since manufacturers could use any freely released code in any way they see fit with no obligation to their end users at all.

Re:*sigh* (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47715315)

There are sometimes legal requirements to keep the end product unmodified by the end user. Ie, most medical devices in the US must be vetted by the FDA and once released are not allowed to be modified at will by the doctors who buy them, except for customization of course. Similarly some devices that operate under FCC rules may be required to prevent invalid configurations. There are markets where security is an extremely high priority for the customers and signing the software with secured certificates is necessary to even be in the market.

And of course there are all the commercial embedded developers in the middle. They want to use open source but also can not just release their entire source code to the world or allow modifications, because their legal department says no, the executives say no, the board says no, and there are a lot of competitors just waiting to pounce. BSD license is great there because BSD license wants software to be shared, whereas GPL often treats those devs as misguided.

Re:*sigh* (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 2 months ago | (#47718683)

There are sometimes legal requirements to keep the end product unmodified by the end user. Ie, most medical devices in the US must be vetted by the FDA and once released are not allowed to be modified at will by the doctors who buy them, except for customization of course. Similarly some devices that operate under FCC rules may be required to prevent invalid configurations. There are markets where security is an extremely high priority for the customers and signing the software with secured certificates is necessary to even be in the market.

Sure, but these cases are the exception rather than the norm.

And of course there are all the commercial embedded developers in the middle. They want to use open source but also can not just release their entire source code to the world or allow modifications, because their legal department says no, the executives say no, the board says no, and there are a lot of competitors just waiting to pounce. BSD license is great there because BSD license wants software to be shared, whereas GPL often treats those devs as misguided.

As a software developer myself, I release code under the GPL because I am of the opinion that if someone wants to make use of my code at no cost, then they should contribute their improvements back to the project. Now I know that, strictly speaking, the GPL doesn't require them to make code available to the project, only to their customers; but in practice people don't tend to restrict the source to only their customers so the effect is the same.

I don't consider developers to be misguided if they want to prevent their competetors seeing the code, but in that case I'm not willing to give them a "freebee" - they are welcome to develop the whole thing themselves instead of using my code, or in some cases they are welcome to pay me, but I don't see why they should build a business upon my work at no cost to themselves without giving anything back.

I am, however, of the opinion that (except where the law demands unmodifyable code), end-users should be allowed to use their own devices how they see fit, so keeping code closed simply to stop the end-users doing this does indeed seem pretty misguided to me.

(For the record, my business uses Free software (some third party, some developed in-house) whilst also keeping some in-house code proprietary to prevent competetors from ripping it off. However, modifications we make to Free components are made available to the world, and usually explicitly committed back to the upstream project. And we do spend a considerable amount of our development resources enhancing/bugfixing the many third party Free components that we make use of, so I certainly don't see us as freeloading.)

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47718017)

Copyleft is just a hack to route around copyright damage. Absent governments enforcing it, we'd all just either release code or not release code and the licensing friction would all go away.

GPL does far more than "route around copyright damage" - its aims are to give the _end user_ freedom, freedom which often wouldn't exist even without copyright.

Lets look at how things work with GPL'd code:

1. Developer A writes some code, releases it under the GPL.
2. Company B takes A's code, modifies it a bit, maybe integrates it into a product (mobile phone, TV, whatever), puts the finished product (i.e. including the binaries) up for sale.
3. End user C buys B's product, wants to modify it, so asks B for the source.
4. B gives C the source, since the GPL says they have to
5. C is happy since he can now modify the code.

(Ok, so it isn't alays plain sailing - B often has to be threatened before they will comply with the GPL; in the case of GPLv2 code, B's product may be Tivoised; frequently devices have a mix of GPL/proprietary code and its extremely difficult to integrate modifications into a device with only the GPL code, etc. but in theory at least this is how it should work).

Ok, so lets look at how this would work if there was no copyright law:

1. Developer A writes some code, releases it.
2. Company B takes A's code, modifies it a bit, maybe integrates it into a product (mobile phone, TV, whatever), puts the finished product (i.e. including the binaries) up for sale.
3. End user C buys B's product, wants to modify it, so asks B for the source.
4. B tells C to piss off because the source is a trade secret and B is under no obligation to release it.
5. C cries.

The GPL relies on copyright law to reach its goals of giving the end users the freedom to do as they wish with their own devices. Without copyright, the end users would be in a much worse position since manufacturers could use any freely released code in any way they see fit with no obligation to their end users at all.

Step 5 C decompiles the executable and compares it to A's code

Re:*sigh* (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 months ago | (#47718181)

Without copyright, the end users would be in a much worse position since manufacturers could use any freely released code in any way they see fit with no obligation to their end users at all.

The part that none of you are getting is that said manufacturers have no exclusive rights over what they put out. So anybody could just as easily take that and incorporate it into whatever they are making. The problem is solved. The lawyers are the only losers in such a scenario. Without copyright GPL is totally unnecessary. And we'll just cruise along perfectly nicely. It's time to end the age of antiquity. It's over, Johnny, it's over...

Re:*sigh* (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 2 months ago | (#47718695)

Without copyright, the end users would be in a much worse position since manufacturers could use any freely released code in any way they see fit with no obligation to their end users at all.

The part that none of you are getting is that said manufacturers have no exclusive rights over what they put out. So anybody could just as easily take that and incorporate it into whatever they are making. The problem is solved.

No, the problem is certainly not solved - whilst the manufacturers have no exclusive rights over what they release, the point is that they aren't going to be releasing the source code. So sure, you can rip off the binary firmware from one device and put it on another(*), but if you want to modify the code you're going to be SOL unless you feel like hacking on raw binary blobs for the rest of your life. The point of GPL is that it gives the end users the right to use the things that they own in the way they see fit - it allows you to make some modifications to the firmware on your phone, recompile it and install your modified firmware, for example. Without copyright law it would be extremely hard to do this since you would have no access to the source code - although you would be able to "do what you like" with the binaries, it would be exactly that - an opaque binary blob that for practical purposes you can't really do much with at all.

(*) In reality, without any kind of copyright legislation, you would probably see encrypted firmwares - whilst legally you would be able to copy them, the copy wouldn't do you any good because you wouldn't be able to decrypt it.

Really, abolishing copyright would make things a lot worse for the Open Source scene...

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47715743)

They lost me at

If you are not sure what license you should be using in your project, please consult a legal expert.

Bottom line: if you want to use Qt in a commercial product that isn't open source, or is open source but not GPL, then you probably need to work out a business deal with the owners of Qt. And it'll cost $$$.

Downgrades (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47712709)

Downgrades you mean.

Re:Downgrades (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47713175)

LGPLv3 is the version after LGPLv2.1. A downgrade would be if they had moved from LGPLv3 to LGPLv2.1.

Re:Downgrades (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#47713307)

I'm pretty sure he means free to less free as a downgrade. And wether you like to admit it or not, the gpl or lgplv3 is less free than v2 for some by design because it was created to address liberties some were taking with v2 licensed code like locking the boot loader and submarining patents into it.

Re:Downgrades (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47713377)

The GPL and LGPL does not define freedom as being free to restrict users. It your license allows that then it's not as free as a license which prohibits it.

Re:Downgrades (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#47713519)

Lol.. you are missing the point. Before you get your panties in such a knot that your ability to have children is in danger, what you could do with v2 is more than v3 which was a specific reason for creating v3 as well as QT making the switch. This you cannot deny. By common understanding, being free to do less is not an upgrade.

Oh.. and the OSS definition of free allows you to restrict users. And the gpl/lgpl does define restricting users as free because that is specifically what the v3 changes where designed to do. It restricts users in order cure what they didn't like being done under the previous versions.

Re:Downgrades (3, Insightful)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47713787)

GPL and LGPL is not OSS, it's free software which is fundamentally different from OSS. It considers the user to be more free by eliminating the risk that someone will restrict them. It does not consider freedom to restrict freedom as something positive, rather it's negative in the freedom dimension.

Re:Downgrades (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#47716869)

Thats fine and all, i even agree with it. But does the license allow the person who needs to accept it- more or less or the same amount of freedom between v2 and v3? Users don't have to accept the license, only people distributing it.

Of course the answer is less and that was by design.

Re: Downgrades (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47717917)

Yes, there are multiple ways, such as the ability to combine with Apache licensed software and to use a patent protection clause, in which the person who accepts the license will have more freedom than under the GPLv2.

Re:Downgrades (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47718539)

Free Software (as defined by GNU) is a subset of Open Source software (as defined by OSI). The OSI site even lists GPL as a popular Open Source license.

http://opensource.org/licenses

GPL is about User/Owner Freedoms (2)

mx+b (2078162) | about 2 months ago | (#47713865)

The GPL wasn't designed with freedoms of the developer/company in mind; it was developed with freedoms of the client/user in mind. RMS started the whole thing partially because of his experience with a printer that the company refused to give drivers so he could make it work on his computer (see the section A Stark Moral Choice) [gnu.org] .

GPL protects the user's right to do what they want with the software once they've received it (either paid for it, or were given it for free - most software these days is free, but the GPL allows the developer to sell it too). GPLv3 was written when it was realized that a loophole was being used to prevent the owner of the device from changing out the software on the device -- a device the owner paid for and of course now owns! How ridiculous to let a company tell you that you are not allowed to tinker/update the thing you now own. So the "TiVoization" clause was added to prevent that in the future.

The GPL is more of a developer's promise that, once you have paid for the software (even if the price was $0), you will be given complete freedom to use the software as you see fit and the developer/seller will not interfere. That promise is made stronger legally with v3.

GPL is about User/Owner Freedoms (1)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | about 2 months ago | (#47714607)

The funny thing here is that Digia is still going to support Tivoization, but customers will have to pay for it! I suppose that's better than letting hardware manufacturers Tivoize their hardware for free, but this is the first time I have ever seen anyone upgrade their GPL license simply to force customers to pay more. It seems wrong somehow...

Re:GPL is about User/Owner Freedoms (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 months ago | (#47715569)

The funny thing here is that Digia is still going to support Tivoization, but customers will have to pay for it!

This is utter nonsense. When customers pay they are not bound by any GPL or LGPL version. Therefore the term 'Tivoization' is not applicable at all. Looks like you have no clue what 'Tivoization' really means.

Re:GPL is about User/Owner Freedoms (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47715835)

What about libraries? In that case, once you pay for the library you should be able to use it, even on tivoized system. That's what the original LGPL was intended for, so that you could use an FSF library as a developer without having your entire bundle of software be required to follow GPL merely because you statically linked to the library (and in embedded systems you are often required to statically link).

All Tivoization did was teach commercial developers that FSF is an ornery as ever and to avoid GPL software (or any open source) and buy a proprietary package instead. Tivo did everything right according to the letter of the license, and everything right according to the spirit of many open source developers, and they did nothing sneaky or underhanded. If they had used a closed proprietary operating system no one would have cared at all, they were only punished for using open source.

Re:GPL is about User/Owner Freedoms (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 months ago | (#47718241)

What about libraries?

What about them? The rule is the same, so either you attempt to get a specially licensed version not under the GPL, you comply with the license. The LGPL wasn't made so you could use things in tivoized systems, it was so you could use a library with a closed source program.

You can still do that, but not also include that library in a tivoized system.

All Tivoization did was teach commercial developers that FSF is an ornery as ever and to avoid GPL software (or any open source) and buy a proprietary package instead.

People who push tivoized systems are not your friend, and having them use Free Software makes a mockery of the entire concept.

Tivo did everything right according to the letter of the license, and everything right according to the spirit of many open source developers

Hardly. They complied with the letter of the license, but particularly in the case of the GPL, which seeks to protect the recipients of binaries generated from GPL sources, they took a huge shit on the spirit.

they did nothing sneaky or underhanded.

Tivoization is underhanded.

If they had used a closed proprietary operating system no one would have cared at all, they were only punished for using open source.

They weren't punished. They were criticized and their lock down was recognized for what it was. But yes, had they used a closed, proprietary platform no one would have cared and they wouldn't have gotten the "omg these guys run Linux" attention that they didn't really deserve.

Re:GPL is about User/Owner Freedoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47718303)

Disagree. Tivo did not comply with the spirit of Richard Stallman's vistion, but they were complying with the spirit of other open source licenses and developers. You have to remember that RMS even thinks the BSD license is misguided and harmful, and if you agree with that then there's no point in arguing over religion.

Re:GPL is about User/Owner Freedoms (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | about 2 months ago | (#47718699)

I can't speak for "freedom" because it's not well defined, but in the typical use meaning "liberty", GPLv3 is definitely less liberal than GPLv2.

Liberty is defined in terms of what one can legally (or violence, etc) compel someone else to do. It doesn't distinguish between audiences. If license A and B are identical except that licence A has some additional condition where I can file a lawsuit to get you to stop doing something, license A is necessarily less liberal, i.e. less free.

The FSF's notion of "free" is kind of backwards like this.

Re:Downgrades (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47715369)

People have different views of what "the user" is. Some think it's the freedom of the end user that matters, the person who wants to reflash their home router. Others whoever think of the user as the developer who is using the software library. In this sense, the GPL in the past was oriented towards the end user; whereas the LGPL was created specifically in response to the needs of the library user who is also a developer. LGPLv3 is moving away from that model.

Re:Downgrades (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#47716893)

The end user does not have to accept the GPL or any of its variants unless they distribute the covered code. The user of the GPL cam only be the person distributing it.

Re:Downgrades (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 months ago | (#47718243)

LGPLv3 is moving away from that model.

Only for the DRM-fetishists trying to build a walled garden with which to monetize their users by using their property against them.

Re:Downgrades (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47715191)

Newer is not always better.
Digia really wants to be fully commercial and are annoyed at people who use Qt without paying. This change is intended to increase revenue and is not motivated by a desire to increase openness. Some commercial users have learned that they can legally and morally use the free version in some instances.

Tivoization is just a bugaboo. I applaud Tivo for using GPL licensed software, it should have been a cause for celebration.

Re:Downgrades (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 months ago | (#47713563)

Downgrades you mean.

Depends on what you want from Qt.

If you are the developer, it's great! You can now static link your application into one file if you you use only Qt libs without being forced to license your code using GPL or buying a commercial license. You still *can* give your code away, but you don't have to.

If you are an end user of a Qt application, nothing really changes for you, except that subsequent software deliveries get simpler to install. Now you don't have to make sure all the necessary shared libs are available when the application needs them. You may or may not be entitled to get source code, but that's not changed.

For Qt it means that more people will use it for all sorts of things because now developers can protect their code using any license they choose.

Except for the end user, who really won't see any difference, Seems like an upgrade to me. Developers get to choose what license suits their business model and Qt get's used more.

Tivoization (2)

Meneth (872868) | about 2 months ago | (#47712717)

So Digia doesn't mind if vendors "deny users the right to modify Qt or write their own applications," as long as those vendors pay Digia their tithe.

Re:Tivoization (4, Informative)

mellon (7048) | about 2 months ago | (#47712761)

That's correct. It's one of the more obvious and beneficial uses of GPLv3: anybody who wants to do open source gets to use it for free, people who want to use closed source have to pay, and the company that supports the software gets paid to make it better. Big win for everybody. The only downside to this model is that it requires Digia to hold the copyright, which makes accepting outside submissions difficult.

Re:Tivoization (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 months ago | (#47713217)

Unfortunately Duel Licencing model is the only way to go with the GPL.

A Free in terms of freedom for the End User License.
A Closed Source licences that gives more freedom for the developers to control their own product.

Re:Tivoization (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47713279)

RHEL is not dual licensed and Red Hat makes quite a lot of money on it by selling services around it. They even sell self supported versions where all you get is the software, but having a trusted party make the binaries for you can also be seen as a service.

Re:Tivoization (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47713325)

> Duel Licencing

I pick C++ as the weapon!

Re:Tivoization (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 months ago | (#47713979)

I pick C++ as the weapon!

Since that's not actually a license, I pick lightsaber. Not as clumsy or random as C++. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.

Re:Tivoization (3, Funny)

Kalium70 (3437049) | about 2 months ago | (#47714847)

Of course C++ is a weapon. People shoot themselves in the foot with it all the time.

Re:Tivoization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47713347)

Dueling licensing models... FIGHT!

Re:Tivoization (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47715943)

BSD license gives the most freedom of all though for developers. And no one can "steal" a BSD product and make it proprietary because the original still exists, the only thing proprietary would be the modifications.

Re:Tivoization (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 months ago | (#47718247)

And no one can "steal" a BSD product and make it proprietary because the original still exists

No, but they can starve the original of users if:

the only thing proprietary would be the modifications.

Said modifications drew the users away.

Re: Tivoization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47713663)

Division needs the right to relicense the code anyway. They have a contract wit the free Qt foundation, where Digia grants that foundation the right to relicense Qt to BSD license if Digia or any follow up company goes proprietry with the code.

Re:Tivoization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47713791)

Technically speaking, it's not a case of "holding the copyright". If you want to contribute to Qt, you must accept an agreement [qt-project.org] that makes you retain copyright, but gives Digia the license of relicensing your code under any license form of its choice.

TL;DR: Digia owns the Qt trademark, but not the copyright on the entire Qt codebase.

Re:Tivoization (2)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 months ago | (#47712769)

You make it sound as if Digia would do something ethical questionable. Is this company not allowed to make money with their product?

Re:Tivoization (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 months ago | (#47712787)

Yes, that is one of the benefits of the GPL, it allows you to dual license things. That way people who are willing to give back their changes can use it, and those who would rather support the project with money can do it that way.

Re:Tivoization (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 months ago | (#47712839)

Only thing I'd wish for: A third way to give back. Getting a commercial license for a certain amount of help, e.g. bug fixes or other code contributions to the Qt project.

Re:Tivoization (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 months ago | (#47712877)

Getting a commercial license for a certain amount of help, e.g. bug fixes or other code contributions to the Qt project.

How would that help you? If you can afford to pay someone to do bug fixes, you can afford a license.

Re:Tivoization (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 months ago | (#47713233)

I am software developer. I know my way around the Qt and QtCreator code quite well. I just don't have the time to code directly for the Qt project, since I have enough own projects. With such an extra incentive, however, I'd probably shift priorities. Maybe not only me? Could give the Qt project some extra hands... without unreasonable extra costs.

Re:Tivoization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47712959)

If you're serious, ask them.

They will license the software they hold the copyrights on to you if you can present beneficial terms and enter into a contract.

Re:Tivoization (1)

fibonacci8 (260615) | about 2 months ago | (#47713145)

The traditional name for sufficient bug fixes or other code contributions to justify getting a commercial license free is called a "fork".

Re:Tivoization (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 months ago | (#47713353)

Nonsense. You cannot get a commercial license by forking. You can fork, but only under one of the open source licenses. And if I had something to say, for forking the Qt code I'd certainly NOT give a commercial license.

Re:Tivoization (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47713407)

Nothing prevents you from using the free software version of Qt commercially. You are probably confusing commercial with proprietary.

Re:Tivoization (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 months ago | (#47713579)

No, I don't confuse anything. Sure I can use the free version commercially. But it gets really ugly if you want to link Qt statically. And the commercial version has a few nice add-ons, which are not in the free version, e.g. the QML compiler. Fortunately there are some good reasons why someone prefers the commercial version... fortunately because if there were none, there wouldn't be a reason for Digia to go on with Qt.

Re:Tivoization (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47713633)

There's nothing in the LGPL that prevent you from linking statically. Static linking is not even mentioned. You just have to be able to relink it, so shipping your object files is fine. That's essentially why VLC moved to LGPL, they wanted to be compatible with Apple's mobile app store where it has to be linked statically.

The simple solution is of course trivial, license your program under a compatible license.

Re:Tivoization (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 months ago | (#47713757)

I did not say it was impossible... only that it is ugly. For smaller projects shipping the objects files is not much of a problem, but the larger the project, the heavier this burden. Deployment definitely gets more complicated.

Re:Tivoization (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | about 2 months ago | (#47713361)

I've run into another problem. What if you want to make changes and are willing to give them back, but they aren't accepted - and you still want to use the changed version? Years back, I added a --sparse option to gunzip so that when I zipped sparse files and unzipped them, they didn't grow to consume space for all the 0's that were not taking up space in the original sparse files. I submitted the change, but never heard back and assume it was not accepted. For all I know gzip/unzip does provide a way to preserve sparse files by now. Anyway, I'm still using my version - possibly in violation of the GPL. I suppose it's technically legal as long as I don't distribute it, but I do copy it to clients' systems for my use there...

Re:Tivoization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47713545)

GPL is a distribution license, so using a version you modified can't be violation of the GPL. (...directly. If you mixed together various other GPLd things that you got elsewhere -which weren't distributed correctly by those various authors- then yeah that version would be bad.)

Re:Tivoization (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47713705)

Contributing your changes upstream was of course a good thing to do but you actually didn't have to. You have misunderstood the GPL. It only requires that you pass on the freedoms when you distribute the software. Therefore, if you don't distribute the program then you don't have to distribute your modifications. And if you distribute your program then you only have to pass on the source code to whoever you distribute it to, not who you got it from.

Re:Tivoization (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 months ago | (#47713821)

Anyway, I'm still using my version - possibly in violation of the GPL.

You can never violate the GPL by using GPLed code. You can only violate the GPL by distributing GPLed code the wrong way.

Re: Tivoization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714017)

The license is between you and your customer. You need to make the source code of LGPL/GPL components available to your customer on request.

The status of patches you sent anywhere does not effect that in any way.

Re:Tivoization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714679)

It isn't really a benefit of GPL, a copyright owner can license their software in as many different ways as they like. Happens a lot in contract software development.

Re:Tivoization (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 months ago | (#47717453)

It isn't really a benefit of GPL, a copyright owner can license their software in as many different ways as they like

Good luck getting companies to pay for BSD licensed software.

Re:Tivoization (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47715897)

"Users" is a poorly defined term. The people who buy from Digia ARE the users! So are the people who buy the products from the people who bought Qt. The problem is that FSF cares more about the final end users than the developers using the actual libraries. Which is why there should be a clear and distinct difference between GPL and LGPL because they are intended for different "users".

Authors' consent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47712721)

Doesn't it require consent from all the people who have contributed in the past?

Re:Authors' consent (1)

mellon (7048) | about 2 months ago | (#47712771)

I'm pretty sure they haven't accepted any contributions that didn't include a transfer of copyright. This is standard practice in a lot of open source projects, including traditional GNU projects like gcc and emacs.

Re:Authors' consent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47713317)

It's not very common but some large FSF projects require it since it makes it easier to defend it in court. It's unfortuneate that Digia uses this as an excuse for unethical purposes. GTK+ does not have this problem and is therefore usually preferred by free software projects.

Re:Authors' consent (1)

slashdice (3722985) | about 2 months ago | (#47713383)

GNU/FSF projects [gnu.org] won't accept contributions (beyond a couple lines) unless you've signed a CLA [wikipedia.org]

Re:Authors' consent (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47713457)

It's still up to the maintainer, which is even stated in the first paragraph on the gnu.org page that you linked to.

Re:Authors' consent (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 2 months ago | (#47713671)

It's unfortuneate that Digia uses this as an excuse for unethical purposes.

What is the unethical activity they are doing?

Re:Authors' consent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47713737)

They provide a proprietary version of Qt, and providing proprietary software is unethical.

Re:Authors' consent (1)

mellon (7048) | about 2 months ago | (#47715901)

ISTM they are allowing others to be unethical, and profiting from that. I guess you could call that unethical as well, but it's a different form of unethical. Until we have a business model for open source software that works repeatably, I have trouble finding a problem with this. (And yes, I've been burned selling service on open source software in the past.)

Re: Authors' consent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47713793)

Qt is rather popular and seems to be getting more so all the time. It is not my impression that gtk is generally preferred by free software developers. With several high profile projects moving from gtk to Qt right now, it is hard to argue that gtk is the only valid option.

If you are concerned about freedom, then why would you care about anything but GPL anyway? LGPL was always actively discouraged by the FSF if I remember correctly: It is encourages proprietary software vendors to free-ride on the free-as-in-freedom code without them needing to return anything. That is pretty much the opposite of what the FSF wants.

sigh. complexity enfolded with obfuscation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47712835)

Does anyone get the feeling that the licensing requirements are more complex than the code itself?

If we are to truly understand all of the legal rules we are subject too, we must start training our children from birth. We must spend two hours every day reading them from the IRS code, health care mandate rules, EULA's, court cases and even international law.

Once I thought "we are endowed by our creator..."

Re:sigh. complexity enfolded with obfuscation (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 months ago | (#47713335)

"Does anyone get the feeling that the licensing requirements are more complex than the code itself?"

Yes. Some people do. They are people who have no understanding of either the licenses or the code.

Finally (0)

AlphaBro (2809233) | about 2 months ago | (#47712909)

I was losing sleep over this.

Re:Finally (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 months ago | (#47713603)

I was losing sleep over this.

Uh, WAKE UP dude! They just changed the license on Qt!!!

What about OSS license that respects other rights? (3, Funny)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 months ago | (#47713017)

I'm on board with OSS. But I don't think it goes far enough. The right to modify the code you run is a good one. But I am calling for OSS licenses to pick up another clause, the Zero-Kill clause, where in using the software in any weapons platform (be it sniper rifles or predator drones) is forbidden. People should have the right to not fear being killed by open source software.

Additionally, I am calling for another clause to protect human rights. People should be free from fear that OSS will be used to restrict their freedoms in other ways. This includes forbidding use of the software for censorship or oppression.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47713231)

I'm on board with OSS. But I don't think it goes far enough. The right to modify the code you run is a good one. But I am calling for OSS licenses to pick up another clause, the Zero-Kill clause, where in using the software in any weapons platform (be it sniper rifles or predator drones) is forbidden. People should have the right to not fear being killed by open source software.

Additionally, I am calling for another clause to protect human rights. People should be free from fear that OSS will be used to restrict their freedoms in other ways. This includes forbidding use of the software for censorship or oppression.

Both of those clauses would be incompatible with the definition of open source, especially regarding no discrimination against fields of endeavor. You're of course free to create and use such license, but keep in mind that it won't be considered open source and that a lot of people won't be able to use it.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (0)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 months ago | (#47713397)

If that is so, then I find it abhorrent that the OSS movement prioritizes the freedoms of killing, censorship and persecution above the right to life and live.

So what you're saying is we could have an OSS licensed SkyNet? "It's ok because it's GPL!" Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47713571)

What's your opinion on a license that restricts abortion clinics or anti-abortion activists from using the software? Some people consider that killing. It's slippery slope if you start restricting specific use cases based on your own personal agenda.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 months ago | (#47713953)

That would be fine. If I imposed such a restriction, someone can come along and invent separate software a less restrictive license, which is completely within their right.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714587)

Someone did, that less restrictive license is called GPL because things were going out of control.
I'm all for fighting evil, but historical evidence show that this is the wrong way.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 months ago | (#47714341)

If that is so, then I find it abhorrent that the OSS movement prioritizes the freedoms of killing, censorship and persecution above the right to life and live.

What drugs are you on really? You make as much sense as saying that because this knife didn't come with an EULA not to behead unbelievers the manufacturer supports what the Islamic State is doing in Iraq/Syria. I've never to my knowledge bought or owned anything that has a political agenda as condition for use and newer will. I do care how they were produced (no child labor, animal testing, destroying the rain forest, social dumping or so on) but I'd never buy a car that had the gall to tell me where I could and couldn't drive in the EULA. So are you nuts, a troll or just trying to kill OSS? Because you make RMS look pragmatic.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 2 months ago | (#47713465)

Both of those clauses would be incompatible with the definition of open source, especially regarding no discrimination against fields of endeavor. You're of course free to create and use such license, but keep in mind that it won't be considered open source and that a lot of people won't be able to use it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47713239)

I share your feelings, but you gotta realize such a clause would be unenforceable. Right now you can get detained forever without due process, how do you expect to check something that's buried deep into secrecy? Because you know, "national security", and terrorists. Sure.

By the way, I see you've been down modded already. Gotta love the warmongers and totalitarists.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714861)

Furthermore, many countries allow violating copyright for national security, so it's not even illegal.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#47713387)

You can make your own license any time you want.

However, i don't share your concerns and likely would avoid your license or any with those provisions in them. If i wanted my code to only be used in certain ways, i would keep it propriatary and use specific licenses instead of pretending it was free.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (0)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 months ago | (#47713501)

It's not a popularity contest. It's about our legacy as human beings and as open source is inherently collective, our collective coding effort being a moral and just one.
While I would like the license to be popular, only in so much that I can be assured that the software is being used to advance humanity, not to stifle it. As well as contributors to the projects can rest assured the code they submit would never be used against themselves or others in an immoral fashion.

You, of course, are free to choose an immoral license.

 

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (1)

swillden (191260) | about 2 months ago | (#47717329)

It's not a popularity contest.

You missed the point. You can make such a license if you like, indeed many people have made them. But it is a popularity contest in that unless a significant number of people agree with your priorities and therefore choose to adopt your license, you won't have accomplished anything.

And, of course, the GP disagrees with your priorities and wouldn't use your license. I see both sides, but I think I'd probably shy away from a license with such vague and potentially far-reaching restrictions.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 2 months ago | (#47713807)

Who gets to decide whether or not some specific use is a "weapons platform", "human rights" violation, or "oppression"? I highly doubt that many developers want to spend all their time dealing with it, and courts probably won't want to deal with such a vague contract.

Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 months ago | (#47714271)

Didn't a group already make such a license.

I feel it was Cult of the Dead Cow (with peekabooty maybe), or the people behind Freenet or some such, quite a while ago.

It was around the timeframe of those projects being new, I read about it here as a matter of fact.

Qt Mobile is useless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47713743)

They have pracitcally no abstractions across device platforms, no unified Location GPS et al, no unified storage et al. and practically shit all at the QML level.

And they want us to PAY THEM?

HAHAHAHAHAH LAUGH THEM OUT THE DOOR.

Re:Qt Mobile is useless (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 months ago | (#47713907)

Um what? [qt-project.org]

I'm on a mobile team and iOS and Android are a lot less similar than you would think. There are few constructs shared between the two. This isn't Qt's problem.

hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47715057)

The problem is that Richard Stallman is a fucking egocentric hypocrite and the gpl contract should be voided. If a company took a look at how the gpl code worked and then came up with a brand new algorithm with the same results as the gpl it would still be considered gpl code which is ridiculous. Linux has no unix code(different algorithms but same results) but it looks like unix and it runs like unix, wouldn't this be a violation of unix patents?

Re:hum (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47715631)

The problem is that Richard Stallman is a fucking egocentric hypocrite and the gpl contract should be voided. If a company took a look at how the gpl code worked and then came up with a brand new algorithm with the same results as the gpl it would still be considered gpl code which is ridiculous.

Yes that is ridiculous, that's why it doesn't work that way.

Linux has no unix code(different algorithms but same results) but it looks like unix and it runs like unix, wouldn't this be a violation of unix patents?

Patents has not a lot to do with copyright.

Re:hum (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 2 months ago | (#47716051)

If a company took a look at how the gpl code worked and then came up with a brand new algorithm with the same results as the gpl it would still be considered gpl code which is ridiculous.

Why should it be considered GPL code? Since the new code is different in multiple ways from the GPLed code, there is no copyright infringement. Only patents deal with abstraction of multiple implementations of an algorithm.

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