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Open Source KDE

Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3 117

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the who-doesn't-like-freedom-zero dept.
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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Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

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  • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot@nexusGI ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @12:14PM (#47713431) Homepage

    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.

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