Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th Mar 2011 15:50 UTC, submitted by Geoff Floding
Qt Since the web has a tendency to overstate things: no, Nokia is not selling Qt. Today, Nokia announced that Digia will acquire the Qt Commercial software licensing and professional services business from Nokia. So I repeat: Nokia is not selling Qt.
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The commercial variant is required
by Nth_Man on Mon 7th Mar 2011 16:05 UTC
Nth_Man
Member since:
2010-05-16

> The commercial [license] is required for some niches
> of the market - medical, aerospace, and defence, for
> instance - and also entitles the buyer to professional
> support from Nokia.

You can use the GPL license in medical, aerospace, defence, etc. You can use the LGPL there, too.

And you can purchase support, too, if you use the GPL or LGPL license.

For more details, we can see the "License Comparison Chart" in http://qt.nokia.com/products/licensing

Edited 2011-03-07 16:10 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah... The unstated implication is that those in the medical, aerospace and devencse industries might not want to comply with the GPL/LGPL license for business reasons.

The marketing material from dual license companies always seems to neglect to mention little facts like this, although I give Nokia props for having such nice easy to understand chart on their website. Try finding something like that on Mysql's site.

Reply Score: 7

MrWeeble Member since:
2007-04-18

You can use the GPL license in medical, aerospace, defence, etc. You can use the LGPL there, too.


Legally, yes. Practically, maybe not be as easy. I suspect what Thom means, is that due to the requirements in the contracts in these industries, it can be far cheaper to purchase a commercial agreement with a licensor than to use the free licence, but have to your IP lawyers pour over it, to ensure you can't be sued

Reply Score: 6

Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

The advantages of reading:
http://qt.nokia.com/about/licensing/frequently-asked-questions/
"Qt users may create proprietary applications that dynamically link to the LGPL-licensed Qt libraries [...]"

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"You can use the GPL license in medical, aerospace, defence, etc. You can use the LGPL there, too.


Legally, yes. Practically, maybe not be as easy. I suspect what Thom means, is that due to the requirements in the contracts in these industries, it can be far cheaper to purchase a commercial agreement with a licensor than to use the free licence, but have to your IP lawyers pour over it, to ensure you can't be sued
"

Bingo. I kind of thought that was obvious ;) .

Reply Score: 1

Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

There are a lot of programs using Qt (under the LGPL license). Some of them are closed-source.

Can you say a single example of those programs that can be sued for using the LGPL license and not be sued if they use the "commercial" license?

How is that those niches of market require the "commercial" license?

Reply Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Forgive me if my GPL license interpretation is off, but doesn't distributing the libraries ( in the form of embedded hardware and/or a full installation program) require them to also provide the source code for the qt libraries?

If so is that what people object to in those industries? it seems simple enough, but maybe they just don't want to deal with "the hassle" of doing it.

Reply Score: 2

Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

Forgive me if my GPL license interpretation is off, but doesn't distributing the libraries ( in the form of embedded hardware and/or a full installation program) require them to also provide the source code for the qt libraries?

Let's notice that you are answering a comment that I wrote about the LGPL, not the GPL.

"Qt users may create proprietary applications that dynamically link to the LGPL-licensed Qt libraries [...]". There's more in
http://qt.nokia.com/about/licensing/frequently-asked-questions/

Reply Score: 6

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Ok, let me repost my entire post,with a single letter change to specify the particular Gnu public license I was referring to.

Forgive me if my LGPL license interpretation is off, but doesn't distributing the libraries ( in the form of embedded hardware and/or a full installation program) require them to also provide the source code for the qt libraries?

If so is that what people object to in those industries? it seems simple enough, but maybe they just don't want to deal with "the hassle" of doing it.

Reply Score: 2

Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

Forgive me if my LGPL license interpretation is off, but doesn't distributing the libraries ( in the form of embedded hardware and/or a full installation program) require them to also provide the source code for the qt libraries?

Only in the very strange case of modifying the Qt source code and distributing programs, outside the company, made with this modified Qt version.

If we look for "Must provide source code changes to Qt" in http://qt.nokia.com/products/licensing/licensing we can see more information.

If so is that what people object to in those industries? it seems simple enough, but maybe they just don't want to deal with "the hassle" of doing it.

In the very strange case that I was talking about, the company would only need an FTP server, for example, to serve those modified Qt files. For those companies, with a lot of developers, that already have a web site... having an ftp site is no big deal. Hey, a lot of Linux distributions have had ftp sites for many years.

Reply Score: 4

Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

No.

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

There were two questions posed. I'm unsure which one you were answering. Care to clarify?

No, a distributor of LGPL binaries is not required to distribute source as well?

Or

No, that isn't the reason why these select industries do not want to use LGPL licensed software?

Edited 2011-03-07 20:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

That's one way to look at it. They can hack up the Qt libs without providing the source code.

I'm thinking it means they want someone to sue when everything goes south. That and priority support with SLAs.

Reply Score: 1

BloopFloop Member since:
2010-12-23

you CAN != you SHOULD or you WILL. those users just NEED someone to sign a commercial contact for supporting, so they can use it with confident and resuranceļ¼Œand maybe for legal reasons.

Edited 2011-03-07 16:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

you CAN != you SHOULD or you WILL. those users just NEED someone to sign a commercial contact for supporting, so they can use it with confident and resurance.


As it was written:
And you can purchase support, too, if you use the GPL or LGPL license.

For more details, we can see the "License Comparison Chart" in http://qt.nokia.com/products/licensing

Reply Score: 2

tchristney Member since:
2005-09-21

IANAL, but I think that one of the biggest stumbling blocks in using the LGPL in these industries is actually the lack of warranty protection in sections 15 and 16. Those clauses are simply not acceptable in those industries (and others).

Reply Score: 2

Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

> > The commercial variant is required for some niches
> > of the market

> IANAL, but I think that one of the biggest stumbling
> blocks in using the LGPL in these industries is
> actually the lack of warranty protection in sections
> 15 and 16.

Let's notice that the discussion was about if the commercial variant was required. That "commercial" license does not give a "warranty protection", so that "commercial" license it's not required (talking about the "warranty" factor).

Those clauses are simply not acceptable in those industries (and others).

We would like to know what software library gives you what Qt gives you... and also gives you "warranty protection". If you find no one, it's normal :-(

Reply Score: 2

Oh yeah?
by protomank on Mon 7th Mar 2011 16:50 UTC
protomank
Member since:
2006-08-03

OK, let me say that: Nokia is indeed GOING to seel Qt, not right now, but it will.

This is just a first step, Nokia gets out of Qt commercial part and keeps the development. Later it will start getting the best developers from Qt branch (former Trolltech) into the new Windows division, then they will sell the whole Qt division, or what is left of it.

Common pratice in business, may be better for Qt to be sold than die in Nokia's arms.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Oh yeah?
by TheGZeus on Mon 7th Mar 2011 18:11 UTC in reply to "Oh yeah?"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

It'll be forked before it dies.

No worries on my part.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oh yeah?
by Kalessin on Mon 7th Mar 2011 23:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh yeah?"
Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

The problem isn't whether Qt will still be available or still being developed - it's under an open source license, so it will be. The problem is whether it will still be commercially available. Sure, projects like KDE will be fine, but there are plenty of companies which rely on Qt and need it to be under a commercial license. They are the ones who will be in trouble if Qt dies commercially.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Oh yeah?
by Nth_Man on Mon 7th Mar 2011 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh yeah?"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

if Qt dies commercially.

Knowing that Qt is used in many, many places (*), it's sure that a company will give support to others, even if Nokia and Digia die.

(*) Qt is most notably used in Autodesk [7][8], Google Earth, KDE, Adobe Photoshop Album, the European Space Agency [9], OPIE, Siemens [1], Volvo [2], Walt Disney Animation Studios [3], Skype, VLC media player [10], Samsung [11], Philips [12], Panasonic [13], VirtualBox and Mathematica [14].

[1] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/story/customer/siemens
[2] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/story/customer/volvo-mobility-systems
[3] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/story/customer/walt-disney-feature-an...
[7] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/autodesk/
[8] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/qt-in-visual-effects
[9] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/story/customer/esa-european-space-age...
[10] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/story/app/vlc-player/
[11] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/qt-in-home-media
[12] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/qt-in-ip-communications
[13] http://qt.nokia.com/about/news/panasonic-selects-qt-for-hd-video-sy...
[14] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/story/customer/mathematica-by-wolfram...

Reply Score: 4

A good thing for Qt
by Praxis on Mon 7th Mar 2011 16:54 UTC
Praxis
Member since:
2009-09-17

Since I suspect Nokia's interest in Qt will dry up the moment they ship their last symbian device, I'm glad that they are divesting some of their interest in Qt to other companies. This should clear up some developer anxiety about the future of Qt on the desktop.

Reply Score: 4

RE: A good thing for Qt
by sorpigal on Mon 7th Mar 2011 17:15 UTC in reply to "A good thing for Qt"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

No, Meego also uses Qt now and it appears that some Meego devices are still coming out of Nokia.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: A good thing for Qt
by Praxis on Mon 7th Mar 2011 17:42 UTC in reply to "RE: A good thing for Qt"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

They aren't planning to release even near enough Meego devices to justify current Qt expenditures. Once Symbian is gone, there is simply no financial reason to spend as much on Qt as they do now. Even if they keep of small team of Qt devs in house the effect will be much the same.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A good thing for Qt
by sorpigal on Mon 7th Mar 2011 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A good thing for Qt"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I believe they also have obtained permission from MS to customize the win7 UI for their phones, which sounds like "Qt" to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: A good thing for Qt
by Elv13 on Thu 10th Mar 2011 02:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A good thing for Qt"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

I hope so, but they said they would not port Qt to Phone7, but I hope they will.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A good thing for Qt
by Carewolf on Mon 7th Mar 2011 20:01 UTC in reply to "A good thing for Qt"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

This might be the road to the solution. Nokia only had a strategic interest in mobile Qt anyway, KDE and now Digia have an interest in desktop Qt.
The development of Qt has already been made more public by Nokia by using gitorious and a public bug-tracker. The last missing piece is perhaps a more open governance of Qt.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: A good thing for Qt
by vodoomoth on Wed 9th Mar 2011 11:45 UTC in reply to "RE: A good thing for Qt"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

The last missing piece is perhaps a more open governance of Qt.

Which would be what? What form would that "more open governance" take?

Reply Score: 2

Incentive revenue?
by malxau on Mon 7th Mar 2011 17:22 UTC
malxau
Member since:
2005-12-04

So Nokia sells the part of Qt that brings in cash. What incentive does it now have to actively develop Qt for the benefit of open source users/digia? This announcement seems like an announcement that Qt development is going to slow down dramatically.

Reply Score: 2

Worried
by sorpigal on Mon 7th Mar 2011 17:24 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

The agreement Trolltech and now Nokia have with KDE is that if the "free" edition of Qt stops being released, or if a significant release of Qt occurs without a corresponding free edition release, KDE and everyone else is granted the rights to immediately fork Qt under very permissive terms.

Since Nokia is not "selling" Qt, thus not transferring the copyrights, does this agreement have any effect? Since Digia can license proprietary versions of Qt, what's to stop them from (effectively) forking Qt and adding non-Free enhancements, then licensing those as well? I don't know, maybe there's something, but it looks to me like they could do it.

For your reference here's the agreement in full.

http://www.kde.org/community/whatiskde/kdefreeqtfoundation.php

Pages 3-5 are the meat of it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Worried
by Nth_Man on Mon 7th Mar 2011 17:40 UTC in reply to "Worried"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

> Since Nokia is not "selling" Qt, thus not
> transferring the copyrights, does this agreement
> have any effect?

Nokia signed the contract, and that binds Nokia. Even if they say "our old CEO has changed his mind" or "heeey, our new CEO doesn't like it" or "it doesn't interest us" or "the support is done by another company" or "the development is done by another company".

If Nokia gets bought by another company, I suspect that the buyer would get "the good and the bad" from Nokia, with those restrictions included, but in this particular case of "getting bought" I am not 100% sure.

Edited 2011-03-07 17:47 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Worried
by sorpigal on Mon 7th Mar 2011 19:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Worried"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

<quote>Nokia signed the contract, and that binds Nokia.</quote>
The contract mentions transfer of copyright, which did not happen here. That's why I ask. If Nokia were bought the copyright would transfer, here it didn't.

What if the actual development work is done by another company? Are they still bound?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Worried
by vodoomoth on Wed 9th Mar 2011 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Worried"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Are they still bound?

Very interesting question, I would also like to know the answer to it. I guess by "they" you mean the other company, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Worried
by sorpigal on Wed 9th Mar 2011 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Worried"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I guess by "they" you mean the other company, right?

I mean both "Is the other company bound?" and "Does this count as a violation of the agreement for Nokia?" If not A then either B or hello loophole.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Worried
by Praxis on Mon 7th Mar 2011 17:45 UTC in reply to "Worried"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

The contract still holds, if it was that easy to get out of a contract they would be useless. The new owners can't do anything that Nokia couldn't do.

Reply Score: 3

Licensing section
by ruinevil on Fri 11th Mar 2011 00:55 UTC
ruinevil
Member since:
2009-01-08

Isn't that the only part of Trolltech that earns Nokia a profit. The best part of Trolltech from a stockowner's point of view. This is probably worse than Nokia selling the entire Trolltech division.

Reply Score: 1