KDE Licensing Policy Updates

Jonathan Riddell jr at jriddell.org
Tue Sep 20 17:04:47 UTC 2016

It's time for a new updates to the KDE Licensing Policy

The purpose of the policy is to ensure a common understanding of what
KDE code and contributions can be licenced as for copying.  It should
allow maximum reusability amongst KDE and other free software groups
while ensuring people are encouraged to contribute back or at least
not proprietise our code.


"code may not be copied from Qt into KDE Platform as Qt is LGPL 2.1"
Rationale: Qt is now LGPL 3 as well as 2

''Applications which are intended to be run on a server'' can be
licenced under the GNU AGPL 3.0 or later
Rationale: KDE Store code is under AGPL
Question: should this be an option or a requirement for server software?

"Content on collaborative edited websites such as wikis must be
licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0
Rationale: we have no policy for wikis but they are very important to
us especially with wikitoLearn so we should add one.  Our wikis are
currently CC 3.0+FDL but we should consider moving to CC 4.0 (CC
includes an or later so there's no difficultly in doing this).  FDL is
unmaintained and not much used so we can drop this.

"Documentation must be licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 International"
Rationale: Currently we use GNU FDL but that licence is unmaintained,
little used, problematic due to association with non-free options and
incompatible with the GPL.  CC-BY-SA 4 is one way compatible with the
GPL (code can be copied from docs to GPL code).  So I suggest moving
new docs to CC.

'Standalone media files'' such as images may be licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence"
Rationale: Moved from CC 3 to CC 4 which has clearer language and is
compatible with more countries' legal systems.  CC 3 includes an "or
later" so can be moved to CC 4 without asking the copyright holder.

Standalone media files CC 4.. "This does not apply to icons or
anything which is likely to be mixed with content under our normal
(GPL etc) licences."
Rationale: CC 4 is compatible with GPL 3 which is the licence of
Breeze icons anyway.

Let me know what you think


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