License change in kdepim

Bo Thorsen bo at
Wed Mar 3 08:42:06 GMT 2004

Hi all,

(Sorry for crossposting, but I need to reach people outside kdepim here.)

I have over the last month been sending out lots of emails with one 
specific question:

"Would you mind it if we changed the license of the GPL code you have 
contributed to kdepim to have the license GPL + the Qt exception (*)?"

This change would mean that it would be legal to link kdepim apps to any 
Qt (GPL, freetestwindowsthingy, enterprise edition, embedded...). No 
other change is implied in this, so it only presents more freedom for the 
KDE user. Specifically, the code is still protected by the GPL.

The reason for doing this is two fold: First, there is a growing amount of 
people who use the commercial Qt for Linux and that is not compatible 
with the GPL - mostly this is because having two Qt installations for GPL 
and non-GPL apps is just silly since it's the same code anyway. More 
serious is that several people have discussed the option of a kdepim port 
to native Windows. To make this happen, this is a necessary change.

So far, I have return mails from around half of the people I tried getting 
an answer from. All of them were positive to this change. The question is 
when enough is enough? When kdelibs did the big license change back 
several years ago, the respondent count was at around 80%.

Every person I have been in contact with personally or on the kde-pim list 
have expressed the opinion that this is the right thing to do.


(*): The Qt exception is added just below the standard GPL text in the 
source code. There are currently two versions of it:

In addition, as a special exception, the copyright holders give permission 
to link the code of this program with any edition of the Qt library by 
Trolltech AS, Norway (or with modified versions of Qt that use the same 
license as Qt), and distribute linked combinations including the two.  
You must obey the GNU General Public License in all respects for all of 
the code used other than Qt.  If you modify this file, you may extend 
this exception to your version of the file, but you are not obligated to 
do so. If you do not wish to do so, delete this exception statement from 
your version.


As a special exception, permission is given to link this program with any 
edition of Qt, and distribute the resulting executable, without including 
the source code for Qt in the source distribution.
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