License and copyright iussues (was: qwindowxpstyle.cpp)

Holger Schroeder holger-kde at
Fri Sep 24 10:39:27 CEST 2004


first: IANAL.

i started this native port of qt native on win32, and i did it the following 

i started with the X11 GPL version of qt. in that version all files were 
dual-licensed in the headers. as i only had the right to use qt under the gpl 
license, i used it under the gpl license. i mainly took the *_x11.cpp files 
in there and copied them over to *_win.cpp and replaced the X11 function 
calls by native win32 GDI and whatever function calls. when doing that, i 
removed the lines from the original headers, which stated, that the files 
could be used under the qt commercial license.

imagine the following case:
a commercial customer from TT has only the right to use the X11 version. and 
now he finds our work and would read, that he can use it with a commercial Qt 
license. so we would give him the possibility to create commercial windows 
programs with qt. this is surely not what we want.

as i understand it, we should recheck, that all files, that we created/changed 
don´t have the lines in the header, that state, that the file can be used 
with a commercial qt license. as we always worked on the files under the gpl 
license, we can not grant any license rights on the files, besides the gpl. 

if there are any files in cvs, from which it isn´t clear, that they are not 
simply copied over from a commercial qt-windows version, we have to remove 
them from cvs.

btw: you are doing great work on this project right now, lyx people consider 
using this qt version, the kdiff3 guy is testing it, the KO/Pi guy tests it, 
and even Jaroslaw Staniek from the Kexi project tests it to create the 
windows version of Kexi with it, once he completes the merge of his kdelibs 
changes for windows in main kde cvs.

you rock !!!

thanks, Holger

On Friday 24 September 2004 09:59, Chris January wrote:
> Andreas raises a valid point about this file.
> If this is an original file written by someone outside of Trolltech and you
> wish to license it to kde-cygwin under the GPL license then can the
> original author please re-submit the file with an appropriate copyright
> notice (including their name) and license terms. Otherwise the file will
> need to be removed from CVS.
> Futhermore many files with _win.cpp extensions also have a (C) Copyright
> Trolltech notice when they are in fact either completely original works by
> another author or only portions are copyright Trolltech. The problem with
> this is is becomes difficult to ascertain the true author should any
> dispute arise with Trolltech in the future. It could be construed that the
> author(s) have implicitly assigned copyright to Trolltech which cannot be
> the case if we distribute them under the GPL (since Trolltech presumably
> have not licensed those files under the GPL themselves).
> In conclusion:
> If you have contributed to any file in qt-win32 then please add an
> appropriate copyright notice to the file. We also need to remove any
> erroneous notices that suggest Trolltech have copyright in a file when they
> do not. The files from Wolfpack all have Trolltech copyright notices but
> they are not written (wholely) by Trolltech. It would be prudent to add a
> notice to these files to indicate their true origin.
> Futhermore I myself am not happy allowing files in qt-win32 to be used in
> non-GPL applications by Trolltech commercial licensees and I believe that
> the clauses permitting this should be removed from the qt-win32 files.
> Feel free to add your own opinons and comments - I think it would be good
> to come to a general consensus about licensing and my own opinions should
> not be given to much weight since I have been rather inactive of late.
> Chris January
> --
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