[techtalk] KDE license?

Rik Hemsley rik at kde.org
Fri Feb 11 11:57:00 EST 2000

#if Noah L. Meyerhans
> On Fri, 11 Feb 2000, Sunnanvind wrote:
> > Rik; you mentioned that you knew the KDE license.
> > Could you or anyone else please explain why the KDE license is not bad?
> > Including QT etc.
> This is my understanding of it...I believe it's correct, but Rik may know
> more...
> So, Troll (makers of Qt) were pursuaded to license Qt under an open source
> license.  Their license is roughly comparable to the Mozilla license, and
> has been certified as open source by groups like OSI and SPI.  However,
> the QPL is not 100% compatible with the GPL, so a small exception has to
> be made in the GPL so it can be linked with QPL code.  The problem here is
> that not all KDE code is original, so the original authors must be
> contacted and must give permission to re-license their code under the
> slightly modified GPL...
> Or something like that, I think...

Well, if you consider Qt as a system library, then there's no
problem. Qt is installed on all (apart from Debian ?) of the Linux
distributions, so it's a system lib.

Considering that all (but Debian) also have KDE set up as a desktop
for the user (only RH starts Gnome by default) that means the KDE
is a part of the system, so the library it uses must also be a part
of the system.

The GPL:
  The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
  making modifications to it.  For an executable work, complete source
  code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
  associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
  control compilation and installation of the executable.  However, as a
  special exception, the source code distributed need not include
  anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
  form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
  operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
  itself accompanies the executable.

KDE does not ship with a copy of Qt, so it's not breaking the last
clause there.

I can't see any reason why having an extra clause added to the GPL
is necessary.

I think the head Debian person said that the arguments against
including KDE are emotional arguments, and that there's no real
reason to exclude KDE. (I'll check the debian lists for the
exact quote.)

This talk of adding a clause to the GPL just looks like it's something
that someone came up with and no-one bothered to check whether it
was actually a correct statement. It seems that many people have simply
listened to what other people say instead of finding out the facts.


135. Displace the canon with attitude.

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