[Interest] Indie Mobil Program terminated?

Thiago Macieira thiago.macieira at intel.com
Wed Jul 8 02:33:14 CEST 2015

On Tuesday 07 July 2015 14:14:01 md at rpzdesign.com wrote:
> Go ahead and search for a QT competitor product that emphasizes that you 
> talk to your lawyer.
> http://www.qt.io/faq/
> Again, its really bad optics when the word "lawyer" keeps popping up
> and whacking potential customers in the face.

The problem here is that this is not between you and The Qt Company. This is 
an N-way issue between you, The Qt Company, any and all contributors to the Qt 
codebase, the company running the App Store, and all of your users. It's not a 
simple answer because any of those people may have a different answer than The 
Qt Company.

Say the Qt Company puts a notice saying it will not sue anyone using Qt under 
the LGPL and submits their applications to an App Store. Then you go and do an 
application, then publish it. And after that, some user downloads it and makes 
demands of you. TQtC has nothing to do with it, you are on the hook.

The GPL and LGPL have never been tested in court about App Stores and there 
are differing interpretations (as many opinions as there are lawyers).

Here are two:

This SO article[1] makes the case that the GPL and the LGPL require the 
distributor to provide access to the source to anyone receiving the binaries 
and that the distributor, in this case, is the App Store. Since you will not 
convince Apple to host your source for you too, Apple would be in violation of 
the LGPL requirements and therefore should not accept to distribute your 

You could get around that limitation by storing the source code inside the 
binary (a Qt resource) and offering an option to save it to mass-storage in 
your menus. You don't need to store all of Qt, but you do need to do it for 
the bits that you used.

Another interpretation would be that the App Store is nothing more than a 
hosting website, no more on the hook for providing the source code than Amazon 
would be if you had a EC server hosting your binaries there ("publisher vs 
author" distinction). In that case, the LGPLv2.1 is fine in the stores, as long 
as you provide access to the source code in your own website. In both cases, 
you'd also need to comply with the relinking clause.

I said LGPLv2.1; if you use the bits of Qt-for-Android that are LGPLv3, the 
situation changes again, especially due to the (L)GPLv3's clause on 
installation instructions (the "TiVo clause").

[1] http://stackoverflow.com/questions/459833/which-open-source-licenses-are-compatible-with-the-apples-iphone-and-its-offici
Thiago Macieira - thiago.macieira (AT) intel.com
  Software Architect - Intel Open Source Technology Center

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