[Interest] Licensing

Giuseppe D'Angelo giuseppe.dangelo at kdab.com
Sat Oct 5 19:57:52 CEST 2019


Il 05/10/19 19:19, Jérôme Godbout ha scritto:
> This is the true problem: when you need a lawyer, a sale rep and Qt 
> support just to determine what you should do or buy, you know this is 
> one hell of a brain f*** problem. I think Qt might just be missing sales 
> because of this. Make it clear, make it obvious what people should buy 
> or make a package with a displayed price point. I'm sure many just use 
> Qt and try as hard as they can to be legit but at some point just gave 
> up and say "screw this, let's use the free and hope nobody see it".
> We want transparency on this matter one day. I have some project moving 
> away of Qt  just because we are unsure if this a valid use case and the 
> client doesn't have the time nor the resource for lawyer wasted money.

I get your frustration, but please don't mix the topics:

1) YOU need a lawyer to protect YOUR OWN interests. Licensing is a legal 
topic, which makes it a minefield (depends on the country/legal system, 
your particular domain, how all the licenses you're using interact with 
each other, what certifications mandate, etc.). Licenses like GPL/LGPL 
are also particularly tricky because they carry many obligations.

Therefore, any pre-made answer is not usable; and that's why everyone 
insists on answering "please have an expert look at your case and give 
you their opinion".

While you may get a rough idea of what's going on from online forums and 
videos, are you willing to bet your business strategy and/or expose 
yourself to lawsuits, instead of paying a firm to give you advice? (I 
don't know anyone offering comprehensive legal advice for free. Note 
also that in some countries a hired lawyer that gives you blatantly 
wrong advice can be sued for gross incompetence.)

To state the obvious: of course it's in Qt sales interests to sell you 
Qt licenses, NOT to give you such advice. In Italy we say something like 
"don't ask the innkeeper if the wine they serve is good". Qt sales 
protect Qt interests, not yours.

To state the less obvious (?): you're building a product for whose 
success Qt is a necessary component. Assuming you'll need to continue 
sell and support this product for the foreseeable future, buying 
licenses can  therefore be considered a strategic investment for you -- 
you want/need to keep Qt alive.

2) The actual licensing prices and schemes are not public. Even the 
actual wording of the commercial licenses are not public, AFAIK.

It's a business decision. It can be questioned, like all such decisions.

But note that you need someone anyhow to have a look at the commercial 
license text and tell you what it implies for you. Possibly, someone 
that protects your interests (= your lawyer), and we're back to square one.

3) I'm not sure what the Qt (technical) support has to do with this, to 
be honest.

Anyhow: please direct these comments to your Qt sales representative; 
this is NOT a sales mailing list (in other words, chances are high that 
no one from sales ever reads these messages). This is a mailing list of 
the Qt Project.

Giuseppe D'Angelo | giuseppe.dangelo at kdab.com | Senior Software Engineer
KDAB (France) S.A.S., a KDAB Group company
Tel. France +33 (0)4 90 84 08 53, http://www.kdab.com
KDAB - The Qt, C++ and OpenGL Experts

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