[Interest] Qt Creator licensing for companies with Qt Commercial developers

Tuukka Turunen tuukka.turunen at qt.io
Tue Mar 31 13:22:56 CEST 2020


For completely independent projects/products this is fine. Note that these really should not be same or in practice the same - or in any way depending, relating, using etc each other as defined in the license agreement. 

See licensing FAQ question 2.7 at https://www.qt.io/faq/ and License agreement at https://www.qt.io/terms-conditions/ 



On 30.3.2020, 23.25, "Michael Jackson" <mike.jackson at bluequartz.net> wrote:

    Dear Tuukka,
       Let us take a concrete example of a hypothetical company. The company has 10 software engineers and 2 projects.
    Engineers 1,2,3,4,5 work on proprietary project A that uses Qt commercial license. Each engineer (1,2,3,4,5) has a commercial Qt license assigned to that engineer. They use QtCreator from the commercial package to develop such a software. The proprietary software being developed is for a Desktop application and uses Qt5 as part of its development.
    Now, Engineers 6,7,8,9,10 all work on an open source project B that does not use Qt libraries at all. Those engineers (6,7,8,9,10) all really like QtCreator and want to use it to develop that open source library. I, as the company owner, instruct those engineers to download the open source version of QtCreator and use that open source version of QtCreator to develop their open source software.
    There is *no* cross over between the 2 engineering groups.
    Is this situation allowed by the Qt Commercial license? If it is *not* allowed consider me a lost supporter of Qt anything.
    Michael Jackson | Owner, President
          BlueQuartz Software
    [e] mike.jackson at bluequartz.net
    [w] www.bluequartz.net 
    On 3/30/20, 1:54 PM, "Tuukka Turunen" <tuukka.turunen at qt.io> wrote:
        Hi Michael,
        Please read the commercial license agreement and the licensing FAQ. The restriction has nothing to do with open-source licensing. It is about a company, who is using a commercially licensed Qt not to use parts of the same licensed Qt product under open-source license. If there was no such restriction, a company could have a team of 10 developers, but only 1 or 2 commercial license for Qt.
        I do understand that it can feel off to have such a restriction for using "Qt Creator" when others are using "Qt libraries". The important point is that both these are included in the Qt for Application Development product. So both need to be used with same type of license: open-source or commercial. 
        On 27.3.2020, 20.54, "Interest on behalf of Michael Jackson" <interest-bounces at qt-project.org on behalf of mike.jackson at bluequartz.net> wrote:
            OK, Here goes the explanations of how to interoperate with Qt Software packages. IANAL. We will start from the easy and work our way towards difficult.
            QtCreator: QtCreator is free. You, as a developer of software, can use QtCreator as your IDE to develop your own software. The GPL license of QtCreator will NOT infect your software. Use QtCreator to create open or closed software. Free or commercial. Your choice.
            QtCreator as Part of a Commercial Qt License: The only thing this gets you is the ability to get some "commercial" support versus just posting on the qt-creator mailing list.
            Modifying QtCreator: If you are actually modifying QtCreator yourself to create a distribution outside of your organization then ANY codes you write or modify are subject to the QtCreator license. This has ramifications if you happen to have a Qt commercial license.
            Using Qt5 in your software project: If you use Qt in your project ANYBODY contributing to that same project MUST have the same kind of Qt license. Period. Full Stop.
            For the original question;
            "Is it still possible for the developers who don't use Qt libraries in
            any way, use Qt Creator IDE for editing and debugging?"
            The answer is YES, but the devil is in the details. They *should* be able to just download the free version of QtCreator from http://download.qt.io and use that version. They can't use the "commercial" version of QtCreator unless they have a commercial license for Qt. But if their projects are *not* using Qt, then why do they have a commercial license for Qt?
            Again, IANAL, but I believe this to be a reasonable summary of the licensing of QtCreator and Qt.
            Mike Jackson 
            On 3/27/20, 12:21 PM, "Interest on behalf of alexander golks" <interest-bounces at qt-project.org on behalf of alex at golks.de> wrote:
                Am Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:11:16 +0100
                schrieb Jean-Michaël Celerier <jeanmichael.celerier at gmail.com>:
                > It is also the license of the binaries that you can download there :
                > https://download.qt.io/official_releases/qtcreator/4.11/4.11.1/
                > And it states quite succintly :
                > "This License explicitly affirms your unlimited permission to run the
                > unmodified Program."
                > > but if you just use qtcreator, just use it. its free.  
                > well, that is not what
                > "
                > Anyways, I'll now explain again the answer to the original question asked.
                > The question was, as I understood it, "Is it allowed that people working in
                > a project use commercially licensed Qt and some other persons in the same
                > project who do not develop Qt use open-source licensed Qt tools?"
                > Answer to this is: No, it is not allowed to mix commercial "Licensed
                > Software" and the open-source versions provided by The Qt Company in the
                > same project."
                > seems to mean, which is why I'm wondering.
                the problem is, as already stated, that some did not answer your question properly.
                i understood your question. and as i said, your mixing up things. as we say: you mix apples and pears.
                you're talking about using an executable X, based on open source software.
                you're talking about using an library Y, for which you have a license, based on open source software, too.
                you're talking about using exec X to use Y somehow.
                you're talking about using exec X with other libraries.
                now what has tool X todo with library Y? nothing.
                well, it happen to be that tool X is written using library Y, but thats of no concern here.
                the licese for Y only clearifies how you may use/include the library Y into your projects, 
                and not how to use tool X to build apps using library Y.
                other words:
                would you ask if you have to use the commercial vs license because you bought a qt license?
                 *printk(KERN_DEBUG "%s: Done reprogramming Xilinx, %d bits, good luck!\n",...);
                 *        linux-2.6.6/drivers/net/wan/lmc/lmc_main.c
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