noncommercial Python+QT on Windows? (was Re: qt or gtk?)

John J. Lee phrxy at
Fri Jun 29 15:29:43 EDT 2001

On Thu, 28 Jun 2001, Alex Martelli wrote:

> <Paul.Casteels at> wrote in message news:3b3b40a0 at
>     ...
> > The licensing for non-commercial applications for Qt/Win32 was changed
> > very recently. Have a look here :
> >
> Very interesting -- NOW, is there a way one can develop Python
> software, cross-platform, using Qt, and redistribute it: legally,
> for free and with sources?

Yes, you can -- But.  The license is a bit odd.  Snippet below is from
Trolltech's FAQ on the subject, at


Can I make software with the Qt Non Commercial Edition and release it
under the GPL, BSD, or Artistic license?

  BSD and Artistic shouldn't be a problem. GPL however is. One of the key
  features of the GPL license is that it does not permit the distribution
  of software linked to non-system libraries that are distributed under
  different licensing terms. The README in the Non-Commercial download
  explains this thoroughly.

Can I use the Non-Commercial Edition at work for running this Qt-based
application I just downloaded?

  Yes, if the application was legally developed with Qt.

Using the Non-Commercial Edition, can I make software for internal use
in my company/organization?

  No. As long as you are on the payroll of the company/organization or are
  compensated otherwise, this is not a non-commercial setting. You need to
  buy a Qt Professional or Enterprise Edition license for this.


So, you can make software for other people to use in their work, and you
can use other people's Qt software in your own work, but you're not
allowed to use your own software in your own work (unless you buy the
commercial license, of course).  So, if you're happy with that, you can
develop and release free (beer: yes; speech: ish) software.

I guess that according to the letter of the license (but IANAL), and
possibly the spirit also, you can develop free software that you then
happen to go on to use in a commercial setting, but only if you cross your
heart and swear that that wasn't your original intention.  Whether your
company is happy to take the risk of being prosecuted is, of course,
another matter.

In fact, the license itself is so short I may as well post it here:

> Qt Non Commercial license version 1.0
>   Copyright (C) 2001 - Trolltech AS, Norway. Everyone is permitted to
>   copy and distribute this license document.
>   This license applies to any software containing a notice placed by
>   the copyright holder saying that it may be distributed under the
>   terms of the Qt Non Commercial License version 1.0. Such software is
>   herein referred to as the Software. This license covers distribution
>   of the Software, use of third-party application programs based on
>   the Software, and non-commercial development of free software, which
>   uses the Software.
>   Granted Rights
>     1.You are granted the non-exclusive rights set forth in this
>        license provided you agree to and comply with any and all
>        conditions in this license. Whole or partial distribution of
>        the Software, or software items that link with the Software, in
>        any form signifies acceptance of this license.
>     2.You may copy and distribute the Software in unmodified form
>        provided that the entire package, including - but not
>        restricted to - copyright, trademark notices and disclaimers,
>        as released by the initial developer of the Software, is
>        distributed.
>     3.You may use the original versions of the Software to compile,
>        link and run application programs legally developed by you or
>        by others. However, if an application program gives you access
>        to functionality of the Software for development of application
>        programs, reusable components or other software components
>        (e.g. an application that is a scripting wrapper), usage of the
>        application program is considered to be usage of the Software
>        and is thus bound by this license.
>     4.You are as an individual granted a personal, non-exclusive
>        non-transferable license, in a non-commercial setting, to
>        develop application programs, reusable components and other
>        software items that link with or in any other way require the
>        Software. These items, when distributed, are subject to the
>        following requirements:
>          a.They must be distributed for free and/or be freely
>             downloadable.
>          b.You must ensure that all recipients of machine-executable
>             forms of these items are also able to receive and use the
>             complete machine-readable source code to the items without
>             any charge beyond the costs of data transfer.
>          c.You must explicitly license all recipients of your items to
>             use and re-distribute original and modified versions of
>             the items in both machine-executable and source code
>             forms. The recipients must be able to do so without any
>             charges whatsoever, and they must be able to re-distribute
>             to anyone they choose.
>   Limitations of Liability
>   In no event shall the initial developers or copyright holders be
>   liable for any damages whatsoever, including - but not restricted to
>   - lost revenue or profits or other direct, indirect, special,
>   incidental or consequential damages, even if they have been advised
>   of the possibility of such damages, except to the extent invariable
>   law, if any, provides otherwise.
>   Warranty disclaimer
>   The Software and this license document are provided "AS IS" with NO
>   Choice of Law
>   This license is governed by the Laws of Norway. Disputes shall be
>   settled by Oslo City Court.


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