Eric3 + Qt licensing [was Re: The IDE question]

Michael Sparks zathras at
Sat Oct 16 15:11:44 CEST 2004

On Sat, 16 Oct 2004, Jarek Zgoda wrote:

> pitkali <pitkali at> pisze:
> >>>> Windows versions are named, royalty-free, commercial licenses.
> >>>> [... long, tortuous explanation ...] Hallo, any lawyers around
> >>>> here?
> >>>
> >>> As he said, "way too messy"!  ;)
> >>
> >> I am not sure if Detlev can pose such exceptions... Well,
> >> Qt-and-around is not an easy shoot. ;)
> >
> > He hold the copyright (with Phil Thompson). He is the licensor. He can
> > do all he wants.
> Don't think it's possible to claim "software is GPL but you cann't
> distribute it". Either don't pose such restriction or use another
> license.

You can[1] (if you're the copyright owner), but it's akin to saying:
    * "you may only redistribute this at a height of 10m whilst also being
      at a height of 20m"

Because that's self conflicting you can't comply with that license.
(Since you can't comply that means you revert to standard copyright,
and therefore can't redistribute at all)

Similarly, if a license says "you may not add any restrictions to the GPL,
and you may not do X", then you can recieve it, but because you have to
comply with the second half, you can't comply with the first half, which
means it's not really GPL. (Indeed I think this is part of the reason for
that clause)

   [1] Whether it's wise to do so, is a different question. (Also it begs
       the question to be asked as to whether claiming something that
       isn't true is wise)

The alternative you *can* do (which Qt does) is to distribute two
different versions - one is GPL, one is not. If you can transform the
former version into something compatible with the latter without seeing
the latter, then there's nothing anyone can do to stop you - since the
former (GPL one) allows this.

Sun do this sort of thing with OpenOffice/Star Office, and various others
do similar.

I'm not actually clear that PyQT or Eric3 actually distribute different
versions of the code for windows, but that's because I'm not interested
in looking at windows versions of Qt in any shape or form. (Even though
I like Qt under unix/linux) Personally I'm also not interested in
circumventing anyone's intended licensing. There's enough other stuff
that could be used instead.

I'm not a lawyer, this isn't legal advice...

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