Qt Commercial License Terms, Independent Developers


  • administrators

    @Kernelcoffee there is the small business license, that is intended for small business. It isn't 99 a year, but 49$/month isn't too much for small companies http://blog.qt.io/blog/2016/03/08/qt-start-ups-awesome/

    We are testing t-shirt sales (yes, I know we should shout about it more) at https://shop.spreadshirt.net/TheQtCompany
    I'll talk to our marketing / design about the regular custom shirt idea.

    And now that you mention the RPi, yes, they are very popular and we are trying to figure out what to do there. Do you have suggestions on what would be the best way to help? Is it more about documentation, settings in Qt Creator or the toolchain? Raspbian has pretty up to date packages in it's repositories.



  • @tekojo said:

    @Kernelcoffee there is the small business license, that is intended for small business. It isn't 99 a year, but 49$/month isn't too much for small companies

    Sorry, but IT IS NOT 49$, that price is a limited time offer, which you can only take for a short period of time, and even if you take it, it only lasts a year and then it is 99$ a month, which is what I assume KC intended to write. And where is the guarantee this licensing scheme will last? Where is the guarantee it won't go the way of the old indie license once it fails to meet the unrealistic expectations of management?

    On the previous subject, I'd say it makes a lot of sense to keep your core logic as standard C++, free of any 3rd party libraries. This means you can improve on your core logic without the need of a Qt license, since you won't be using Qt. And with the dynamism of QML, you can easily implement new GUI forms by means of code generation, so you don't ever have to use Qt beyond the core development phase.

    If your application core architecture is designed to be flexible and scalable from the get go, you really only need Qt for integrating and building your core logic. Then you can fix bugs and implement new features without even having Qt installed on your development box.



  • @tekojo

    • it's still for small business (which I'm not),
    • Personnaly a small Qt logo on the front (top left) + a big back design on a black t-shirt (2016 edition).
    • For the RPi : Mainly it's the toolchain, ideally, having it as a target like Android (being able to d/l it from Maintenance Tool) would be awesome (and would save a lot of time, instead of having to handbuild it for cross-compile).
      Basically making things simple and easy.


  • @tekojo Is there now some kind of license for indies?


  • administrators

    Hi @Guiga
    Yes, I we still have the start-up plan available https://www1.qt.io/start-up-plan/



  • AFAIK, if you publish a Qt App on Play Store (or other stores) you need to keep a valid license forever. Because the license terms says you can't "distribuite" a Qt App without a license.

    This is a big problem for indipendent developers with small badgets....



  • Any news?
    It's very important to be able to use latest Qt version for non-GPL application published on stores without the need to pay a fortune.
    In particular if you don't earn anything from it but you plan to for future.



  • @luca You can still fully distribute those kind of apps under the LGPL scheme.



  • @VRonin But using Qt 5.11/QML (for example) without buying a license I suppose you must release source code.



  • @luca
    You might look at the overview in, say, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Lesser_General_Public_License:

    The license allows developers and companies to use and integrate software released under the LGPL into their own (even proprietary) software without being required by the terms of a strong copyleft license to release the source code of their own components.



  • @JonB So the main difference of buying a license is that I can't statically link my App?



  • @luca
    I am not an expert, but I believe I know of three differences:

    • Yes, you cannot statically link without a license. (And I have a feeling that by definition this may exclude [certain?] mobile devices because they don't do shared libraries.)
    • I believe there are a few Qt components which are not in the Community Edition but are in the Commercial.
    • Although I pointed out above that the LGPL does not require source code publication, it does have alternative, lesser restrictions, e.g.:

    The license only requires software under the LGPL be modifiable by end users via source code availability. For proprietary software, code under the LGPL is usually used in the form of a shared library, so that there is a clear separation between the proprietary and LGPL components.

    You may avoid this requirement by purchasing a commercial license.

    Please take what I write with a pinch of salt. As I say, I am not an expert, and the advice given in this forum for this issue is to read the T&Cs carefully. I am just suggesting some avenues you may wish to investigate further.



  • @JonB So in your opinion the point of this thread (from the beginning) simply doesn't exist...
    Developing at least for Android you dynamically link to Qt so no static link (no need of license).

    For me it should be great but I'm not sure about that.



  • A requirement of LGPL is that users must be able to replace the LGPL component (Qt) with their own version so you should make sure you don't break binary compatibility (for example using the private Qt modules)



  • @luca
    Although I would not be encouraging you to not pay for Qt if you can:

    If you link dynamically to Qt, use only LGPL components, do not use private Qt modules or otherwise tinker with the Qt side, and there is nothing special about Android (I think it used to require static linking maybe, but not now) or whatever "app stores" you use, my understanding is that you do not need a commercial license.

    Basically, LGPL does not require you to publish your own source code when you link against an LGPL component, even if your app is commercial/you make money out of the LGPL usage. However, in my own case I use PyQt (Python binding to Qt), and that is GPL rather than LGPL, so I do have to make my source available if I distribute.

    All statements above according only to my understanding.



  • @JonB Thanks for the explanation.
    I would like to pay for a commercial Qt license to thanks for the good works THEY did, but at the moment it cost too much for free projects (non open source).
    The startup plan is not so expensive but it require you to pay forever if you publish your app in an app store.

    I hope Qt will find a good solution for all...


  • Moderators

    @luca

    I hope Qt will find a good solution for all...

    They did, LGPL. :) You can use that with a closed source free application on a web store as long as you link dynamically and Qt can be replaced easily with a version built elsewhere.

    Since you can now link dynamically on both iOS and android you should have no issues using the LGPL license for Qt. LGPL was made for your exact use case.

    Disclaimer: IANAL make sure to check with a lawyer.



  • @ambershark said in Qt Commercial License Terms, Independent Developers:

    Since you can now link dynamically on both iOS and android

    Ah, right, is that what I was thinking I recalled when I wrote

    I think it used to require static linking maybe, but not now

    ? Have they made it so you can now but didn't used to be able to? OOI, is that a change at the Android side or the Qt side to make it possible?



  • Where can I find a list of LGPL Qt modules for a specific release of Qt ?


  • Moderators

    @JonB Pretty sure android always supported dynamic linking, although I could be wrong here, I'm not really a mobile developer. I've done one back end library on mobile and that was it.

    It was iOS that used to be static only and change to allow dynamic linking recently (like last year or 2).



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