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Qt's 'device creation' license is not perpetual!

  • I have been struggling with Qt's vague description about their licenses. In the FAQ ( there says:

    2.2. Do you offer perpetual commercial licenses?
    Yes. We offer a perpetual license to Qt for application development and Qt for device creation."

    Qt says it offers a perpetual license for Qt for device creation

    And in the same FAQ in 2.18 it says:

    2.18. Can I distribute Qt binaries in conjunction with my desktop / mobile application?
    Yes. Distribution of Qt libraries in binary form in conjunction with the developed application is allowed under the Qt for Application Development license agreements. A separate agreement is not needed. The platforms for which you have the right to distribute are listed in your license certificate (in your Qt Account).

    So with these two FAQ I thought that we could buy a "perpetual licence" with one fee and that we can ship products with Qt applications "perpetual". But when you go to the "buy" site of Qt, you will see you would need to pay about 295 bucks per month. Digging just a little deeper we would suppose to do this for 1 year. And after that year, certain services like updates would stop.

    So I E-mailed Qt with some questions:

    1. Do we need this license?
    2. having such a license costs 3450 dollar per year. Must we pay that fee every year?
    3. Can we not buy a one-time license for 1 computer without an experation date?

    And I got as respons:

    1. You need Qt for Device Creation if you want to commercialize your product using the commercial license, if you are using the open source version, you are not modifying the code and you don’t have problems/restrictions with the copyright (you have to indicate that you are using open source software and share your code among others) then you don’t need a commercial license.
    2. Our commercial licenses are perpetual and tied to developers. Our licenses comes with 12 months of access to our team support, updates and bug fixes. After the initial 12 months you can choose if you want to renew your licenses. The renewal fee is around 30% of the price of the license.
    3. Yes, our licenses are perpetual.

    So we can buy 1 commercial license for 1 user for 12 x €295 and we would be set for life. But this was for the 'Qt for Application Development' and I needed the other one, but than the price dissappeared and I'd need to contact Qt for a price.

    In a later E-mail I got a more concrete answer. I was asked for how long we would want to sell our products, which I thought was odd because I thought we were talking a perpetual license. So it should not matter how long I would want to ship out embedded Qt systems. But I was wrong:

     And what I do not understand. You said the licence is so called 'perpetual' than why does it matter to you how long we want to sell our systems?
    Our embedded offering contains 2 parts.
    1 Developer License (gives you the right to develop) PERPETUAL
    2 Distribution License (gives you the right to distribute devices with Qt on it)

    And there I heared something news called 'distribution license '. This license is ofcourse not 'perpetual'. Long story short I got an offer for a lot more money than expected. In the end the offer was still acceptable and we would earn that figure back with in about 1.5 years. But I did feel kinda "misguided" to say the least.

    Ofcourse I thought, hmm I propably misread something... which I did.. and how? I went back to the FAQ and Ctrl F 'Distribution License'. I got one whole hit, and the question in question is as follows:

    3.10. How does commercial Qt licensing work? Do all my developers need to have a valid Qt license?

    And it is in this question alone where it says one needs to buy a (non perpetual) distribution licence. How could I have possibly missed this right -_-" ?

    My point is to share this information because I cannot be the only person wanting to sell embedded devices.

    Conclusion: If you want to sell embedded devices which have running Qt binaries, you need a "distribution licence" this is not perpetual and will cost you more money than you would propably expect.

  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Has anybody from Qt answered this question?

  • Moderators

    @Guiga said in Qt's 'device creation' license is not perpetual!:

    Has anybody from Qt answered this question?

    Yes, @bask185's original post contains answers from the Qt Company.

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