Nokia to license Qt under LGPL

We have some exciting news we’d like to share with the free software community: Qt will be licensed under the terms of the LGPL version 2.1 with the upcoming Qt 4.5 release, in addition to our standard GPL and commercial licenses. We are also pleased to announce that we are going to open up the Qt source code repository and also make it easier for the community to contribute to Qt.

Adding LGPL version 2.1 will greatly increase adoption of Qt across Windows, Linux, embedded Linux, Mac, S60, Windows CE, maemo, and Ovi web services. Having a larger number of users, including Nokia developers, providing feedback and contributions will help Qt remain a cutting edge, robust UI and application framework.

Going forward we will speed up the development of Qt using additional resources and work in even closer cooperation with the free software community. We will do this in a number of ways, including:

  • Employing more Qt developers
  • Opening our source code repository
  • Reducing the overhead needed to make a submission, including no longer requiring copyright assignments.
  • Launching a new web infrastructure to support contributions later this year.

As we know that license versions are important for many in the free software community, we wanted to also take the opportunity to provide some highlights of our upcoming changes:

  • Versions of Qt prior to 4.5 are not impacted by this announcement
  • We will continue to support the GPL version 2 through the newly added LGPL version 2.1 license, as it allows for the automatic conversion to the GPL.
  • We will continue to release Qt under GPL 3

As a first step we have selected LGPL version 2.1 as this is the version of the LGPL that best fits our purposes and we are most comfortable with at this point in time. We will continue to evaluate the adoption, use and legal interpretation of LGPL version 3 by the community and may use this version of the LGPL for future releases.

Finally, we will open the Qt repositories and provide more information regarding how interested parties can contribute to Qt with the release of Qt 4.5, which is scheduled for March. Until then, if you have any questions, please feel free to post your questions below.


Sebastian Nyström
Vice President, Qt Software

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