[PyKDE] PyQwt win32 binary?

Phil Thompson phil at river-bank.demon.co.uk
Thu Feb 1 10:48:00 GMT 2001

"John J. Lee" wrote:
> Isn't it still illegal for a somebody to distribute non-free software that
> requires PyQt under the free Qt license?

Sorry, I don't understand this. PyQt doesn't require any particular Qt
license. PyQt is not under the GPL.

> Perhaps this may be a debatable
> legal point -- and I haven't read the license anyway.  On the other hand,
> presumably it would be legal to distribute the binary itself.  IANAL.
> Anyway, in the unlikely event I've understood the licensing terms
> correctly, then it wouldn't be against the spirit of the license under
> your interpretation of same for you to distribute the binary, but it would
> be against both the letter and the spirit for people to distribute
> non-free apps using PyQt without first paying for it under whatever
> license TT want to offer Qt for this purpose.
> However, I don't think that 'let free software be free, and non-free be
> non-free' *was* the spirit.

It *was* the spirit - I've had the conversations with Trolltech's senior

> If that *were* the spirit of the license,
> presumably they would have released it under the same license for both
> platforms.

I don't know why they haven't. One reason I've heard is that there is
just no tradition of free software for Windows - people might not
understand it. (Which would imply that Windows user's might not have the
same resepct for software licenses that Linux users do.) Or maybe they
just haven't been asked often enough - we know from the QPL/GPL
experience that they respond to user pressure.

> IIRC, their stated reason for not doing so was along the lines
> of 'we have to have something to attract customers that isn't available
> free!' This is of course entirely their judgement to make, though I
> confess it does seem a little odd to me personally.  This motivation does
> make a free PtQt win binary against the spirit of the license, so you did
> the right thing by stopping distributing it if that was indeed the idea
> behind the license.
> It's a bit of a shame that this wasn't sorted out before you started
> putting out binaries, but I certainly don't want to pin any blame on
> anyone for that -- just something to watch out for 'next time'.

I agree - I'll try to be less helpful next time. :)

> If you're using GPL software as a part of your software, I think I'm right
> in saying that distributing the PtQt binary would clearly indicate that
> your intention is for people to be able to use it on windows, and since
> Qt/win is non-free and isn't a standard component of windows, that would
> not be allowed under the GPL.  Aaargh, it's the KDE thing all over again -
> I shall shut up now because I don't think there are many people who ever
> really understood the legal position on that, and I'm certainly not one of
> them.

There is no GPL software in either BlackAdder, SIP, PyQt or PyKDE.


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