KDE's New Licence Policy

As one of the archive admins for Ubuntu I often get to see programmes which are in some way improperly licensed. Often the licence text itself is missing, and sometimes it doesn't match the header file. So I end up having to care about licensing.

KDE's licence policy was created some years ago and has worked well in specifying what is for the most part pretty obvious, all KDE code should be free. With the new GNU GPL it was time to update the policy to ensure all code can link to GPL 3. I also added policies for non-code (icons, docs) which had not been specified before. Old licences (Artistic, QPL) were removed and there are versions of the header texts for those who don't trust the FSF to keep future GPL versions free but still allow us to use them when they are.

KDE e.V. today adopted the new Licensing Policy. Take a look at it and do remember to use the new header texts in new files.

Writing the policy has given me a new founded respect for lawyers, it's very difficult to get a text which covers all the possibilities.

This is probably a good opportunity to remind the planets that if you have any code in KDE please sign up to the relicensing page to get rid of those last bits of GPL 2 only code.


Great to see this has been completed :)

One thing I ran into while reading the text;
In the linked techbase page section 4.2 has the word 'or' twice and in code you'd probably use a pair of brackets "()" which are missing here ;)

You can now read it so it allows GPLv2-only licensing; which IIRC is not the intention. Is it?
I suggest splitting 4.2 up into two bullets points...

Also; does this mean that its unacceptable to have GPLV3+ code in KDE svn?


By Thomas Zander at Sat, 01/12/2008 - 19:57

At this point of time it is not possible to write GPLv3+ code linking to the GPLv2-only Qt libraries. Therefore the KDE Licensing Policy _currently_ cannot allow putting GPLv3+ code in KDE SVN. (Or, more precisely, it does not make any sense to allow putting GPLv3+ code in KDE SVN because we are talking about an empty set.)

As soon as writing GPLv3+ licensed KDE code is possible we can update the Licensing Policy.

By Ingo Klöcker at Sat, 01/12/2008 - 20:56

If you want to make suggestions or discuss the KDE Licensing Policy then please use the appropriate channels, i.e. [email protected] (https://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/kde-licensing).

By Ingo Klöcker at Sat, 01/12/2008 - 21:00

> 4.2 has the word 'or' twice

The text above it makes clear each bullet point is a single option and can't be split up.

By Jonathan Riddell at Mon, 01/14/2008 - 16:29