Nokia will release the next major version of Qt under a fourth license - LGLP - in its mission to drive uptake of the cross-platform interface framework. The mobile phone giant is expected today to announce that Qt 4.5, due in March, will be released under Lesser GNU Public License 2.1 in addition to the General Public License ( …
LGLP (in 1st paragraph)? First time I've heard of that license. Ballmer because it's a Microsoft conspiracy to undermine the GPL (Occam's razor being applied here).
LGPL (sic) is a very important license to know....
It is a FSF license, written by Richard Stallman (with legal advice from Eben Moglen, of course.) It has been revised twice. The need for this "Lesser" license was apparent immediately from the start....
In order to support the use of any "proprietary" software at all, a license granting the ability to call library functions (i.e., "linking") has been needed. For example, there are thousands and thousands of programs written in "C" and "C++" which call functions defined and actually performed within the library "glibc". For various reasons, usually but not always having to do with money, some of these Software Authors require that their Source code remain private. (Oracle on Linux is an example of this.)
To allow lots of for-profit companies and coders to use QT, they need the same right to keep their source code private-- even though it links to QT functions, and QT is "Open Source". Formerly, every such Software Developer had to get a separate and unique license from the TrollTech company-- a big hassle, as well as a big expense for everybody involved.
But now, with the pretty-much-standard LPGL grant of license to use, all of these Developers don't have to mess around with "commercial" contracts, or worry if the price will change next year: It will always be free to use, in thses "function calling/object inheritance" ways, from "proprietary" code-- without "forcing" that proprietary code to be made public, as the GPL would.
As Mr. Nystrom said, this change makes use of qt platform much more attractive, it's a very big deal. I'm very grateful to Nokia/Trolltech for this change-- they're giving up a pretty big stack of "commercial contract" money uncollected by providing their wonderful library of cross-platform, cross-language Widgets for free.
I'm sure the Anonymous Coward knows very well what the LGPL is. I'm also sure that you missed why they "misspelled" it as LGLP. I believe you should re-read more carefully the (already mentioned!) first paragraph of the article, and then re-read the AC answer.
That said, your answer is useful for others that might not know what the LGPL is.
Effect on KDE popularity?
I recall some people objecting to KDE due to Qt licensing. Could this help win people over from Gnome to KDE, or have other effects on the *nix desktop environment landscape?
Written because copyright law in the case of software DOES NOT WORK.
The definition of derived work in copyright law, added to the recent invention that software was covered by copyright law (binaries never used to) means that as soon as you have a library you depend on, your code is now a derivative of that library. And you must obey each and every library license (this includes the OS kernel because you call its routines in your code).
Which is ridiculous.
And so there was the LGPL which avoids the idiocy of copyright's definition of what constitutes a derived work by specifically allowing linking.