The KDE Free Qt Foundation is an organization with the purpose of securing the availability of the Qt toolkit
The Foundation has license agreements with The Qt Company, Digia and Nokia. The agreements ensure that the Qt will continue to be available as Free Software. Should The Qt Company discontinue the development of the Qt Free Edition under the required licenses, then the Foundation has the right to release Qt under a BSD-style license or under other open source licenses. The agreements stay valid in case of a buy-out, a merger or bankruptcy.
The most recent agreement covers all releases of all Qt versions for the following platforms:
The following license terms are required:
If these license terms are not yet present at the time of the Qt release, then they must be applied within a timeframe of not more than 12 months.
The agreement also protects the free license of all publicly developed code – even when it has not yet been included in a Qt release.
The board of the Foundation consists of two members for Digia and two members for KDE e.V. Decisions of the Foundation are taken by vote of the board members. In case of a tie the votes of the KDE representatives decide.
The KDE e.V. appointed as board members of the KDE Free Qt Foundation the following people:
The current voting members for Digia are (both from The Qt Company):
The Trolltech founders are advising members without voting right:
Statutes of the KDE Free Qt Foundation (72 KiB)
The Foundation was originally founded by Trolltech and the KDE e.V. in 1998. After Nokia bought Trolltech, the statutes were updated accordingly. In May 2004, a first update to the agreement was made. This agreement addressed the purpose in a more precise and complete way. The intention and basic content however, were not changed. In July 2009, the agreement was again updated to respond both to the relicensing of Qt to the LGPL license and to the merger of Trolltech into Nokia. In November 2009, the statutes of the Foundation where also updated to better fit the new situation.
In October 2011, Nokia launched the Qt Project, allowing both companies and individuals to contribute to the development of Qt under open governance terms. To ensure the fairness of the contribution terms to individual developers, two lawyers were contracted by the KDE Free Qt Foundation. Nokia took their feedback into account and made is thus possible for the KDE Free Qt Foundation to support both the launch of the Qt Project and the wording improvements in the Qt Contribution License Agreement 1.1: “We fully support the work being done with the Qt Project. An openly governed Qt is in the best interests of all Qt developers. The Open Governance structure of the Qt Project empowers developers to influence the direction and the pace of Qt development. Stakeholders in the future of Qt, such as KDE, can now contribute according to their own priorities and take ownership over areas of Qt that are of particular importance to them.” (Olaf Schmidt-Wischhöfer and Martin Konold, the two board members from KDE)
In September 2012, Digia bought Qt from Nokia and signed a letter of commitment to be bound by any and all terms of agreement, and then continued to sign a revised agreement with the foundation. Later Digia founded The Qt Company, which signed a similar letter of commitment and negotiated an update to the agreement.
|January 13, 2016:||Qt is Guaranteed to Stay Free and Open – Legal Update|
|July 23, 2004:||Trolltech and KDE Free Qt Foundation Announce Amended and Restated Software License Agreement|
|June 1998:||Original announcement about the creation of the KDE Free Qt Foundation|
The foundation has signed a new agreement with The Qt Company (11 MiB; as text 301 KiB).
Below is the Noticaton Letter signed by The Qt Company on March 23, 2015:Notification Letter about Qt Asset Transfer 2015 (345 KiB).
In April 2013, an agreement between the foundation and Digia (1.5 Mi B) was signed.
Below is the Letter of Commitment signed by Digia on September 17, 2012:Digia’s Letter of Commitment (2.6 MiB)
Below is a list of the pages of the document containing the agreement between the KDE Free Qt Foundation and Nokia from 2009:
Software License Agreement:
BSD License (Exhibit A): page 6
Open Souce Definition (Exhibit B): page 7 page 8
Nokia Qt LGPL Exception (Exhibit C): page 9
Below is a list of the pages of the document containing the second agreement between the KDE Free Qt Foundation and Trolltech from May 2004:
BSD-style License (Exhibit A)
The Open Source Definition (Exhibit B): page 1, page 2
Below is a list of the pages of the document containing the original agreement between the KDE Free Qt Foundation and Trolltech from June 1998:
The Agreement: page 1, page 2
Qt Free Edition license (Exhibit 1): page 3, page 4
Original KDE Free Qt Foundation Statutes (Exhibit 2): page 5, page 6
BSD-style License (Exhibit 3)
Qt Contribution License Agreement 1.1 (153 KiB)