In a big win for the GPLv3 license, Trolltech is now set make its Qt toolset available as GPLv3. Trolltech announced the move at the KDE 4 launch party which was recently held at the Googleplex. The general idea is that since Qt is now GPLv3, KDE (which is based on Qt) can now become a GPLv3 licensed Linux desktop.
It’s a strange day indeed to see how far things have come in the last ten years. KDE was the first ‘real’ Linux Desktop in my opinion. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) opposed it in the beginning specifically because of Qt’s licensing terms. The FSF then went on to back the GNOME Linux Desktop which has always been GPL compliant.
Fast forward to 2008 and FSF head Richard Stallman is singing the praises of Trolltech.
“I am very pleased that Trolltech has decided to make Qt available under
GPL v3,” commented Richard Stallman, author of the GPL and president of
The Free Software Foundation. “This will allow parts of KDE to adopt GPL
v3, too. Even better, Trolltech has made provisions for a smooth
migration to future GPL versions if it approves of them.”
Perhaps more importantly than the historical irony here is the fact that yet another key piece of open source infrastructure is now GPLv3. While initially it looked like there would be some hesitation towards GPLv3, it now would appear that there is significant forward momentum for GPLv3.