New Qt Releases Might Now Be Restricted To Paying Customers For 12 Months
Written by Michael Larabel in Qt on 8 April 2020 at 07:53 AM EDT. 166 Comments
QT --
With an apparent blame on the novel coronavirus, The Qt Company is said to be considering restricting new Qt releases to paying customers for a period of twelve months in an effort to boost their near-term finances.

Earlier today The Qt Company published a 2020 Qt road-map while following that a Phoronix reader tipped us off to the latest discussions between KDE, the Qt project, and The Qt Company.

KDE and the open-source Qt folks have been in discussions with The Qt Company especially with the restrictions announced back in January by The Qt Company that LTS point releases might only be available to commercial customers, Qt Accounts being needed for binary package downloads, etc.

But the most surprising new information made public today by KDE's Olaf Schmidt-Wischhöfer is that The Qt Company is considering making new releases paid-customer-only for the first twelve months.

Olaf Schmidt-Wischhöfer wrote, "But last week, the company suddenly informed both the KDE e.V. board and the KDE Free QT Foundation that the economic outlook caused by the Corona virus puts more pressure on them to increase short-term revenue. As a result, they are thinking about restricting ALL Qt releases to paid license holders for the first 12 months. They are aware that this would mean the end of contributions via Open Governance in practice."

Olaf went on to add, "We hope The Qt Company will reconsider. However, this threat to the Open Source community needs to be anticipated, so that the Qt and KDE communities can prepare themselves. The Qt Company says that they are willing to reconsider the approach only if we offer them concessions in other areas. I am reminded, however, of the situation half a year ago. We had discussed an approach for contract updates, which they suddenly threw away by restricting LTS releases of Qt instead."

Thus moving ahead there is the possibility of a ~12 month delay for new releases being available as open-source but The Qt Company doesn't appear to have firmly decided on this direction yet.

More details via this KDE mailing list post.
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