Qt Licensing for private Gihub project
I'm currently looking for a GUI framework suitable for developing a Linux-application with C++. Qt seems to be the obvious choice but from what I've read about it so far, licensing seems to be somewhat nontrivial. I know there are already a lot of questions about this matter out there but none really provides a simple answer. All I really want is to be able to upload the source code of my project to GitHub. Is there any way I could still run into trouble? (e.g. if I forget to include certain disclaimers or do not link to the source code of other libraries I'm using for this project). I'd just like some advice in order to conclude if it's even worth the hassle before I start doing any detailed research on LPGL etc.
These days Qt has a few GPL parts, even though most of it is LGPL. If you don't want to make your project GPL, then steer clear of the GPL parts of Qt (they are clearly marked if you install the Qt SDK with the online installer, for example). On the other hand, making the published version of your project GPL might be ok, too, if you understand the implications. I mean, Qt itself has GPL parts, and it seems to be working ok for them... For LGPL parts, as long as you don't modify Qt, but just use existing libraries from SDK, you're fine. Theoretically you will need to supply Qt LGPL sources if someone asks for them (you can charge for expenses of doing so, read the license text for details), but as long as Qt is freely available from the net, it's a non-issue (and if as big a thing as Qt stops being available from the Internet, there are probably bigger issues happening in the World...). Finally, about private GitHub repository: As long as it is private, you are not distributing anything (PROBABLY, I am not a lawyer, and even if I were, I don't think it's ever been tested in a court). As long as you are not distributing anything, GPL/LGPL does not matter (other than, if you plan to distribute in future, then you should take them into account of course). Also, it is your software (as long as you don't add code from others to your sources), so even if the version you released under, for example, GPL, stays under GPL, you can release new versions with any license you (and others who have contributed, if you have accepted contributions) want.
Just upload your source code without Qt sources involved. Qt has a LGPL license that can be used by dynamic linking to your application, easily achievable using a simple CMake project. Keep your sources only on the Github private repo and create a nice Readme.me explaining which Qt version the developers should install to contribute. To more details, see how LGPL works. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Lesser_General_Public_License
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