I want to shed some light on and explain the benefits of our recently announced Indie Mobile to make it easier for you to make the right license choice. For certain types of use cases, Indie Mobile provides many advantages in licensing compared to the open-source Community edition of Qt. Indie Mobile, similarly to the other commercially licensed Qt editions, is also better suited for deployment to third-party application stores. In addition, Indie Mobile as well as the Professional and Enterprise editions, allows licensees to retain more flexibility with regard to their own product licensing.
With the introduction of the Indie Mobile, I thought I would take the opportunity to provide you with some guidance on how to make the right license choice for you when developing with Qt. The purpose of this post is to provide clarity on use cases on when to use the commercial editions of Qt, in particular Indie Mobile, and when to use the open source Community edition. Please note that the purpose of this post is not to give legal advice on compliance in your specific circumstances. If you have concerns about licensing, you should consult an attorney experienced with open source licensing issues to make sure you are compliant.
As a general statement, I want to emphasize the importance of our open-source Community edition of Qt to the development of Qt as a whole. We make Qt available under open-source license to allow the community to develop open and easily accessible products with Qt, and at the same time contribute back to its development making it an even better technology. We greatly value this co-operation and want to endorse it. However, we recognize that the open-source model is not necessarily the right approach for all licensees. Typically our commercial license terms are better suited for creation of proprietary applications – and for that reason we cater to all needs with the various licenses pursuant to which we offer Qt.
In order for you to make an informed decision when choosing which edition you should develop with, I want to provide you with our point of view on two licensing models and the impact they have on your mobile application development. I will start with the Community edition and open source development, and follow-up with some specific observations about how our commercial Indie Mobile license differs from the open-source LGPL license.