1

As I understand, if the copyright holder accepts external contributions under GPL / LGPL, they are no longer the sole copyright owner and cannot charge for a commercial license.

Or does this only apply to adding contributions to the closed sourced version?

https://www.qt.io/legal-contribution-agreement-qt

It is important to note that the contributor retains ownership of the contribution as the Qt Project does not require copyright assignment for contributions made to the Qt Project.

4

As I understand, if the copyright holder accepts external contributions under GPL / LGPL, they are no longer the sole copyright owner and cannot charge for a commercial license.

That understanding is correct, but in the case of Qt, they are not accepting external contributions under the (L)GPL license.
Qt uses a Contributor License Agreement that gives Qt a very different license to the contribution, which includes the right to re-distribute the contribution under any license of their choice.

  • Just curious -- so could I still fork a copy of Qt in the usual way? Or does their contributor license somehow prohibit that? And if it does, could I still fork the very original Version 0.0001, released before any such contributions? – John Forkosh Mar 13 at 9:35
  • 2
    @JohnForkosh: You can fork an open-source copy of Qt in the same way as you can fork a copy of any other open-source project with a similar license. The Qt maintainers will just not accept any changes from you unless you sign their CLA. And there might be some trademark issues with the Qt name, but I haven't looked into that. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Mar 13 at 9:54

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