Kate Licensing


a long time ago, the license of most parts of Kate/KWrite/KatePart/KTextEditor was LGPLv2+ (in the old time, where it was named KWritePart/Kant/…, the original KWrite had that license originally, at least all parts of the component of it).

Then, we changed that to be LGPLv2 (only).

It seems, that was a poor choice, as we now run in v2 vs. v3 vs. any later version problems.

Most parts of the code are easy to relicense, as the contributors either acknowledged the request to change the license to that to the Kate team (on kwrite-devel@kde.org) or added themselves to the relicensecheck.pl in kde-dev-scripts.git.

KTextEditor is now LGPLv2+ only, which is nice ;)

KatePart is only missing the re-licensing of some files.

Kate has more files to look at, but should be less a problem, as it has less people that did commits, compared to the part.

So, if you didn’t already get a mail from me about some “please allow on kwrite-devel@kde.org for license change to LGPLv2+” and you know you have contributed, even if it was only some patch, it would be really nice to get some short “I am ok with LGPLv2+” on kwrite-devel@kde.org.

That will make it much easier to sort out the remaining issues!

This really would help to have no licensing issues coming up in the future years and further incompatibilities. I really would like to strife for LGPLv2+ only code in KTextEditor/KatePart/Kate, at least in the core parts (e.g. without the plugins), which seems to be realistic in the short term to reach.

Thanks a lot and a happy new year.

4 thoughts on “Kate Licensing

  1. I’m not sure people will agree with LGPLv2+. Nobody knows what LGPLv4 will say.

    IMHO the choice should be:
    – Keep my code LGPLv2 (accepting that at some point in the future it will probably be replaced by someone else’s, which is under more permissive licensing terms)
    – LGPLv2 and LGPLv3
    – LGPLv2+ (and cross fingers!)
    – BSD (and forget about any possible problem in the future)

    1. Actually a lot of people do agree with LGPLv2+ and most libraries in KDE are licensed like that since long. Going BSD is no option, we will never get all people to agree on that. For LGPLv2+ we only need to ask all people with patches since we changed from v2+ to v2.

    2. >Nobody knows what LGPLv4 will say.

      I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t contain smth like “since now, anybody can do closed fork, change anythng and make profit w/ LGPL’ed code”
      So, personally I quite satisfied w/ 2+ and don’t need to cross fingers…

      > BSD (and forget about any possible problem in the future)
      What kind of possible problems are you talking about? I see no reason to use BSD here…

      1. LGPLv2 can be used to make profit, it just cannot be closed, just in case you didn’t know, the LGPL (or any GPL license) does not ban making commercial use or profit.

        I never contributed code to this project, but I wouldn’t care the license as long as the source I contributed got released at least once. Public domain is good enough for me :P.

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