[PyQt] A nasty licencing question

Kovid Goyal kovid at kovidgoyal.net
Mon Jul 30 15:37:50 BST 2018

On Mon, Jul 30, 2018 at 04:19:54PM +0300, Sampsa Riikonen wrote:
> from PyQt import ...
> Then that's it.  Your code will be forever GPL .. it became GPL at the
> very moment you distributed it (uploaded to the internet).  You can't
> use it anymore in any other context that GPL.  Even removing those
> damning lines wont save it.

What nonsense. Adding a few words to code, no matter what those words
might be does not change their license. The worst that they can do is
make it illegal to distribute your code without complying with the terms
of the GPL. And even that is not clear in this case, since code snippets
will likely fall under fair-use exemptions. And if you subsequently
remove those words you can then perfectly well distribute the code in
non-GPL compliant fashions in the future.

To repeat, adding "from PyQt import ... " DOES NOT make your code GPLed,
at that point or at any time in the future. If you distribute a product
containing that code in a non-GPLed fashion, then the holder of the
copyright to PyQt can revoke your right to use PyQt, in which case you
will need to change your product to not use PyQt or cease distributing

And none of this applies of snippets of code, which are distributed in 
a fashion that is compliant with the GPL by definition, since the code
snippet is the source code of the product being distributed.

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