[wp-hackers] WordPress and GPLv3

Roy Schestowitz r at schestowitz.com
Fri Dec 28 15:30:50 GMT 2007

Hash: SHA1


>> [...] While much of the coversation has drifted towards Tivoization,
>> which is
>> the more controversial part of the licence, I worry more about other
>> aspects, such as software patents.
>> [...] There are companies with very broad
>> patent portfolios and even prior art would cost a fortune to get hold of
>> and show in a court a law. [...]
> About GPL3, my personal alert is user's *real* freedom.
> As the linux kernel developers said [1]:
> "While we find the use of DRM by media companies in their attempts to
> reach into user owned devices to control content deeply disturbing, our
> belief in the essential freedoms of section 3 forbids us from ever
> accepting any licence which contains end use restrictions."

The story behind the statement from the kernel hackers is interesting.
I'll gladly elaborate if you wish. The gist of it is that Linus went by
gut feeling and other hackers just went along and exclaimed "what he

Alan Cox, by the way, expressed satisfaction about the new licence on
numerous occasions. I'll get you citations if you need them. When later
drafts of GPLv3 came, Linus himself softened his stance too. He still
likes Tivoization though, but it's one among several aspects that are
being addressed in the new licence.

> I think that there's many aspect of that licence that WILL create some
> trouble to the WordPress community, from keeping probably-distinct
> licence information for every external library involved in the codebase,
> to a notable loss of code and contributions, and worst of all, this will
> happens because WordPress has a conservative approach on some things,
> but acts the opposite about its licence. Quite nasty.

Published just moments ago:

"Right now, we are using the GPL version 3, which is one of the best
licenses out there," said SugarCRM CEO John Roberts.

Source: http://www.linuxinsider.com/rsstory/60949.html

Many developers will actually find attraction in WordPress because of
the new licence. A company as large as SugarCRM uses that as a marketing
tool, not just a way of raving about freedom. It fosters greater
collaboration among more developers, which leads to e.g. more plugins.

> I feel like GPL3 is a long and unreadable way to say "we used to trust
> you people, but since some of you aren't nice, we let you have
> almost-all-your-freedom". I think that's not nice - to many of us in
> this list - hear this from WordPress.

What apart from Tivoization says this? And why is this discussion so
focused on this one aspect? I am genuinely curious and I would love to
know why Tivoization has become so synonymous with the effects of GPLv3.

> This is a matter of attitude, in the WordPress scenario: compatibily vs.
> lobbying.
> And for the same reason Matt and the core team choose to not support "go
> php5" campaign, I think that WordPress needs to remain GPL2.
> And please trust me, I'm not used to mix math with code: the *reason*
> for both were the same, the *matter* - obviously - not. :-)

I apologise if that sounded offensive. This wasn't intended.

With kind regards,


- --
		~~ Best of wishes

Roy S. Schestowitz
http://Schestowitz.com  |  GNU/Linux  |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
Freelance journalist @ http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/
Joint editor @ http://boycottnovell.com
GPL-licensed 3-D Othello @ http://othellomaster.com
Open Source, non-profit search engine proposal @ http://iuron.com
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