[wp-hackers] WordPress and GPLv3

Roy Schestowitz r at schestowitz.com
Fri Dec 28 16:02:51 GMT 2007

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> Continually talking about some kind of "smear campaign" just makes the
> GPLv3 advocates look even more foolish.

I am not a GPLv3 advocate, but a programmer who favours Free software.
The GPLv3 protects me from circumvention of the agreement upon which
development is based. It is nothing  more than an /evolutionary/ change
that closes loophole. Nothing has changed. Same rules, more explicit

About the smear campaign, would you like me to give you a detailed list
of incidents where lobbying arms and secretly-hired people speak in the
press? I have plenty of that material at hand, but it just needs
organising. I am willing to do the work if this will end a
chracterisation which -- to use your own words -- makes me "foolish".

> I am quite capable of thinking
> for myself, and I do not like the GPLv3 because I actually read the
> damn thing and disagree with what it says. So please refrain from
> being insulting, thank you very much.

I was by no means trying to offend you, but strong language (not
directed at myself) seems to have changed the tone a bit. I realise that
textual correspondence has its deficiencies and negative social effects.

>>> Another interesting point - at least for me - is about community.
>>> Why WordPress is stuck with php4 and mysql4
>> That is an excellent, albeit an entirely separate question. It was
>> discussed here many times in the past and back/forward compatibility in
>> PHP  proves to be a bit of an issue.
> Compatibility is indeed, very important. This is where the version
> does indeed make a difference, because the GPLv2 is incompatible with
> the GPLv3. Switching to the GPLv3 will suddenly invalidate a lot of
> plugins licensed under GPLv2.

This is not correct. It's a generalisation. See

> Furthermore, having WordPress under the GPLv3 would make it impossible
> for me to ever write a plugin ever again, since there are no
> circumstances under which I will ever release any GPLv3 code.

Your disagreement with the philosophy of the GNU GPL was recognised earlier.

> To be quite blunt about it, if WordPress went GPLv3, I'd either fork
> it or I'd switch to somebody's else's forked version of WordPress that
> remained under the GPLv2. Why? Because I like the code I use to be
> free-as-in-speech, not free-as-in-socialism.

According to this, the 4 freedoms represent free speech, whereas the
addition of a phrase that /explicitly/ forbids Tivoization (something
that was always intended, but not included in the text) turns this into
socialism. I fail to understand how openness of devices can be equated
to socialism, and in a negative way.

I sense a lot of hostility here and it is directed very specifically at
the creation of appliances. I can vividly recall a thread which Matt
Mullenweg started about 3 years ago. It was about one of us wp-hackers
starting a /closed/ project that is a WordPress derivative +
GPL-licensed plugins. Yes, it was frowned upon.

WordPress has always walked the extra mile to ensure that openness of WP
is maintained (unlike, for example, Mambo Server/Joomla/whatever the
latest fragmentation made it be called). Remember the storm which was
started because of issues related to the licensing of plugins?

WP was born and thrived because of the openness of b2 and I'm happy to
know that they keep it that way, _even after_ the creation of the
spinoff/umbrella that is Automattic. I would be disappointed to see
embrace of a philosophy that excludes or separates. Such is the nature
of some things the GPLv3 strives to prevent. This includes division
though patent settlements.

I can't help foreseeing a day when large users like ZDNet or C|Net
become a victim of some patent troll. Without proper thought, this can
lead to fear amongst the suits in the corporate world. We needn't wait
for another SCO to be born.

Best wishes,

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