[wp-hackers] Plugin Licenses

Computer Guru computerguru at neosmart.net
Fri Mar 16 17:23:09 GMT 2007

I guess we're in agreement then...

I don't distribute nor install WP so that my Plugins would work (not that I
have any non-GPL WP Plugins for that matter), and the FSF can't force my
(non-existent) plugins to be GPL.

Keeping this in mind, how would be it wrong for FREE but non-GPL Plugins to
be distributed via the Repo?

Computer Guru
NeoSmart Technologies

> -----Original Message-----
> From: wp-hackers-bounces at lists.automattic.com [mailto:wp-hackers-
> bounces at lists.automattic.com] On Behalf Of Alex Günsche
> Sent: Friday, March 16, 2007 7:11 PM
> To: wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
> Subject: RE: [wp-hackers] Plugin Licenses
> On Fri, 2007-03-16 at 18:43 +0200, Computer Guru wrote:
> > > What about people who publish their Plugins as even MORE relaxed?
> BSD?
> > Apache? That doesn't fit in your reasoning for GPL-only.
> I said GPL-compatible are also ok, and the BSDL is GPL-compatible
> (though only one-way).
> > You *can't* forbid people from earning money with Plugins. Look at
> Windows:
> > it's proprietary, but that doesn't make it illegal to develop
> software for
> > Windows!?!
> The Windows EULA does (afaik) not make any specifications about the
> licenses of drivers and applications. The GPL allows distribution of
> non-GPL with GPL software, as long you don't "link" against the GPLed
> software. However: technically, you don't do linking in a WordPress
> plugin, but you use the WordPress API, which means that you use
> internal
> functions of a GPLed application -- which in return requires your
> application to be distributed under the GPL, too. I would agree that
> this doesn't apply when you distibute your plugin without WordPress and
> would let the user do the installation ("linking" in terms of the GPL).
> I also think that this situation is similar to what is being discussed
> with proprietary Linux kernel modules currently. As for me, I agree
> with
> those who say that non-GPL-compliant kernel modules are not legal. As
> soon as you use internal functions of another application or library,
> you're linking. And as soon as your application does the linking and
> you
> want to distribute it with the original distribution, it must GPL.
> For non-GPL-compliant plugins, this means: You may offer the plugin as
> a
> download (no matter under what license), and you may demand money for
> the plugin itself. But you must not install WordPress for a customer
> with your proprietary plugin.
> > BTW, the FSF opinion on Plugins for GPL software is ridiculous and
> flawed.
> > Here's the real logic:
> >
> > 1) WordPress publishes APIs for developers to hook into and extend
> > functionality
> > Vs.
> > 1) Linux developers create APIs and SDKs so developers can hook into
> and
> > extend functionality
> >
> > 2) According to the FSF, Plugins shipped for GPL packages are VIRALLY
> > INFECTED by the GPL.
> > Vs.
> > 2) Yet the FSF doesn't claim that if you create software for Linux &
> co.
> > your software must by GPL.
> >
> > If the STEPs and METHODS are the same, then why the contradiction?
> The
> > answer is that the FSF just wants to spread GPL wherever it can get
> away
> > with it.
> I agree with all four points, yet you seem to misunderstand the last
> one. You are allowed to distribute non-GPL-compliant software with
> GPLed
> one, as long it's just about bundeling. Quoting the GPL: "... mere
> aggregation of another work not based on the Program with the Program
> (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of a storage or
> distribution medium does not bring the other work under the scope of
> this License."
> Best regards,
> Alex
> --
> Alex Günsche, Zirona OpenSource-Consulting
> work: http://www.zirona.com/ | leisure: http://www.roggenrohl.net
> PubKey for this address: http://www.zirona.com/misc/ag.ml2007.asc
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