[wp-hackers] Re: Removal Of Over 200 Themes?

Otto otto at ottodestruct.com
Fri Dec 12 19:07:04 GMT 2008

On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 11:56 AM, Alex Dunae <alex at dunae.ca> wrote:
> Is this really true?  ALL themes and essentially ALL plugins have to
> be freely-distributable software?

No, they have to be GPL compatible. which is not quite the same thing.

You can still sell GPL'd code. You just can't stop those you sell it
to from selling it (or giving it away) too.

> If so, I think this should be announced a little more loudly on the
> Codex pages (http://codex.wordpress.org/Writing_a_Plugin and
> http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Development).

Not everybody agrees with me on this, however a) they're wrong and b)
the only people who could legally prevent anybody from doing it is the
copyright holders of WordPress itself. And Matt et al have been
noticeably silent on the issue in the past.

My take on this is that they would rather make themes and plugins free
by using honey instead of by applying the big stick. Notice the
creation of the Extend section for Plugins and Themes in the last
year, as well as its integration into the WordPress core itself, with
automatic updating (but only if you happen to put your plugin/theme on
wordpress.org, which means that it must be GPL compatible...).

By offering additional functionality to free plugins which is not
available to non-free ones, you increase the number of free ones and
slowly drive the non-free ones out of business. With the new theme
updating and child theme support in 2.7, there's a good chance the
same sort of thing will start happening for themes.


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