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

Jeff Chandler jeffro at jeffro2pt0.com
Fri Dec 12 19:57:27 GMT 2008

So to get this straight, it is perfectly acceptable for someone to sell 
a wordpress theme and make a business out of it but it is not acceptable 
to state that the work, or the links within the work can not be modified 
and redistributed? How many different ways can a theme author violate 
the GPL while trying to make a business out of it? I bet Brian Gardner 
is happy with his decision to bypass the GPL mess and just base his 
business model through support packages and what have you.

Otto wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 1:20 PM, Jeremy Visser <jeremy.visser at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Slightly off-topic, but a little aside
>> The most awesome part of the WordPress copyright situation: that the
>> copyright holders are us -- each and every one of us that has
>> contributed code to WordPress. If Matt grew two horns and wanted to make
>> WordPress proprietary, he would have to get written permission from
>> every single person who has ever contributed code _ever_ to WordPress.
>> (Good luck with that. :-D)
> Depends on the use case. For a open source project like WP, it's
> basically a "collective work", or a "compilation" under copyright law.
> The individual patches are copyrighted by their authors, and are
> derivative works of the WP project. But when you put them together
> with the original work, then it becomes a compilation. And under US
> copyright law, the person creating a compilation has copyright in the
> organization of the material (plus any material he contributed, of
> course).
> This seems odd at first, but think of it this way: the act of putting
> the two things together (old version + patch = new version) creates a
> new derivative work with a separate copyright.
> So while nobody could make WP proprietary, the copyright of the
> project for the purposes of licensing litigation does rest with
> whoever is the person or group committing the patches into the
> project.
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