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

Lynne Pope lynne.pope at gmail.com
Sat Dec 13 10:02:09 GMT 2008

2008/12/13 Jennifer Hodgdon <yahgrp at poplarware.com>

> I think this discussion of whether calling functions makes a derivative
> work or not misses the point.
> The point being (IMHO), I have never seen a WP theme that wasn't written
> using the standard Loop code either from the Codex or from another theme.
> Therefore these themes are all created by incorporating/modifying GPL code,
> and they are therefore derivative works and therefore GPL.

That is exactly the point of disagreement. Using the loop, or calling
functions from outside the loop does not necessarily result in derivative
code. See this for a lawyer's point of view:

I tend to rely on the FSF position that: *"These requirements apply to the
modified work as a whole. If identifiable sections of that work are not
derived from the Program, and can be reasonably considered independent and
separate works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply
to those sections when you distribute them as separate works." *  In a
complex theme, there may be perhaps 1000 lines of code with only a tiny
fraction of this code being calls to the_post, the_title, etc. and the rest
being JQuery, HTML, and custom PHP. Remove the WP template tags and its
entirely possible to have a functional static template using the same code.
These are, IMO, identifiable sections of the work that are clearly not
derived from the Program and therefore are not required to be licensed under

However, in the greater scheme of things this is really not important. What
is important is that action has been taken that affects theme developers and
an explanation of the rationale for this has not yet been given. WP.org can
do what it likes with its own site however WP is a community project and it
would be nice to be kept informed.


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