[wp-hackers] Re: GPL

Amy Stephen amystephen at gmail.com
Sun Dec 14 15:07:53 GMT 2008

Lynne - we might want to exit these discussions.

I'm just remembering what we went thru in the Joomla! community 1 1/2 years
ago. Personally, I'm pleased with the result but I don't think we could have
done more damage with the manner in which we handled it. I know that people
coming in from the outside made things far more challenging. So, I apologize
for responding.

I love Karl Fogel's <http://www.red-bean.com/kfogel/> book Producing Open
Source Software <http://producingoss.com/>. He has remarkable insight into
communities. His section entitled Avoid Holy
something I wish we had paid attention to in Joomla! when we had our

You all have much to be proud of - WP is remarkable software. In many ways,
it is "the standard" for usability that we all use as we develop solutions.
I know from prior discussions with Lynne, she also has deep respect and
admiration for this platform.

Keep driving forward, folks.

/me goes back to coding cool stuff for Joomla!

On Sun, Dec 14, 2008 at 8:14 AM, Lynne Pope <lynne.pope at gmail.com> wrote:

> 2008/12/14 Michael Torbert <mrtorbert at gmail.com>
> > You are mistaken.  Windows isn't under the GNU GPL.  If you write
> software
> > the is dependent on parent software to run (ie a WordPress plugin or
> theme)
> > and that parent software is GPL, then the child software must inherit the
> > GPL license.  You agree by these terms when you use the parent software.
> This is not correct. The GPL is all about distribution and simply using GPL
> software does not mean that anything you develop to work with it must be
> GPL. The output of GPL'd code is not covered by the license, only the
> source
> code itself is. So, if you use WordPress source code in a plugin or theme
> then the plugin or theme must be GPL version 2, the same as WordPress.
> However, simply combining PHP code with a WordPress function call may not
> necessarily mean that a theme or plugin must be GPL. There are two opposing
> schools of thought on that issue and neither is wrong - there simply is no
> case law to establish whether using a function creates a derivative work.
> Then, to make matters more complicated, the GNU/GPL recognises "fair use".
> Some themes comprise templates that are made up of hundreds of lines of
> and custom PHP, with only a few lines for the loop, for example, and these
> may fall under fair use laws. Fair use does not require that the work is
> licensed GPL.
> If you use your argument that software that is dependent on parent software
> to run must inherit the license of the parent then every webpage would be
> under the Apache (or other server software) license and all PHP code would
> be using the PHP license. This simply does not hold true.
> You also do not have to agree to anything when you simply use GPL code. The
> license imposes obligations when you modify and/or distribute the code but
> agreement is not part of the GPL. Of course, you only have the right to use
> the GPL'd code under the terms of the license.
> Theres more information in the GPL FAQ here if you are interested:
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html
> Lynne
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