[wp-hackers] Licensing issue when selling Wordpress

Harish Narayanan harish.mlists at gmail.com
Fri Nov 20 14:24:10 UTC 2009

Ryan Chan wrote:
> Hello,
> I know WP is under GPL2 license, I have read the document but still
> not 100% sure, so I describe my case here, to make sure I am following
> the rule of open-source...
> Case:
> 1. I design a customized WP theme, and bundle WP core, with a few
> extra plugins, sell to customers

(I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice, please no one sue me.)

Yes, you can sell it. You provide the customer the source (which you do
by virtue of it being non-binary PHP stuff). So, assuming you don't
change any of the copyright information (and thus make it clear who
wrote what subset of your bundle), you follow the GPL.

The thing is, if the user in turn decides to modify and/or distribute
your bundle for free (or even sell it at a lower price), they are free
to do that also. The license affords them the same freedoms you are using.

> 2. Some client just need basic theme, so I bundle WP GPL theme,
> instead of a customer theme, and sell to customer

Yes, you can do this also. But there is nothing to stop your customer
from giving it away (or more likely, just fetching it themselves from
the internet.)

> 3. I optionally provide installation service, but not all customer need it

I think you are asking whether you can charge to help a customer install
your bundle. Yes, you can.

In essence, as I understand it, your business model appears to be making
it easier to get WordPress + Some useful plugins + Some interesting
(custom or otherwise) theme. This is what you are charging them for; not
for the software, but for the convenience.


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