[wp-hackers] Premium plugin protection

Brian Layman bulk at thecodecave.com
Sun Dec 12 08:14:49 UTC 2010

On 12/11/2010 9:21 PM, Andy Charrington-Wilden wrote:
> So what is your actual opinion on premium plugins and their implementation?
I'll get in early and before this turns in to a long thread that no-one 
wants to read, give you mine. (Ok it was written 5 hours ago when I'd 
had the sense not to hit send.  At 3am its a different story)

WordPress is built upon the ideals of Open Source Software and in 
greater or lesser degrees the GPL.

Creating and sharing code freely is part of the ideals of this 
community.  Using your own creativity to put food on the table is a 
pretty fundamental right as well.  The two do not need to be in conflict.

Whatever you do to monetize your creativity, you need to do it in a way 
that not only obeys but respects the licenses of the tools you use.  If 
you don't do both, you won't garner the respect and support of the 
people you'll need to make the product popular.

1. If you create a WordPress plugin that utilizes WordPress functions to 
fulfill its purpose, it really should be open sourced & GPL.  You can 
charge to distribute it and support it & most people will respect that.
2. If you create an open source  plugin that integrates a for-charge 
service on your site, in my mind, that is fine too even if the plugin is 
otherwise useless.  However, if this is obviously just a trick to get 
around GPL, it won't be respected.  Besides if it isn't just a trick to 
get around the GPL, you'd be silly not to have an API with a  Joomla and 
Drupal interface for your product as well.
3. (This is the one I've been struggling with) If you create a script 
for closed source program, one where charging for such scripts is the 
norm, and that add-on makes integration and utilization of WordPress 
easier and doesn't call any WordPress code to do it, you have a gray 
area that is up to your own standing on software distribution. 
Personally, I think I think that it's OK as closed source, for sale 
product- yet it just kinda feels wrong...  I've held off on releasing 
something like this as I'm not convinced of whether it is disrespectful 
and meanwhile others have already released their identical products for 
sale.  So - I'm not sure where my ambiguity has gotten me.


That's where *I* stand on these things. It's more about white hat 
behavior than whether you might get contacted/sued over a violation of 
the GPL


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