[wp-hackers] Premium plugin protection

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Mon Dec 13 00:13:23 UTC 2010

On Dec 12, 2010, at 3:28 AM, Brian Layman wrote:
> On 12/12/2010 3:10 AM, Mike Schinkel wrote:
>> Can you please name some of the other commercial plugin vendors?  I would love to know who they are.
> I can't remember for sure which the four were but ithemes, gravity forms, All-in-on-SEO pro, shopp, getshopped, phpurchase, wp-member, WishList Member, wpjobboard and gdpress are all premium plugins I've looked at recently or own.  Then there's also everything at wp-plugins.com.  I'm sure there are top n posts out there for premium plugins...


It occurred to me today that most of those you mention have not chosen a GPL license. Doing a quick Google search of each of their domains and the letters "GPL" here is what I found:

Explicit reference to supporting GPL

-- GDPress: 

-- iThemes:

-- Gravity Forms:

-- Shopp:

No reference to GPL:

-- PHPurchase
-- wp-member
-- WishList Member
-- WPJobBoard

GPL for non-Pro version, unclear about the rest:

-- All-in-one-SEO Pro (I had to look long and hard to determine if the Pro version was in-fact GPL. I wasn't able to find any web page that said so directly but I did find that it was sold on http://wpplugins.com and they have a statement saying everything is GPL on this page: http://wpplugins.com/about/)

-- GetShopped (Base version is GPL but as mentioned before it seems that other versions are not. Not sure if Dan Milward is following this but it would be nice if he could elaborate)

Anyway it seems that some of the plugin vendors are offering GPL, but as many (maybe more?) are bypassing the GPL and it seems they are being successful. Is it that the community respect is really unimportant to the majority of potential customers?

These are honest questions. I know for some reason they annoy some people on the list, but the requests for clarity which is a great thing can be annoying.  

Based on these examples it seems that maybe businessman who doesn't really care about the ethos of the GPL and who don't worry about the good graces of the core community can easily run a plugin business that bypasses the GPL by appealing to the masses who pay no attention to the politics of the GPL?

I'd actually love to hear what those who are not supporting the GPL have to say about it, and I'm also curious why Matt hasn't publicly campaigned against them like he campaigned against Thesis?


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