[wp-hackers] Premium plugin protection

Ken (WraithKenny) ken.adcstudio at gmail.com
Mon Dec 13 23:30:12 UTC 2010

I'd think that encrypted/obfuscated code would provoke someone to
request the readable code, then post it (legally, if it's GPL) on
their blog, thus increasing your "potential [negative] exposure" ...
just as a practical consideration, it makes better sense to charge for
support and encourage more positive forms of exposure.

On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 6:21 PM, Doug Stewart <zamoose at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 2:48 PM, Eric Mann <eric at eam.me> wrote:
>>> You're conflating beer and speech (a common error, no doubt).
>> No, I'm not.
>> For a system to be compliant with the GPL (whether it's a paid system or a
>> free system) you must provide the system's source code in "the preferred
>> form of the work for making modifications to it."
>> So, if I buy a premium plug-in for you that contains obfuscated code, you
>> are still required to provide me with the unobfuscated code upon my request
>> of it.  Since we're working under the terms of the GPL, I have the right to
>> modify, add to, remove from, and redistribute this code.
>> So what then is the value/purpose of selling me a piece of obfuscated code
>> when you are still required to provide me with the unobfuscated code as
>> well?
> Ahhh, gotcha. The value/purpose is a simple one (though please don't
> hear me as agreeing with the premise): since you only have to offer
> access to the source code when asked ("make available") and you assume
> that the vast majority of your potential users don't actually care
> about having access to the code from a Freedom perspective, as long as
> you're only distributing encrypted/obfuscated code, your potential
> exposure to code/IP "theft" goes down concomitantly.
> Of course, you'd be better off basing such an endeavor on a platform
> that doesn't require a GPL license, but then, hey, I'm not saying the
> decision is a good one, just that it's a decision.
> --
> -Doug
> @zamoose
> http://literalbarrage.org/blog/
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