[wp-hackers] Licensing and Copyright Issues with the Hello Dolly Plugin

hakre hanskrentel at yahoo.de
Thu Dec 16 17:47:07 UTC 2010

----- Ursprüngliche Mail ----

> Von: Pete Mall <pete at jointforcestech.com>
> An: wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
> Gesendet: Donnerstag, den 16. Dezember 2010, 16:52:25 Uhr
> Betreff: Re: [wp-hackers] Licensing and Copyright Issues with the Hello Dolly 
> >
> > May I point to the fact - and that's important to any wordpress  developer -
> > that since the GPL has terminated for the wordpress package  (incl. the use
> > of the SVN and beta versions), all developers who  participate in beta do 
> > have a right to aquire nor to edit the files  of wordpress unless they are 
> > full compliance again.
> You  state this as a fact... 

Please read the license text that ships with the wordpress package. In specific 
point 4:

  4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as 
expressly provided under this License.  Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, 
sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate 
your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or 
rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so 
long as such parties remain in full compliance. 

source: http://core.trac.wordpress.org/browser/trunk/license.txt

You don't need to have a law degree to understand that the Hello Dolly Lyrics 
are most certainly not available under GNU GPL and the original author nor 
wordpress.org has the right to re-distribute it under GNU GPL.

Ergo the rights have been terminated as the re-distribution of the Hello Dolly 
Lyrics is obviously limited. Remember that wordpress itself is a fork and the 
intimidating part has been added after forking the original software.

Looks like a pretty simple thing to me, and isn't this what the GPL is famous 
for? A permissive license.

For a deeper insight and even more legal argumentation there are probably more 
resources and other places to discuss this in detail.

E.g. see 5.2 Termination in:


In this mailinglist I think the main point should be about how to achieve that 
our users can re-distribute wordpress safely under the GNU GPL. I think 
everybody can support such a statement.

-- hakre


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