[wp-hackers] A question about donation link

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Fri Jan 15 12:58:26 UTC 2010

Serious Question:  

If someone devotes their time and energy into creating a plugin and/or theme and offers it up via GPL-licensing to the community, is it really so bad for them to put a link in their admin section asking for donation, even if it does request them to link to the blog or click a button that says "I already donated?"  It's GPL so anyone who wants can fork it and get rid of it if they like.  Some developers may not want their clients to see a donation button, but shouldn't that developer who is getting paid give a little back to the plugin/theme developer who helped them get paid?  It seems like being against this is like "biting the hand that feeds..." (with some thumping NiN cords in the background... :)

Also, while I also don't see why it's so bad to have an external link on a theme (i.e. not in the admin console), I can see where some might feel that is over the top but still they are providing a valuable service; why shouldn't they be able to get a link?  Again, the user can modify the GPL theme if they like and remove the link.

I do see where they shouldn't imply that it must be paid to license it because that would violate the GPL, but if it's made clear it is only a request for donation, what's wrong with that?


On Jan 15, 2010, at 5:30 AM, Donncha O Caoimh wrote:

> As previously mentioned on this thread WP Super Cache doesn't have the "donate or you must link to my blog" language so I think it's quite different. You can hide the donate button without guilt of clicking an "I already donated" button or similar.
> A number of prominent plugins do however use that language and while I understand the motivation of the authors I don't personally like it and never went down that route with my own plugins.
> As for the theme link, quite often I remove the link and place it on my About page. One theme author obviously didn't like that and sent me an email asking me to put the link back or stop using the theme. I picked a better theme.
> Donncha
> On 15/01/10 10:09, Jeremy Visser wrote:
>> On Fri, 2010-01-15 at 01:50 +0200, scribu wrote:
>>> Several plugins hosted on Extend that I use have a donation button on their
>>> settings page, so I think it's only fair to allow the same thing for themes.
>> That's correct. In fact, WP Super Cache, a very popular plugin by
>> Donncha O Caoimh, a WordPress MU developer and Automattic employee,
>> contains a PayPal Donate button inside the plugin settings page.
>> The donate message is able to be disabled, but it's really not much
>> different to what Jordi is describing.
>> Going by the facts we've been presented, it does seem like Jordi has
>> been treated a little unfairly, although there is possibly more to this
>> than has been revealed to us. So will we remove WP Super Cache from the
>> plugin pages too?
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