[wp-hackers] A question about donation link

Jordi Canals jcanals at alkivia.net
Fri Jan 15 21:44:27 UTC 2010

2010/1/15 Mike Schinkel <mikeschinkel at newclarity.net>

> On Jan 15, 2010, at 2:32 PM, Jordi Canals wrote:
> > One of the questions asked here is about removing the authoring
> attribution
> > on a theme page footer. Asked that to the Free Software Foundation and
> the
> > answer is that deleting the theme author attribution from the theme page
> > footer violates the GPL license. Exactly, violates the section 2c of
> GPLv2
> > and sections 5d and 7 for GPLv3.
> Although IANAL I think you are incorrectly interpreting the license.
> I believe that you *can* remove the copyright notices from any part of the
> output that the theme or plugin generates. What you cannot do is remove the
> copyright notice from the *source code* itself.
> Here is that interpretation related to GPL-licensed Joomla:
> http://opensourcematters.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=55
> Of course if there is an IP lawyer on the list maybe he or she could
> clarify?

I just asked this to the Free Source Foundation recently. You know them
create and maintain the licenses and clarify any doubt about the licenses.
For GPLv3, you can read :

You may supplement the terms of this License with terms: [...]
Requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal notices or author
attributions in that material or in the Appropriate Legal Notices displayed
by works containing it;

Them said that a small public credit on theme page footer is really a
"reasonable author attribution".
Also section 2c for GPLv2 states something similar.

The license recommends to output a copyright notice to the normal program
output, and this credits cannot be removed. For a desktop program, the
normal output is the user screen, the same for a web program (in this case
this goes to the user screen in form of a web page).

In my case (for my themes) I don't mind as I explicitly allow to remove
public theme credits and I allow to remove the author attribution from the
page footer.

Any way if GPL allows it or not, I think it's a nice practice to give credit
to authors that work hard to give us a lot of free software. As most of
those authors don't ask us to pay a cent for great software, the minimum we
can do, is to credit them for their hard work.

Jordi Canals

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