[wp-hackers] [ wp-hackers ] A question about donation link

Mike Little wordpress at zed1.com
Tue Jan 19 10:06:56 UTC 2010

2010/1/19 Matt Mullenweg <m at mullenweg.com>

> On 2010-01-15 1:47 PM, Jordi Canals wrote:
>> I refer you to the message I sent about a question asked about this. FSF
>> understands that the link conforms the section 2c for GPLv2 and cannot be
>> removed.
> I strongly disagree with this, for the record.
I too disagree with this interpretation. You don't credit the author of this
response, so it is difficult to understand what qualifications, if any, they
have to make this interpretation. Additionally it is dated 2002, and the FSF
interpretation of GPL v2 has changed since then (for example with respect to
Java, and Javascript).

I refer you to this FAQ on the FSF we site
"...The GPL requires all copies to carry an appropriate copyright notice."

That explicitly refers to copies of the program not the program's output.

There are several other FAQs about a programs output, and they all seem to
support the Joomla interpretation someone referred to. It is OK for a user
to remove a credit in the output.

Further, clause 2c says "If the modified program normally reads commands
interactively when run, you must cause it, when started running..."
I do not believe WordPress or anyone's theme or plugin is 'reading commands
interactively', that is the job of the web server (e.g. Apache). And the
clause is explicitly restricted to output that includes a copyright notice,
and a warranty/no warranty notice,  the redistribution information, and
telling the user how to view the licence.

That clause does not use the word 'or'. In other words, in my
interpretation, your program must satisfy all those output when started
interactively requirements for the license to require the same
in derivative copies.

On another note you mention GPLV3, I must point out that GPLv3 is not
compatible with GPLv2.

Finally and, for me, most importantly, in all these GPL related discussions,
the participants are nearly always speaking from the developers point of
view; about what the developers rights should be, could be, ought to be; but
the whole point of the GPL and the vast majority of it's wording is about
the USER's rights.

The four fundamental freedoms enacted by the GPL are USER's freedoms. See

Mike Little

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