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

Mark Jaquith markjaquith at gmail.com
Tue Jan 19 12:57:38 UTC 2010

On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 6:02 AM, Jordi Canals <jcanals at alkivia.net> wrote:
> Here I would have a new question, as I didn't found the license notices nor
> disclaimers on the WordPress core. Is WordPress licensed only with the "GPL
> 2 only" license or is it release under "GPL 2 or any later" version? I think
> could be a good idea to include the GPL disclaimers with the WordPress core
> to know what are we allowed or not. I ask that because if it is released
> with the "GPL 2 only" license, I cannot use GPLv3 on our themes and plugins
> and a change would be required here.

WordPress is released under the GPL version 2. No "or latest version"
clause is included. It is "stuck" at version 2, in perpetuity. As
such, licensing plugins or theme code under the GPL version 3 is a
problem, as that isn't compatible with WordPress' license. We've been
admittedly lax about pressing this distinction... it may be time to
start taking a closer look and making sure people are using the GPL
version 2 (or another *compatible* license).

> All this said, the original question was about the checkbox to remove the
> public author attribution (as I removed the donation link that was beside
> it) . Do you think that explicitly granting the user to remove the author
> attribution from output violates the GPL license? Just that is what blocked
> my theme on the repository. If there was a problem because my theme uses
> GPLv3, I had no problem to switch the theme to GPLv2.

The donation link and the option to remove the public author
attribution have no bearing on the GPL issue. Those are separate
issues. As I understand it, the issue with the donation link and the
attribution removal option was a perceived lack of clarity. Remember,
the theme (and plugin) directory has other concerns than just the
license. You should already be in contact with one of the theme
repository maintainers to resolve the concerns about the clarity of
the wording of that section. Takeaway: asking for a donation is fine,
offering to remove credits is fine, but you should be absolutely sure
that there is no implied quid pro quo.

And I agree with Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little... section 2C doesn't
apply. A theme is not "run interactively." That's clearly meant to
apply to command line programs where you enter into an interactive
command mode for a particular program (say, your Bash prompt changing
to a mysql> prompt). Think of it this way: what if GIMP (a FLOSS image
editing program) put a copyright watermark on every image it saved
out, and they maintained that removing that watermark was a violation?
I think most people would regard that as absurd. I don't see it as any
less absurd to maintain that a copyright notice must be maintained on
every web page generated by a GPL'd theme.

Mark Jaquith
• http://markjaquith.com/http://coveredwebservices.com/

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list