[wp-hackers] Plugin Licensing

Ryan McCue lists at rotorised.com
Sun Mar 13 09:21:17 UTC 2011

Piyush Mishra wrote:
> Why would all contributors not agree?
> [...]
> The money can be used in making GSoC type internship oppurtunities, you can
> hold free online tutorials.
> People can be hired to complete the documentation and also to write
> alternate WP cores for considering other possibilities and benchmarks.
> WP can fund development of some plugins etc like BuddyPress...
> We can have LTS versions with a closed paid group focusing on that. Core
> plugins can be made possible etc etc etc...
> Who would say no to that?

I've contributed to WordPress, and I definitely wouldn't agree to it, so
the developers would have to rewrite my code. Multiply that by all the
developers that wouldn't agree to this (which is most of them), and
you're essentially writing a new piece of software.

You're missing the point of open source. Open source is more than just
having the source code available to take. It's the ability to take that
code, improve upon it and then contribute back to the community. I can
take WordPress and rename it "Ryan's Awesome Blogging Software v4.2.6"
if I want, and the GPL license affords me this ability.

There's no reason people can't write documentation/plugins already. We
(contributors) don't do it for the money, we do it as volunteer work. I
profit from services I offer based on WordPress, so it's only fair to
contribute back to the software. If you then go and close the source
code, it means I can't contribute to the code, and if the source were
closed, I wouldn't want to either.

However, I'm sure someone much more eloquent than I can pipe up and give
a better rationale about this.

Ryan McCue

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