[wp-hackers] Plugin Licensing

Doug Stewart zamoose at gmail.com
Tue Mar 15 18:34:27 UTC 2011

On Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 2:21 PM, Trent Martin <trentmar at gmail.com> wrote:
> Unfortunately, some of us completely depend on our software to put food on
> the table and pay the mortgage and it really sucks when someone in Indonesia
> starts selling your software for $5 and it is completely legal for them to
> do that if it is GPL. I write software for Windows and Microsoft doesn't own
> me, why should writing software for WordPress be any different? The stuff I
> sell is 100% my own code and I do not derive from WordPress any more than
> WordPress derives from Apache. A plugin is not a derivative work and most
> legal experts (other than the FSF) agree, but again facts don't make a
> difference to the inner circle, either you obey them or you are shunned.

You are making the same mistake that many software authors make: you
assume that the GPL is there to protect you, the author; this is, in
fact, false. The GPL is about protecting _user_ freedoms.

> And who says you can't contribute to the community in other ways? I do
> provide free plugins and have contributed a number of bug reports. Also, by
> creating software that people use, even if it is proprietary, you are still
> contributing to the value of the community and to WordPress as a platform.

All of those things are good -- great, even. I agree that the
WordPress community can drift into core-über-alles territory and
devalue other methods of contributing, a set of circumstances that has
existed since the pre-1.2 days, to be honest.


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