[wp-hackers] Plugin Licensing
chip at chipbennett.net
Tue Mar 15 19:08:41 UTC 2011
Heh. I practically wrote a book  on copyright case law and its
applicability to GPL.
The problem is, the argument has been hashed and re-hashed ad nauseum, on
the hackers mailing list and elsewhere. Arguing it again is not going to
change anyone's mind (especially on this mailing list). That's why I try my
best not to engage in arguing the merits here anymore. Nothing fruitful will
come of it.
(Catch me in a more appropriate venue, on the other hand, and I'll discuss
and debate it to your heart's content.)
On Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 1:59 PM, Trent Martin <trentmar at gmail.com> wrote:
> There have actually been many, many court cases regarding derivative works.
> A derivative work is a work that partially contains someone else's work. My
> code is 100% my own and because I don't distribute WordPress with my
> I am not bound by the GPL. My product is combined with WordPress by the end
> user, which the end user is allowed to do; the GPL doesn't even come into
> For something to be a derivative work it must be a work in the first place;
> a work that is separate from the original work. A work is a fixed medium
> can distribute to others, a user installing a plugin that mixes in RAM with
> WordPress is simply not a work. I can sell a case for an iPhone that
> completely depends on the shape and size of the phone, but my case is
> certainly not a derivative work.
> Further the GPL plainly and explicitly states that “You may make, run and
> propagate covered works that you do not convey, without conditions.” In
> other words, if you accept the GPL you are not bound to any conditions as
> long as you do not convey (distribute) the work to others. An end user is
> clearly allowed to modify WordPress for his or her own use and the fact
> they do it themselves, pay someone to do it, or by purchasing code from
> someone else it doesn't make a difference because none of these constitute
> violation of the copyright law or the GPL.
> The biggest argument I see is that plugins completely depend on WordPress
> and it's inner workings. However, books about WordPress also have this same
> requirement and they are not derivative works. Dependency does not define a
> derivative work.
> On Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 12:43 PM, Andy Charrington-Wilden <
> andycharrington at gmail.com> wrote:
> > [...]However, I accept that the WordPress community has rightfully
> > its
> > own ethos with respect to acceptable licensing of WordPress Plugins and
> > Themes.[...]
> > That hits the nail on the head. Without any actual court cases happening
> > one really knows the legality of derivative works. The whole thesis
> > went a step closer to defining it but I think all it really proved was
> > power and influence Matt has.
> > I'm all for good ethics and morals but unfortunately it is a fact that
> > are not always conducive to making a living.
> > For what it's worth my solution was to build a hosted service. No one
> > downloads or even sees my code so there's no worries about people
> > it and reselling. Whilst this solution works for me I understand that it
> > doesn't solve the larger issue if licensing and derivative works.
> > I think this will keep producing massive threads until either something
> > changes within automatic or a case goes to court......
> > Jealous Designs
> > Website: jealousdesigns.co.uk
> > Portfolio: jealousdesigns.co.uk/portfolio
> > Phone: 07903030008
> > Twitter: _a_n_d_y
> > Skype: andycharrington
> > Sent from my iPhone
> > On 15 Mar 2011, at 18:08, Chip Bennett <chip at chipbennett.net> wrote:
> > > However, I accept that the WordPress community has rightfully defined
> > > own ethos with respect to acceptable licensing of WordPress Plugins and
> > > Themes.
> > _______________________________________________
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