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contempoinc says

Was watching this video:

http://wordpress.tv/2009/02/16/wordcamp-germany-2009-matt-mullenweg-qa/

And came across something very interesting, at 9:40 an audience member asks Matt “What is Wordpress’ stance on selling plugins and themes…

Go ahead an watch it but Matt’s basic point is that:

Any theme which only allows the user to use it for one site is fundamentally violating Wordpress’ license, because the GPL states if you derive anything from WP or link anything to it, whatever you link must also be GPL , so by definition these plugins or themes use the WP database, functions etc…they’re linked. All plugins and themes legally have to be GPL .

This is coming from the man himself, so does this mean the current licensing on ThemeForest is illegal? Or is there a work around?

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DDStudios says

Interesting …

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contempoinc says

Jeffrey? Collis?

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simonk says

All your .php files and anything else that uses Wordpress code is automatically under the GPL . Anyone that buys it can re-release it, modify it, or even sell it themselves.

What your really selling a license to is your images, CSS and JavaScript; which is not covered under the GPL .

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contempoinc says
All your .php files and anything else that uses Wordpress code is automatically under the GPL . Anyone that buys it can re-release it, modify it, or even sell it themselves. What your really selling a license to is your images, CSS and JavaScript; which is not covered under the GPL .

That make sense but is a little confusing, since our custom themes use WP tags, doesn’t that mean someone can lift and redistribute anything that has utilizes WP code or has WP code within it, like all the index.php, header.php, sidebar.php, functions.php, etc…?

From the TF “Pricing and Licensing Statement”

“SINGLE USE , LIMITED LICENSE : The price listed for all Products provides you, the purchaser, with a license limited to your use only, and you agree not to engage, directly or indirectly, without the written consent of us or the supplying Member, licensing, sublicensing, promotion, advertising or distribution of the Product.”

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simonk says
That make sense but is a little confusing, since our custom themes use WP tags, doesn’t that mean someone can lift and redistribute anything that has utilizes WP code or has WP code within it, like all the index.php, header.php, sidebar.php, functions.php, etc…?

From the TF “Pricing and Licensing Statement”

“SINGLE USE , LIMITED LICENSE : The price listed for all Products provides you, the purchaser, with a license limited to your use only, and you agree not to engage, directly or indirectly, without the written consent of us or the supplying Member, licensing, sublicensing, promotion, advertising or distribution of the Product.”

The GPL wipes out the TF agreements. Yes all your php code you have in your themes are GPL . But, take out you css and your images and you don’t have a lot to work with. Their are enough free ones that look like that.

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contempoinc says
The GPL wipes out the TF agreements. Yes all you php code you have in your themes are GPL . But, take out you css and your images and you don’t have a lot to work with. Their are enough free ones that look like that.

Right, so that means legally we can embed anybody’s custom plugins/widgets into our themes with no issues right?

For instance WooThemes has a free theme called Typebased with a couple of nice widgets, they state their code is copyrighted which I guess doesn’t hold up legally since it utilizes WP code. So that would be ok to use in a theme for sale, correct?

Reviewers or Jeffrey please chime in

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rkquest says

Anyway, can WP cease all the premium WP themes sites? There’s a lot of them out there already. I think our problem here will be people will start going for “warez” and if you try to stop them from using your theme “illegally”, they can slap you with a “Wait a sec.. you’re not supposed to sell WP themes anyway. Your theme’s supposed to be free after all.”. :D

It’ll be really nice to hear what the reviewers and admins has to say about this.

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jremick Envato team says

I think this is one of those situations where there is a lot of legal gray area. In addition to that, different countries in the world have different legal rules on things like this and Matt or the rest of WordPress is not that concerned with enforcing it. He made WordPress’ stance known but beyond that they will continue to be more concerned with the quality and features in the system than enforcing GPL .

Aside from all that, I’m sure (but don’t really know) Envato’s legal staff has looked into all this stuff.

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kailoon Envato team says

ya, the laws about this are different in each countries.

I heard this in my country.

“A” is a programmer, he write the whole system for his company ( advertising ), he has some freelance job in the night. But his employer claimed that all the codes he write ( even in freelancing ) is belong to the company. So, which he cannot use them for other purposes.

He and I seek for answer from a lawyer, the lawyer advise “A” to resign and register the codes as IP. However, the lawyer also mentioned that IF the company doesn’t include such terms in the contract, then it should be fine.

Make it short, if all the employers include such terms in the contract. All of the web developers, designers in our country have to choose either work as employee or be your own boss :)

I was just thinking, without the “add on” of premium themes, plugins and all the marketplace, can WordPress grow this fast? I am not against anyone, just, take it more humanity :)

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