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zotium says

I am reading about the Wordpress’ GPL license and TF’s article on the matter (http://blog.themeforest.net/site-news/important-change-new-gpl-license-for-all-wordpress-themes/)

I’d just like to clarify if I’m understanding this correctly, that Anyone can buy my theme, use code from my theme, then resell it?

Is this the case and will TF approve themes that are done this way?

If that’s alright then I guess it wouldn’t be called “stealing”

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digitalimpact says

As you’ve read, it’s only the PHP that hooks into WordPress that is GPL .

Using WP and creating themes means you accept the GPL for that code. It’s not stealing, it’s how the software is licensed.

On the other hand, if someone buys your theme and copies JS/CSS/HTML/images from it, that IS stealing. But note that, because of so many themes being submitted, ThemeForest reviewers can’t always spot if, say, your JS was copied. And that’s when the awesome community here steps in :)

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agusmu says

you have to read the license first…

for comparison:
- Genesis Framework is 100%GPL (all php/css/js)...
- WooFramework is 100%GPL (all php/css/js)...
- Hybrid Core is 100%GPL (all php/css/js)...
- Thesis Framework uses split GPL license (php is GPL but css/js/images aren’t)...
- etc…

Most (>99% i think) of ThemeForest themes use split GPL license, so only php files is GPL …

I do agree with @digitalimpact, “It’s not stealing, it’s how the software is licensed.”

CMIIW

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zotium says

As you’ve read, it’s only the PHP that hooks into WordPress that is GPL .

Using WP and creating themes means you accept the GPL for that code. It’s not stealing, it’s how the software is licensed.

On the other hand, if someone buys your theme and copies JS/CSS/HTML/images from it, that IS stealing. But note that, because of so many themes being submitted, ThemeForest reviewers can’t always spot if, say, your JS was copied. And that’s when the awesome community here steps in :)

What did you mean by “only the PHP that hooks into WordPress” ? Is the admin panel considered that?

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zotium says

you have to read the license first…

for comparison:
- Genesis Framework is 100%GPL (all php/css/js)...
- WooFramework is 100%GPL (all php/css/js)...
- Hybrid Core is 100%GPL (all php/css/js)...
- Thesis Framework uses split GPL license (php is GPL but css/js/images aren’t)...
- etc…

Most (>99% i think) of ThemeForest themes use split GPL license, so only php files is GPL …

I do agree with @digitalimpact, “It’s not stealing, it’s how the software is licensed.”

CMIIW

Thanks guys, what about Thematic? Is that 100% GPL or split?

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sevenspark Volunteer moderator says

Thematic is 100% GPL .

Basically, any code that is tied to the WordPress core (uses core functionality) is GPL by association. This is generally accepted to mean all PHP code. As far as the admin panel goes, if the file ends in .php, it’s considered GPL .

ThemeForest won’t accept work that is taken from other ThemeForest themes (no one can take your theme and reskin it and sell it on TF), but like digitalimpact said, it’s not always possible to catch this type of thing.

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cramdesign says

It is certainly not stealing. Anyone who gets into theming knows that, at the very least, the php is gpl (or they should know anyway). Using the split license is enough protection to keep someone from simply rebranding your theme and reselling it. While I am certain that there are some features that get passed around, even a market as large and somewhat anonymous as themeforest shows mostly original work. Relax about it, the GPL license is one of the best things about WordPress and is one of the main factors that made it as popular as it is.

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campuscodi says

To answer your original question “Anyone can buy my theme, use code from my theme, then resell it?”

Legally is not stealing. They are allowed to do whatever they want and you cannot stop them.

When you are writing WP code you are actually using code written by another person(s), which has been contributed to the WP core, licensed under GPL .

So yeah, they can package it in their own theme and resell it under a split GPL license.

On the other hand, your JS/CSS and graphics are protected by copyright, so you can stop people from using that.

PS: ThemeForest support usually prevents and removes items which have intentionally and blatantly copied code from other themes without the approval of the original author. This is a “morality” clause on the marketplace and prevents thousand of copycats taking advantage of someone’s work.

Personally I didn’t see or notice that many cases because people have good judgement generally.

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zotium says

Thematic is 100% GPL .

Basically, any code that is tied to the WordPress core (uses core functionality) is GPL by association. This is generally accepted to mean all PHP code. As far as the admin panel goes, if the file ends in .php, it’s considered GPL .

ThemeForest won’t accept work that is taken from other ThemeForest themes (no one can take your theme and reskin it and sell it on TF), but like digitalimpact said, it’s not always possible to catch this type of thing.

How about themes created with any of the above frameworks that magznetwork mentioned, will ThemeForest accept these themes?

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zotium says

To answer your original question “Anyone can buy my theme, use code from my theme, then resell it?”

Legally is not stealing. They are allowed to do whatever they want and you cannot stop them.

When you are writing WP code you are actually using code written by another person(s), which has been contributed to the WP core, licensed under GPL .

So yeah, they can package it in their own theme and resell it under a split GPL license.

On the other hand, your JS/CSS and graphics are protected by copyright, so you can stop people from using that.

PS: ThemeForest support usually prevents and removes items which have intentionally and blatantly copied code from other themes without the approval of the original author. This is a “morality” clause on the marketplace and prevents thousand of copycats taking advantage of someone’s work.

Personally I didn’t see or notice that many cases because people have good judgement generally.

In this case, how about the use of Thematic in our admin panels, will that pass TF’s approval process? is that also being protected under the “morality clause”?

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