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doru says

I will stop myself here, I’ve already told you ten times that the old post had a logical flaw in it, and doesn’t apply to themes. I’m not denning anything and I think I discussed civilized about it. I’m not a lawyer, and even if I would had been, people make mistakes. I’m not perfect and if I manage to understand at some point that I was wrong then at least I can be sincere about it and correct myself

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lawmen1 says

I will stop myself here, I’ve already told you ten times that the old post had a logical flaw in it, and doesn’t apply to themes. I’m not denning anything and I think I discussed civilized about it. I’m not a lawyer, and even if I would had been, people make mistakes. I’m not perfect and if I manage to understand at some point that I was wrong then at least I can be sincere about it and correct myself

Thank you. For admitting that you are not a lawyer and that you can be wrong. Old post apply to themes. It is also written on tf blog and license.

Anyway thank you for your contribution to this topic. I hope while others will be reading it, those posts will make them clear that the only way is to strictly follow GPL license with all guaranteed rights and benefits.

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Japh Envato team says

Hey guys! Looks like quite a discussion here, and I’d like to add my 2¢ to help clarify things. Firstly, I’m not a lawyer, but I have been working with WordPress for a long time, and also read and participated in discussions on this topic numerous times. Secondly, the following is purely my own personal opinion. So, this will be my take on WordPress, the GPL , and themes, but it’s only my opinion and isn’t legal advice.

Themes on ThemeForest are effectively dual-licensed. The PHP code is released under the GPL , and the HTML , images, CSS , and JavaScript are released under the relevant ThemeForest license (unless the author explicitly nominates that these are also to be released under the GPL ).

I believe the reasons for this are because it’s difficult to determine on a general basis how much of the PHP code is derived from WordPress in each theme. Some themes may not be effectively derived from WordPress at all, others may be very heavily.

However, the HTML , images, CSS , and JavaScript could all potentially be used in themes for any other platform, and are not derivative.

If we think of WordPress as an operating system, and themes or plugins as applications, I think it makes this discussion a little clearer.

An application installed on your desktop computer that runs Windows does not inherit the same license as Windows, even though it runs on Windows, uses Windows-specific functions, and would be useless without Windows. The same goes for an application running on a distribution of Linux or on Mac OS X . The application could be modified to work on any of those operating systems, and so is certainly not considered a derivative work.

The same applies to any of these licenses. The discussion is really about whether or not something can be classed as a derivative work, and should therefore inherit the license. So this addresses the points on jQuery etc. as well. A theme is not a derivative work from jQuery, so it does not inherit the license.

Even if I were to sell a ZIP file containing WordPress, a theme, and jQuery, providing I include the relevant licenses this would be quite ok. WordPress under the GPL , jQuery under the GPL , and the HTML , images, CSS , and JavaScript of the theme under the standard ThemeForest license.

I hope that all makes sense, and I’m more than happy to clarify if this raises any further questions :)

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lawmen1 says
Thank you. And as you well know GPL is license. And adress of that license is here: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html

and inside it is text:

But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.

which means that nobody have to care about license of css images and any other things if this things are inside theme. They are distributed inside theme so everything other is completely not imprtant. If they would be distributed separately – ok, but they are NOT . This is NOT INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTION . CSS IMAGES JS is distributed together with theme, as part of theme, inside theme as sections so above apply, and below also apply because its the same again:

But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.

Work based on a PROGRAM or on PART of PROGRAM , as clearly gpl says – its also program.

So nobody have to care about license type of css images and any other files. If they are inside main theme folder – they BECOMES gpl. Unfortunately or FORTUNATELY distribution AFFECTS how something is or can be licensed. It is NOT much about derivation, rather about DISTRIBUTION which affects as a result of minimal derivation.

And anything other than that is not important. You can use any copyrights for html template, its ok, but if this is template for wordpress – even one single line of php code which runs as a part of wordpress, even one single hook which makes that apache or any other server process has that inside memory (its different than for example exec), ONE single line of code is enough to call it WORK based on PROGRAM . or portion. and in result – program.

And distributing this one file which also is distributed with 1000000000000000 worth 1938492384983948 dollars images automatically extends license from that work (GPL). And this images becomes GPL .

why ? BECAUSE GPL says that. But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.

And every other license is in that case NOT IMPORTANT . Of course psd files or documentation is often distributed as separate section – and thats ok. But css and images are in most cases distributed INSIDE theme. Sorry but DURA LEX SED LEX .

ITs GPL .

{ as you said – you are not a lawyer so you have 100% right to be completely wrong :) }

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lawmen1 says

BTW lets continue about this being completely WRONG :


An application installed on your desktop computer that runs Windows does not inherit the same license as Windows, even though it runs on Windows, uses Windows-specific functions, and would be useless without Windows. The same goes for an application running on a distribution of Linux or on Mac OS X .
WINDOWS HAS nothing to do with GPL . Completely different model of licensing. LINUX – model of distribution pure linux does not allow to have anything what is not GPL compatible open source to be distributed as part of it. Mac OS X = APSL and Apple EULA license model.

So every of this examples is irrelevant.

and yes, you can be as sad and as confused as steven ballmer who said that: “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches,” http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/06/02/ballmer_linux_is_a_cancer/

but of course nobody forced you nor any existing people to develop for wordpress. As wordpress clearly says :

” If you disagree, you might want to consider a non-GPL platform such as Serendipity (BSD license) or Habari (Apache license) instead.”

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Japh Envato team says

I’ll keep this short: If you don’t read replies properly and respond to what’s been said, it is difficult to carry on this discussion. Please re-read what I’ve written, and think carefully about it before you reply. It seems you are rushing your reply and not considering everything that has been said already.

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MBMedia says

I believe lawmen is actually technically right according to the WP license. But I also think that there’s something else missing from the conversation: is the WP license correct according most laws? Lets not forget that in most of the industrialized world property rights are defended pretty strictly. It’s probably within WP’s rights to demand authors/marketplaces to stop selling non-GPL content packaged with content derived from their GPL work (though I doubt they will, they seem to not deem what’s happening on TF as the type of abuse they don’t want happening), but is it within their rights to say that since it did get packaged together they can apply whatever license they want to someone else’s work?

Not saying it is/isn’t…but I think it’s a topic worth introducing to this conversation, because we can’t forget that license != law, and if the two disagree law wins :)

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lawmen1 says

I believe lawmen is actually technically right according to the WP license. But I also think that there’s something else missing from the conversation: is the WP license correct according most laws? Lets not forget that in most of the industrialized world property rights are defended pretty strictly. It’s probably within WP’s rights to demand authors/marketplaces to stop selling non-GPL content packaged with content derived from their GPL work (though I doubt they will, they seem to not deem what’s happening on TF as the type of abuse they don’t want happening), but is it within their rights to say that since it did get packaged together they can apply whatever license they want to someone else’s work? Not saying it is/isn’t…but I think it’s a topic worth introducing to this conversation, because we can’t forget that license != law, and if the two disagree law wins :)

GPL is license. Wordpress is based on GPL . Before developing anything for wordpress everyone should read license which in this case is GPL . And yes licenses are enforced under copyright law.

On Monday, a US Federal Court Judge dismissed Daniel Wallace’s case saying “[The GPL ] acts as a means by which certain software may be copied, modified and redistributed without violating the software’s copyright protection. As such, the GPL encourages, rather than discourages, free competition and the distribution of computer operating systems, the benefits of which directly pass to consumers. These benefits include lower prices, better access and more innovation.”
http://www.fsf.org/news/wallace-vs-fsf http://fsfe.org/projects/ftf/avm-gpl-violation.en.html
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lawmen1 says

I’ll keep this short: If you don’t read replies properly and respond to what’s been said, it is difficult to carry on this discussion. Please re-read what I’ve written, and think carefully about it before you reply. It seems you are rushing your reply and not considering everything that has been said already.
OK:

Hey guys! Looks like quite a discussion here, and I’d like to add my 2¢ to help clarify things. Firstly, I’m not a lawyer, but I have been working with WordPress for a long time, and also read and participated in discussions on this topic numerous times. Secondly, the following is purely my own personal opinion. So, this will be my take on WordPress, the GPL , and themes, but it’s only my opinion and isn’t legal advice.
irrelevant
Themes on ThemeForest are effectively dual-licensed. The PHP code is released under the GPL , and the HTML , images, CSS , and JavaScript are released under the relevant ThemeForest license (unless the author explicitly nominates that these are also to be released under the GPL ).
But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.
I believe the reasons for this are because it’s difficult to determine on a general basis how much of the PHP code is derived from WordPress in each theme. Some themes may not be effectively derived from WordPress at all, others may be very heavily.
irrelevant.part or portion of program is as gpl say – program.
However, the HTML , images, CSS , and JavaScript could all potentially be used in themes for any other platform, and are not derivative.
irrelevant – distributed as sections becomes part of whole work
If we think of WordPress as an operating system, and themes or plugins as applications, I think it makes this discussion a little clearer.
cant be done. its about distribution.i wrote about it earlier
An application installed on your desktop computer that runs Windows does not inherit the same license as Windows, even though it runs on Windows, uses Windows-specific functions, and would be useless without Windows. The same goes for an application running on a distribution of Linux or on Mac OS X . The application could be modified to work on any of those operating systems, and so is certainly not considered a derivative work.
irrelevant – i wrote earlier why
The same applies to any of these licenses. The discussion is really about whether or not something can be classed as a derivative work, and should therefore inherit the license. So this addresses the points on jQuery etc. as well. A theme is not a derivative work from jQuery, so it does not inherit the license.
irrelevant. is distributed together with jquery. scripts inside themes use jquery so it is pure derivation
Even if I were to sell a ZIP file containing WordPress, a theme, and jQuery, providing I include the relevant licenses this would be quite ok. WordPress under the GPL , jQuery under the GPL , and the HTML , images, CSS , and JavaScript of the theme under the standard ThemeForest license.
irrelevant. your license for css js and images becomes irrelevant. gpl extends on it as in license text is written. you should have send it by mail separately to save your copyrights.
I hope that all makes sense, and I’m more than happy to clarify if this raises any further questions :)

No offence for you neither for your understandings..

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MBMedia says

I don’t think you were fully giving thought to what I was bringing up though, instead just finding the first evidences you could find to the contrary and posting them, and there’s bound to be plenty of evidence both for and against: it’s law, that’s how it works :)

But of course licenses are upheld under copyright law, but that doesn’t mean a license can’t have a legal mistake in one where it causes contrast to a law. If I snuck a .txt file in my item download that said “by putting this template on your server, you are agreeing to sell me your home for $1” no court would uphold that, ever. Of course that’s more extreme than what we’re discussing, but it’s along the same lines; someone violating your license doesn’t automatically give you absolute power over them to claim whatever you want about their property.

And of course authors are expected to read/abide by a license, but the question is: what are WP’s rights when the license is violated? Is it that they can demand the author/markeplace stop or even compensate them? (that seems logical) Or is it that they can then basically own that content and license it how they want? (not quite as logical…) Just as I can’t say that by putting my file up on your server your house is now mine, WP very well may be overextending their limits with the license terms in question. I don’t know for sure obviously (no one does, two different courts could make 2 different decisions on it on the same day). But the point is that it’s worthwhile to give thought to how that affects this argument.

EDIT : I should add in: The reason people are getting frustrated arguing against you is that you aren’t actually giving stock to anything against your viewpoint that people are giving. I think most can agree that law is never pure black & white, there’s often valid points both ways, it just comes down to who has more valid points. And when those points disagreeing with yours are brought up you act as if they aren’t valid at all even if there is some pretty obvious validity to them. That’s discrediting you in people’s eyes, and not helping your argument. I actually agreed with much of your argument license-wise, but just added a completely new point that is debatable, but is definitely worth discussing, and you dismissed it as though I just told you 1+1=5. So even after previously agreeing with many of your points, if find myself going “maybe I should read them again, sounds like he really isn’t deciding using as much fact based non-emotional analysis as I thought he was”. Basically: no one trusts a zealot :)

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