WordPress.org bans Themeforest members from participating in official WordCamp gatherings

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greenshady says


Are not sleezy people re-selling people’s work regardless of the license? There tends to be a new thread around here every day or so about this sort of thing. I can pretty much find any TF theme I want for free or a lower price tag with a Web search.
I’ve seen more people make that argument and it’s a fallacy. Let’s not bring this up again as it helps nobody and nothing good comes out of it.

Just because you state something as a fallacy doesn’t make it so. I’ll continue to bring it up until someone convinces me otherwise.



You’re misunderstanding what “free” means. Free doesn’t mean “no monetary cost” in open-source language. It’s talking about the freedom to use, modify, and distribute code.
We get that. But why isn’t wordpress.com supplying the code to the themes purchased with a GPL license attached. You say it is fine as long as the service is hosted and no distribution occurs. The split license is just fine too. The end result in both business models is the same.

WordPress.com doesn’t sell themes. They sell a service. The GPL kicks in when distribution occurs. WordPress.com is not distributing themes to users. “Distribution” is a fundamental part of the GPL.

I agree that a split license is perfectly fine. I haven’t made any arguments to the contrary. Any one of us is free to use a split license for our work.

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Caldazar says

So now you want to talk legalese ?
No, that’s copyleft, the corner-stone of the GPL: If you redistribute a GPL software, grant the same rights that were granted to you. You don’t and that’s perfectly legal, because in legalese JS / CSS aren’t part of Wordpress, which the purists don’t like. Nothing more, nothing less.
The split license is perfectly valid and does not stop innovation at all.
Yes, it is but I can’t modify, copy and distribute javascript nor CSS, I have to remove it and start it from scratch.
In all honesty, if people want to distribute their code under the GPL, they can already do so on wordpress.org ; So release your stuff there. I don’t understand what the fixation is with wanting to do that here ?
What? What has that to do with the topic at hand? It’s the theme authors who build their income on GPL. Tell them if you like.
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Typps says

Yes, it is but I can’t modify, copy and distribute javascript nor CSS, I have to remove it and start it from scratch.

When a theme is purchased on wordpress.com, I cannot modify, copy nor distribute it. How is this business model different ?


What? What has that to do with the topic at hand? It’s the theme authors who build their income on GPL. Tell them if you like.

That is what Wordcamp is asking, that a GPL option be provided in the marketplace. It is not necessary as any author that wants this option can very well use the wordpress.org repository.

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CodingJack says

WordPress.com doesn’t sell themes. They sell a service. The GPL kicks in when distribution occurs. WordPress.com is not distributing themes to users. “Distribution” is a fundamental part of the GPL.

So here’s how ThemeForest can get around this. Instead of offering direct downloads, they can just sell a subscription to a “download service” run by a third party. Then they’d just be selling a “service” and the two situations would be exactly the same.

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VF says

After spending time with half a dozen blogs, comments:
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greenshady says


WordPress.com doesn’t sell themes. They sell a service. The GPL kicks in when distribution occurs. WordPress.com is not distributing themes to users. “Distribution” is a fundamental part of the GPL.
So here’s how ThemeForest can get around this. Instead of offering direct downloads, they can just sell a subscription to a “download service” run by a third party. Then they’d just be selling a “service” and the two situations would be exactly the same.

I don’t see a need for ThemeForest to “get around” anything. They’re legally in line with the GPL.

I’m simply answering the question about why WordPress.com doesn’t have to distribute their code since several people asked.

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hexahedron says

That is what Wordcamp is asking, that a GPL option be provided in the marketplace. It is not necessary as any author that wants this option can very well use the wordpress.org repository.
WordPress.org is not a marketplace for stock themes. And no, “commercial” page is a bad comparison.


So here’s how ThemeForest can get around this. Instead of offering direct downloads, they can just sell a subscription to a “download service” run by a third party. Then they’d just be selling a “service” and the two situations would be exactly the same.
Letting buyers download the theme is distribution. I’m not sure how else a stock themes marketplace can operate. WordPress wants Themeforest to allow authors choose their license (split or 100% gpl), which will essentially screw up TM’s business model (and make their non-regular licenses meaningless). And apparently Matt doesn’t mind a little bit of arm-twisting.
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CodingJack says

^ think you meant to quote Typps on that first comment there ;)

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hexahedron says

Whoops, sorry. Links to correct post though. :P

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CodingJack says


So here’s how ThemeForest can get around this. Instead of offering direct downloads, they can just sell a subscription to a “download service” run by a third party. Then they’d just be selling a “service” and the two situations would be exactly the same.
Letting buyers download the theme is distribution. I’m not sure how else a stock themes marketplace can operate.

Going to have to disagree. Selling a “token” that can be used on another site for whatever purpose is not distribution. Obviously this wouldn’t happen but I’m just trying to illustrate the hypocrisy.

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