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

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PixelBuffet says

Eurgh, silly humans!

We’re having the vote, we’re very likely to get the option of going 100% GPL, so let’s just focus on what that means for the marketplace.

I’m tempted to make the switch, but before making that decision I’d like to know:

1. What review policies will Envato add to prevent opportunistic copycats. I don’t mind what people do with my themes, but I don’t want to see it being sold right next to mine!

2. What about porting 100% GPL themes to another platform? Would Envato allow that to be sold here?

3. If someone does take my code and resell my theme here with some modifications and it gets through the review process, do I have any rights to request its removal?

4. Will price be changed on 100% GPL items to reflect the freedoms (ie better than the extended license)?

5. What will happen to the extended license, this would make it a bit of a joke…

I also have one for Justin / greenshady:

Do you ever get woo themes being submitted to Wordpress.org? If I sold themes here that were 100% GPL, and someone submitted it to .org, would you guys catch it? If I saw my theme, or one which was 90% my theme on there, could I have it removed?

...PS. I have a BEng in Civil Engineering, in case anyone is interested :p

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greenshady says

I also have one for Justin / greenshady: Do you ever get woo themes being submitted to Wordpress.org? If I sold themes here that were 100% GPL, and someone submitted it to .org, would you guys catch it? If I saw my theme, or one which was 90% my theme on there, could I have it removed?

I’m not sure if we’ve ever had a commercial theme submitted like that. We get a lot of popular free themes copied. We still want original work though and wouldn’t allow someone to copy/paste themes.

Would we catch it? Absolutely. If the theme author gives proper copyright notices with the code, we’d see it automatically as a copied theme. If not…

Would we remove it if it got past the review process? Absolutely. If the theme author didn’t give the proper copyright notices with the code and you notified us of it, it’d be taken down as soon as possible. You’d even have a valid legal case against them if you wanted to pursue that.

See, that’s the thing about “copycats”. They don’t want anyone to know they copied, so they remove the copyright notices from the code.

Let’s say that a we have someone legitimately using the code to build from. As long as there’s enough significant changes to warrant a new theme, I don’t see anything wrong with that. As a theme author myself, I even encourage it. It’s always led to extra business for me.

As I said either in this thread or elsewhere, if you don’t want people copying, modifying, or distributing your work, an open-source license isn’t really for you. I know everyone has a different take on this, but if you’re going to go GPL, you definitely have to shift your thinking. You must be genuinely okay with people doing these things.

And, to just give you an example of how strict we are, I just rejected a theme that Automattic (yes, the company that runs WordPress.com) submitted for a missing copyright notice. No one gets special treatment.

I don’t want to speak for the entire Theme Review Team though because we’re a diverse group of people who argue every day about what’s best for the WordPress.org repository. I encourage anyone who has general questions about theme dev, want to be involved in the process, or simply learn more about making better themes to join the mailing list: http://lists.wordpress.org/mailman/listinfo/theme-reviewers
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bitfade says

let’s say i buy a GPL theme from TF, according to the license:

You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program’s source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty; and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License along with the Program. You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.

i’m allowed to redistribute it for free (or not) on my own website and/or to offer paid support for it as long as i keep all the copyright notices, disclaimer of warranty and so on.

But what if the theme is my own ? According to envato exclusive author agreement, i cannot sell or distribute for free the same item elsewhere but that’s allowed by the license under which the theme itself is being released.

How would envato manage this ?

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CodingJack says

^ you just punched a whopping hole in this conversation and instantly deflated the whole thing :D

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VF says

^ you just punched a whopping hole in this conversation and instantly deflated the whole thing :D

This may end-up adjusting the exclusivity agreement to match also GPL authors.

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CodingJack says

This may end-up adjusting the exclusivity agreement to match also GPL authors.

But would they lower the payout percentage as a result? No thanks :P

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VF says


This may end-up adjusting the exclusivity agreement to match also GPL authors.
But would they lower the payout percentage as a result? No thanks :P

I meant granting GPL based uploads to have special relaxation from exclusivity program. Although the simple/economical solution is to allow only non-exclusive authors to opt-in GPL, I guess this will again face critics from spirit point of view. Spirituality is complex thing when it needs to combine with commerical! :D

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CodingJack says

Spirituality is complex thing when it needs to combine with commerical! :D

lol best quote in this entire thread!

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Typps says


Spirituality is complex thing when it needs to combine with commerical! :D
lol best quote in this entire thread!

haha, indeed :P

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Typps says

A few years ago there was quite a bit of noise where Chris Pearson ( Creator of the Thesis theme) and Matt had pretty much the same arguments we’re having now. I’d seen the video interview then but for some reason completely forgotten about it :P

Just saw it again this weekend and it appears quite similar to the current situation. Chris wasn’t willing to concede his work as GPL, though back then there was also no confirmation on what constitutes derivative work and what not. A lot of what Chris said wasn’t wrong IMHO, at the same time I think his stance was quite hard, also because it appears Matt just wanted what was best for the community and there was no personal gain involved. I very much liked Matt’s humility, always calm, never raising his voice and never speaking out of turn. Great personality!

If someone missed out here are the links : http://mixergy.com/chris-pearson-matt-mullenweg/

In the end Chris concedes a little and settles for the split license instead: http://mashable.com/2010/07/22/thesis-relents/

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