I can’t believe this post.
I mean really…
If I went to dreamwork studios and ask if I can take large parts from there Shrek movie and make my own to earn lots of money do you think they will say yes, go a head!
You are free to use any and/or all my code in your theme projects. I even encourage it. It’s why I license all my work under the GPL . As long as you also follow that license, you won’t have to worry about any technical or ethical issues.
Bumping Justin (greenshady) on this one – I’m always surprised when a community that has gained so much thanks to WordPress is so vehemently against the principle of openness that’s at the center of the platform.
OP didn’t ask if she could rip off a theme, throw on a new logo and release it… She asked if he could use it as a code base. That’s what GPL is all about. Whether or not the customizations that she made are enough to constitute a new product is another matter. I get the need to protect against infringement, but let’s try to remember what we’re working with here. We’re all standing on the shoulders of someone else and we’ve all benefitted from free or GPL resources. To categorically shun a new author for requesting if he can use GPL code as a base theme is totally in conflict with the rest of the WordPress community.
OP – the real issue that you’re going to face is having a true understanding of the code. Despite my message above, it’s always always worth it to build stuff from scratch once or twice to get a better grasp of the code before you try to release a product publicly. ThemeForest and it’s authors also don’t look fondly at people who blatantly steal code or design, so while the WordPress specific code is GPL , there’s a whole lot else that isn’t in a theme, including design, CSS , custom JS, etc… That’s where u’ve gotta be original and bring your own ideas and expertise. If you don’t have a solid understanding of the code that comprises your theme, you’ve got no business releasing it as a saleable product, regardless of the license.
And seven on Page 1 is right, regardless of license, house rules here strongly frown-upon/forbid blatantly copied code… GPL or not. That’s not to flaunt GPL – it’s to protect buyers from authors releasing code that they clearly don’t understand and didn’t write themselves. Would you want to buy a car that some hack mechanic stole and cheaply repainted? Buyers don’t want that either. The bar for original quality here has gone up a lot recently and will continue to go up… It’s generally not a place for a coding newbie to make a quick buck from. If you don’t understand how a theme truly works at its roots, how are you going to support your products and help your customers? You get the idea.
If you are going to submit it as a product, please disclose all of the code sources to the reviewer so that they can make an informed decision. That’s what they are there for. There’s nothing worse than having a theme pulled and your reputation tarnished because you weren’t clear up front.
Last, there are already a ton of free base themes out there – start with those if you have any hesitations about what is and isn’t allowed to be used as a code base in a theme. There are also a TON of learning resources out there including our own http://wp.tutsplus.com . WordPress is a great platform to work with, but it’s not something you can pick up in a day or two and call yourself a theme author
Good luck and start learning!