[kwlug-disc] Wordpress themes must be GPL

Insurance Squared Inc. gcooke at insurancesquared.com
Sun Jul 25 22:11:22 EDT 2010

Chris has backed down. He's released some of it as GPL, some of it not, 
apparently stuff like JS and CSS.

So now all that needs to be done is someone needs to rebuild from 
scratch the parts that he's got closed, rebundle, and now the whole 
thing is open source. Which is pretty much exactly the point of the GPL 
I'm thinking (as much as doing so would be screwing Chris out of his 
perhaps ill gotten gains).

I'm pretty sure the developer version of the theme cost me about $150 
bucks or so. Next person to buy it should just pay someone $150 to 
develop the new JS/CSS and away we go. And as I noted, I'd actually be 
using drupal for my CMS if there was a Thesis clone. Now perhaps there's 
a possibility of that happening.

FWIW, while I love the theme, I have not had much luck with the 
developer. Not long after it was released I actually used the theme on a 
site that was perhaps a grey area. I realized after the fact that I may 
be breaking the license agreement - it just wasn't clear to me once I'd 
given some thought to it. So I asked specific questions to the thesis 
folks about the conditions of their license agreement. Their response? 
No response. Which left me with a fully developed website that I didn't 
want to take down, and didn't even know if I had to take it down. I 
wasn't too impressed with that.

On 25/07/10 08:48 PM, Johnny Ferguson wrote:
> I just read the debate between Chris (Thesis) and Matt (Wordpress), 
> and I thought this illustrated rather well the caliber of 
> understanding on each side
> ---
> Matt: Well, if in the WordPress community people started deciding that 
> the GPL doesn’t apply that’s a very, very slippery slope. Not just for 
> WordPress but for all of open source. Like you said, there hasn’t been 
> a court case yet in the United States because every company, including 
> big ones like Cisco, have backed down. If Chris wants to be the court 
> case that proves the GPL, I am sure there are many people in the open 
> source community that would love that opportunity.
> Andrew: What’s your position? Do you want to do this? Are you thinking 
> of doing it?
> Matt: I wasn’t before. However, it sounds like Chris, like a business 
> argument isn’t going to change his mind. It sounds like, you know, all 
> the legal analysis from the biggest experts in the world isn’t going 
> to change his mind. Chris has just decided that the license doesn’t 
> apply to him and so he shouldn’t have to care about it. That’s 
> breaking the law.
> Chris: I mean, you know, when I was in college in Georgia apparently 
> it was illegal, in the Georgia State Doctrine, it was illegal to get a 
> blowjob in the State of Georgia. But that’s one of those laws that’s 
> never enforced. That brings up a valid question. What kind of law is 
> it if it is unenforceable?
> ---
> definitely a non-sequitur of the highest degree. I started out 
> somewhat sympathetic towards the Thesis guy, but the Wordpress guy 
> absolutely tears him a new one:
> http://mixergy.com/chris-pearson-matt-mullenweg/
> I hope Thesis maintains its attitude. Would be nice to see the legal 
> precedent solidified.
> -Johnny
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