[kwlug-disc] Wordpress themes must be GPL

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Mon Jul 26 14:34:24 EDT 2010

On Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 9:33 AM, Johnny Ferguson <hyperflexed at gmail.com>wrote:

> On 07/26/2010 09:24 AM, Raul Suarez wrote:
>> --- On Mon, 7/26/10, unsolicited<unsolicited at swiz.ca>  wrote:
>>> The question was: how does a (typical?) (GPL?) developer
>>> create a continuous revenue stream rather than having to
>>> continuously work?
> From what I gather the wordpress guy sells API keys to a spam filtering
> service called Askimet. He gives out free keys for personal use, but charges
> a monthly fee to the service for users who make certain amounts of money off
> their wordpress install monthly.
> You might wonder why the larger users wouldn't just grab a free API key.
> The premium API keys get priority processing and other benefits. Basically
> by having the Askimet plugin send data to an external service, it's not
> considered a derivative work, and doesn't have to fall under the GPL. Even
> if it is GPL, anyone who wanted to make a quick buck off it would have to
> set up their own servers etc.
> I'm naturally skeptical of how profitable such things would be as I equate
> blogging for money with selling viagra through e-mail blasts, but I guess
> some people think its worthwhile to invest in something like Askimet.
> This idea of "software as a service" at least partially meets your criteria
> of not having to work. I hardly think maintaining servers that do a simple
> task counts as work. The upstart cost is in developing the framework and
> buying a couple servers. Once you have people on a monthly subscription
> you're sailing, but I wouldn't say it's guaranteed.
> I'm wondering when the whole Web 2.0 bubble is going to pop (if it hasn't
> already).

If you have a web site with comments on it, you will see that comment spam
is a problem. Akismet is not the only service here. There are many,
including Mollom,
created by the founder of Drupal (which I use on some of my sites). There
are various CAPTCHAs, there is Re-CAPTCHA, there are math questions, there
is hash cash, ...etc.

This spamming is done via automated bots, and rarely via low paid humans in
developing countries. It is a problem.

The problem is that any such service has to go into an arms race with the
You plug in one way they bypass your filtering, only to have them invent
another way.

And yes, the above services utilize the "over the network" loophole that the
GPL allows. If we had seamless networking aware operating system in common
use when the GPL was written, such as Plan9, I bet that the GPL would have
not allowed that loophole.

The point is: it is allowed, and people pay for not having to deal with 100s
of spam comments per day.
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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