[kwlug-disc] Wordpress themes must be GPL

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Mon Jul 26 20:03:13 EDT 2010


On Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 4:31 PM, Andrew Kohlsmith (mailing lists
account) <aklists at mixdown.ca> wrote:
> On Monday, July 26, 2010 03:42:02 pm Khalid Baheyeldin wrote:
>> > Do you have any links to this effect? I don't doubt it, but I'd like to
>> > read
>> > more about it.
>>
>> Here is Matt Asay, who used to write a blog on CNET on Open Source,
>> and was an executive at Alfresco (an Open Source dual licensed Java
>> Enterprise Content Management system).
>
> [ much reading snipped ]
>
> Wow, thanks for such detailed links! I did a quick read just now, but I'm
> going to go back over these links later on, as it is interesting to see how he
> has changed his position somewhat.  My cursory read left me with the
> impression that he is less enchanted with the GPL

My reading of it is different.

People who have this "GPL regret" look back AFTER their pet project
becomes popular, and say: "Gee! If it is proprietary, I would have
been Bill Gates by now! Pity I picked the GPL".

But they fail to acknowledge that it was

a) the community they built that made the project successful, and
b) a free software license, more so the GPL, participated in enabling
a community
around that software project.

Hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but it could well be "had I not opened up the
project, it would not have been successful".

That is the part they often forget ...

> because of the "cheese
> touch" syndrom: it makes others afraid to touch it lest they have to make
> their proprietary code available due to "contamination".

As for the contamination issue, there is a solution: make the contributors sign
an agreement that would assign the copyright to you.

This sounds outrageous to some, but some companies managed to have that,
such as MySQL and ezPublish.

I personally would be very careful before signing something like that.
If the project
is community driven, then maybe. If the copyright is owned by a single company,
I would be wary, unless I am paid to create patches by other means and
the success
of the product's ecosystem is crucial to my survival for example ...
-- 
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
http://2bits.com
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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