GPL Drinking On The WP Community Podcast

Due to some scheduling conflicts with their original guests, I was invited to participate on the WordPress Community Podcast hosted by Yoast and Frederick Townes. In this episode, we spent the majority of time talking about the GPL. It was good timing since Grant Griffiths of the Headway theme was also part of the show. We also chatted about the issue of how much credit should plugin and theme authors give themselves outside of the usual spots as discussed here.

One thing to note about this particular episode. There was no flamewar or vicious GPL debating going on. Rather, it’s a general conversation with someone that has not yet decided to go with the GPL and their reasons into why. According to Grant, their current business model is working, despite the lack of being GPL compliant. Since their business is running well, the only reasons I can see them switching to GPL compliance either with the full theme or just the PHP code is to be in the good graces of Matt and the majority of the WordPress community. Being GPL compliant would give them much more advertising and more people would review the theme. I can’t review Headway and tell everyone about it because of my agreement to only support GPL compliant products as they relate to WordPress.

P.S. I was drinking Smirnoff during the show and each time GPL was said, I took a drink. I felt pretty good by the end of the show.

3 Comments


  1. Jeff – It was a great call and good discussion. I would like to ask however. If we had a split license and not totally GPL, would you still do a review of Headway?

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  2. @Grant Griffiths – As I’ve mentioned on Twitter today, since the FSF says that way of doing things is compliant with the GPL license, then yes, I would write a review. While the repository has a preference on the requirements for a theme to be hosted, I won’t limit myself to not writing about themes that as a whole, do not contain the GPL license.

    If the FSF says the method is ok, and within the confines of the license, than it’s ok for me to write about it. And if I take heat for doing that, I will be incredibly upset as their is nothing wrong with that method. It’s just not acceptable for the repository.

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  3. Using the GPL is more than just a matter of pleasing “Matt and the majority of the WordPress community” though. It’s part of the licensing agreement you accept when you develop products using the code and functions in WordPress. If you distribute such a product it has to be GPLed.

    Sorry to nitpick, but it’s an obligation and responsibility on everyone who participates in a GPL project.

    I’m not even sure if it’s ok to dual license a product either because the GPL demands that any redistribution of affected code be GPLed. The only way to dual licence is when you own the copyright to the entire project (in this case WordPress itself). Then you can do what you like.

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