Jason Schuller And The ThemeGarden Marketplace

Leland of ThemeLab.com has a great interview with Jason Schuller of ThemeGarden.com which talks about his upcoming theme marketplace. Of course, the licensing question cropped up again but I was happy to see Jason’s response as the following:

Leland: Part of the seller requirements state that themes must be licensed under the GPL. Will child themes (or skins) of notable non-GPL theme frameworks like Thesis and Headway be allowed to be sold on the ThemeGarden marketplace?

JS: This is a hard call for me, and I am on the fence with this requirement because my own themes on Press75.com are split-GPL licensed. That is my choice, and Press75.com will never be supported by WordPress.org because of that decision.

However, in order to provide the most exposure for a community of sellers, I believe that ThemeGarden.com needs to be 100% GPL. This will ensure that ThemeGarden.com and the community surrounding it is in line with and supported by WordPress. I would love to hear some feedback on this by potential sellers as well.

But to answer the question, as long as the child theme is GPL licensed, I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t be allowed on ThemeGarden.com even if the parent framework isn’t 100% GPL licensed.

With a marketplace already in action for StudioPress, Mojo Themes, Themeforest and now ThemeGarden.com, it’s beginning to look like the people are creating smaller commercial theme repositories versus hoping that one day, WordPress.org will allow commercial themes to be hosted their. The beauty of these marketplace ideas is not only a larger selection to choose from, but the people running them are awesome WordPress community members that have earned the trust of many due to their great reputation. Another side benefit towards these marketplaces beginning to spring up is how much easier it will be for up and coming theme developers to get their work to the masses. Instead of doing it all on their own, commercial theme authors can utilize the resources that Jason or Brian provides leaving more time for quality support. It’s also nice to see more choices instead of less which will generate healthy competition. It will be interesting a year from now to see how each marketplace has developed in terms of quality, support, and number of themes.

Good luck Jason. We’ll be keeping an eye on you!


8 responses to “Jason Schuller And The ThemeGarden Marketplace”

  1. Will it matter that he is doing a 100% GPL site if he also does a non-100% GPL site? I thought that once you went non-GPL you were persona non grata with WordPress peeps.

  2. @David -That same issue was also brought up in the comments of my interview post. Jason said there would be no affiliation between the two sites, except of course the same owner in common.

    As long as there aren’t any links back to Press75, I hope there wouldn’t be an issue. Then you get into the “non-GPL compliant person” debate which is a whole new can of worms.

  3. Which is where I was heading. It had nothing to do with the site, and everything to do with the owner. It would be like expecting a new theme site by Chris Pearson to be welcomed by the GPL lovers out there. He could say that all his new themes were going to be totally GPL, but would that “fix” him in the eyes of the WP elite?

  4. It will most likely be tainted in the eyes of the WP “elite”, but frankly who cares. It won’t prevent it from being a success nor will his sales suffer because of it.

    You don’t need the support of the WordPress “elite” to be successful. The entire commercial theme and plugin market is proof of that. So if they have nothing better to do, let them get their panties in a bunch over it. Ultimately it won’t matter to ThemeGarden or Press75.

    The high school like politics surrounding the entire licensing issue is so juvenile.

  5. Carl – The reason for my question was more to put the pressure back on Leland since he’s flip flopping regarding licensing.

    This will ensure that ThemeGarden.com and the community surrounding it is in line with and supported by WordPress.

    I also wanted to, in a strange way, point out the same as you bluntly said: the success or failure of the project will have nothing to do with the WP “elite” and so they shouldn’t even be considered in deciding licensing issues.

  6. @David, @Carl I would find it very hard to believe that my mere association with owning a completely separate non-100% GPL site would taint ThemeGarden.com from being adopted by WordPress and the community, but who knows.

    Also, I agree that licensing makes no difference in regards to the success of sites like Press75, StudioPress, etc., but the question is… would it make a difference for a Community WordPress Marketplace such as ThemeGarden.com?

  7. Jason – Do you think the WordPress section of CodeCanyon will be GPL only? I don’t think the themes currently are. Has that effected their business in any noticeable way? Not enough to change policies from what I can tell.

  8. David… I don’t think Envato cares one way or the other (GPL or not), and it probably has no affect on their business. They will continue to do well because they are so big and have already established their own community. The difference is that they are focused on multiple platforms mass production whereas ThemeGarden will be dedicated to WordPress and quality (not quantity).


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