Alister Cameron // Blogologist

Changing the world. One blog(ger) at a time.

Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, GPL and why I think he really gets it.

A few theme designers — including yours truly — received an email from Matt Mullenweg, Automattic’s boss, yesterday. It read (in full and unedited):

Thanks for emailing me about the theme directory. The other day I noticed a ton of bad stuff had snuck in like lots of spammy SEO links, themes whose sites said you couldn’t modify them (which is a violation of the GPL), etc. Exactly the sort of stuff the theme directory was meant to avoid.

There were also a few that violated WP community guidelines, like the domain policy. So since Monday we’ve been clearing stuff out en mass. If you’re kosher with the GPL and don’t claim or promote otherwise on your site and your theme was removed, it was probably a mistake. Give us a week to catch up with the bad stuff and then drop a note.

Thanks guys, and let me know if you have any more questions.


Matt Mullenweg
http://ma.tt | http://automattic.com

This email came in response to some screams of pain from a few themers who had awoken a couple of days ago to discover that one or more of their themes was no longer listed in the WordPress theme repository.

In the week prior an update to the More Info page there introduced this line:

Themes for sites that support “premium” (non-GPL or compatible) themes will not be approved.

The interpretation of this small but critical sentence has become clear: you not only must make sure to honour the GPL with the theme you submit to the repository, but you had better make sure you do not risk raising the suspicion of Matt (the “gatekeeper” here) that you are using this theme as bait to get people to a site where many/most/all other themes are not GPL (or equivalently) licensed.

I fully agree with Matt’s move. He has done entirely the correct thing. I just wish he’d been faster about it and hadn’t let 200+ “offending” themes get into the repository. I also think he could have communicated before or during the fact, not in the reactive after-the-fact fashion.

But let me fill in a little background here…

A couple of weeks ago I was one of the speakers — along with Matt — at the recent Wordcamp Australia in Sydney. Although it was not my intention, my talk became a “vigorous” discussion about licensing of themes, and the GPL. Now, call me a boyscout, but I take licensing, copyright and my handling of such things as serious matters, with the conviction that what I do with them reflects back on me personally. I believe that how I honour (or fail to honour) the WordPress GPL reflects on my personal integrity; on the substance of my character.

And so to the final 20 minutes or so of my talk in Sydney, which amounted to a fairly messy and inconclusive to-and-fro with Matt and others about the GPL and how themers may or may not be on the right side of it, given one or another business model they choose to adopt.

I returned from Sydney and stewed over things some more and when yesterday I learned of Matt’s deletion of these 200+ themes I immediately got in contact with one of the Automattic crew (that person doesn’t need to be named and the conversation was explicitly off-the-record). Let me first say that if all Matt’s staff are as attentive, knowledgeable and impassioned as that person is, then he’s doing a sterling job of bringing “true believers” onto his team.

In a conversation that went for the better part of half an hour, we discussed the ins and outs of the GPL, of the relationship between WordPress(.org) and Automattic… and Matt, personally. All of which game me a lot of clarity, I think.

Don’t Blame WordPress, Matt or Automattic for Your Lack of Brains or Creativity

I think at the end of the day, the GPL is not in debate. It’s simply not a controversial issue! In my own words:

The GPL (current version, if you must ask) demands that any derivative work of the WordPress codebase must be available for free. It matters not what licensing you apply to code you create that depends on WordPress code for its own functioning; it matters that you understand that it is a derivative work and that you must make it available for free.

This was my issue at Wordcamp. As a conscientious theme developer (working on Vanilla) I want to honour the GPL and yet find a commercially viable, sustainable and profitable way forward for my business. And since I love themes, I’d precisely like to do something profitable in the area of themes, but something which doesn’t contravene the WordPress GPL. That would be stupid for someone like me wanting to build a business that garners respect from others, not least Automattic and the WordPress developer community, for which I have not a little respect.

After my long and fruitful chat with the Automattic staffer yesterday I think I have clarity: the issue is not that the GPL is too restrictive or that Matt is being unreasonable. The issue is that most of us have not thought creatively enough about how to both honour the GPL and make money.

Best to illustrate this is to look at what’s happened with Brian Gardner. Now, I have reason to believe Brian is second-to-none for having made really really really (are you getting the emphasis?!) good money out of his premium themes. Yet, he’s switched to an open-source model, and his flagship Revolution theme is now released under a GPL-ish license (not that there is a license file in the ZIPs you download, but we’ll assume it’s GPL).

Now, you might be flabbergasted that someone with the hugely profitable business that Brian’s got would go and commit commercial suicide. But look a little closer…

What Brian’s done is offer a fully unsupported version of any of the Revolution theme variants for free, while attempting to “guide” site visitors to a supported version of the theme for about USD$100. Brian is banking on the value of support, since he can’t honour the WordPress GPL without offering the theme for free… he just can’t.

The fact that the Revolution theme — the same theme that has up until now made Brian so much money — is now offered for free allows us to make sure fairly reasonable assumptions:

  1. Matt (and the WordPress community) makes a fairly convincing argument for the GPL and Brian bought it, fully.
  2. Brian expects to continue to run a profitable business with the new GPL + paid support model.
  3. Brian values his relationship with WordPress, Automattic and Matt more than retaining the old model.

What Brian needed — along with all other WordPress theme developers — was courage and creativity. The issue is not that the GPL kills “profitable theme development/design” but that we need to think creatively about value.

See, the basis of all commerce is the exchange of value. You buy my stuff because you value it and you pay me with currency, which I value.

So here’s the plain and simple point of it all: your theme files are PHP and they are dependent on the WordPress codebase and have no existence outside of that dependency, so you can’t charge for them. BUT… the creatively-minded entrepreneurs among us will not walk away just because of that. Instead, they will do what smart business-people always do: they will create value somewhere else. In Brian’s case, it is with support. For someone else, it will be theme customization. For someone else, it will be something I haven’t even thought of yet. But it WILL be valuable and it will be worth the money charged, and it WON’T contravene the letter or the spirit of the GPL.

The Most Important Case Study in How to do it Right

There are no prizes for guessing who is the best example of honouring the letter as well as the spirit of the GPL while building a strong commercial business model alongside it: Automattic. Matt and the team have build a range of products and services that never require them to sell WordPress code. Period (“full stop”, as this Aussie would rather say).

Akismet is a service and the plugin bit is free. Gravatar is free. All their plugins are free. Heck… if Automattic had ever screwed with the GPL you’d better believe we’d be up to our necks in controversy. We’d have a massive community revolt… we’d have another Mambo (can’t help chuckling).

But my Theme Was GPL’d and he Pulled it!

If your theme was pulled and yet it was GPL licensed, there are only two options. Either it was a mistake (email Matt), or you were linking from it to a site that sold other themes that do contravene the GPL. If the latter is the case then you are in the awkward place of making the argument that Matt was wrong to defend the spirit of the GPL, beyond just the letter of it. I don’t have a problem with what he did.

The Curious Case of the Child Theme

One of the great developments in WordPress 2.7 is more complete support for child themes. An unintentional development of child themes — I think — is the very real potential for these to be sold without any contravention of the GPL. Now, I know I risk getting some heat for this, but please give this some thought… if child themes need at a minimum to be nothing more than a CSS file and some images, I would put it to you that they do not depend on the WordPress codebase and can therefore be sold. Of course, some child themes will include a functions.php file and then my argument, well… dies, but my goal with the Vanilla theme is to create a child theme that consists of nothing more than a CSS file, a configuration file (which might end up being settings in the CSS file’s comment block), and a bunch of images.

(I did speak to Matt about this specific issue of child themes and the GPL, and while I did not hear any explicit word of approval from him, my recollections are that he understood the reasonable difference the absence of any PHP made to the legal question. And if I speak of Matt as if he’s the judge and jury, it’s moreso that I think he’s got a great mind for all this and a vested interest in getting it right… more than anyone else, to be sure.)

I would welcome your thoughts on child themes and their relationship to the GPL in the comments or in a post of your own, to which I will provide a link when it appears on my radar.

Where This Conversation Now Needs To Head… Value!

As WordPress themers, we can either get all upset about legal interpretation and in fruitless discussions about the relationship between Automattic and WordPress, or we can “get positive”. I’m going with the latter. I want to talk about value. There is no more important a conversation to have.

If the GPL licensing model was not a “valuable” thing for WordPress then we might well all be steamrolling over it, as would Automattic, presumably. But precisely because WordPress is an exemplar open source project and community, we need to see what we’ve presently got as something inherently valuable, and not debase that value by ignoring the GPL when we feel like it. Every premium theme seller should think long and hard about what I’m saying. They can’t have it both ways: they have the WordPress open source community — and the diligent oversight and leadership of Automattic — to thank for the very existence of the codebase, and precisely because it is globally considered so valuable, they have a market for their premium themes. Yet they deny the value of the GPL model (or debase it) by selling their themes! That’s paracitism.

No sooner had I finished speaking at Wordcamp that I jumped into a taxi headed for the airport, which was rather unfortunate, as I would have delighted in spending longer in conversation with Matt, who had started reflecting on the different approaches taken by companies like Automattic — with respect to the open source projects under their “custodianship” — and the relative merits of each. His point was that the approach taken by Automattic with WordPress is not entirely the same as that of Six Apart with Movable Type, nor the same as Red Hat with Fedora, and so on. I am no expert on any of these nuances, but I think we WordPress folk should perhaps pause for a moment to consider the controversies we haven’t had, thanks to the level-headed, astute and egalitarian leadership of Matt and the team.

While I’m praising Automattic, I should also add that the salaries of the lead developers of WordPress — those now employed by Automattic, like Sam, Andy and Andrew — are not (nor can they be) funded by the projects they work on. In the last months Sam’s been building bbPress, Andy’s been fully devoted to BuddyPress and Andrew has been busy on the new 2.7 Admin interface. None of these projects are income-generating. So, Automattic is effectively drawing funds from other places to pay these guys. Can you think of another company that has done the same for the sake of WordPress?

It occurred to me in Sydney that the best example we’ve got, of a company growing profitably alongside WordPress, is Automattic. And yet there is nothing they’re doing that any other company conceivably couldn’t do. It is arguably as risky for them to build a company with any kind of dependency on that software as it is for any other. I’d say, moreso. Think carefully about that before you argue the point. Perhaps more than any other company, Automattic must remain explicitly “obedient” to the GPL, must be seen to NOT be screwing with the code in a self-interested fashion, and so forth. They’re permanently under the microscope.

Did I Mention Value?

Without preserving the integrity of the WordPress GPL licensing model there would soon enough be no WordPress as we know it and discussions around premium themes would be moot. While building a business alongside any open source software is not without its challenges and very real risks, many have done it very well. But it’s about creativity and adding value. We should be watching carefully what comes of Brian Gardner’s new and more “kosher” approach. He will not have gone down that path without much forethought and care. I applaud his recent efforts.

I will be trying hard to make money here somewhere myself. If I can make the “GPL + paid support” model work, then great. Perhaps I can charge for child themes that are just CSS and images. Certainly, Vanilla will be free. I want it to be a shared effort, like WordPress itself… something I’ve not seen with almost any other theme. I’m just a few architectural decisions away from some sort of Vanilla release. Sorry for the delays!

17 Comments

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  1. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Kim, that’s a common misconception that I tried to clear up a few times. Work for a client is not considered distribution, so you don’t need to make it available under the GPL.

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLRequireSourcePostedPublic

  2. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    I think the part about not blaming wordpress for your lack of creativity is very true. if you cant blog…then simply DONT.

    my 5 cents 😀

  3. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    It’s amazing how this idea has travelled.

    What started with Joomla seeking to enforce GPL-compatible components, modules, plugins and templates has now virally travelled through to WordPress, Drupal and others.

    The key dilemma is the use of the GPL. Whether or not it’s used as a contract licence or a copyright licence.

    Within Australia, my own business seeks to protect my clientele by not using the GPL in any way as a contract licence. That means even if I am working on products that remain GPL (such as Joomla, Mambo and WordPress), the said creative works are commercially licenced and copyrighted, allowing designers such as myself to transfer a deed of rights/usage based on client needs. This in no way means the creative works I have produced are derivative works, let alone infected via the GPL.

    Now most people assume merely because Matt and others (such as OSM at Joomla) want creative works to be GPL licenced, that means all creative works produced for these platforms should be that way.

    Barrie North, Lynne and myself have travelled this road before. Furthermore, as the creative works I produce (and Alister produces) are created in Australia, certain rules need to be adhered to in order to fulfil Tax Office and Fair Trading laws.

    Matt Mullenweg, nor OSM, nor any other CMS party, can dictate the client contract between a client and a producers of creative works in Australia. In order to fulfil Fair Trading laws, certain warranties and protections need to be afforded to the client. These protections are removed if and when using the GPL as a contract between client and producer. So the simple solution is to follow the laws of the land, and sod anyone who attempts to claim your creative work, sold at a price, with warranties and protections, should be GPL. By protecting the consumer beyond the scope of the GPL, you actually demonstrate the ineffectiveness of the whole GPL only / GPL-compatible debate.

    This is what protects consumers. By creating a commercial deed of sale for services rendered, with the appropriate rights under Fair Trading / BBB, to protect the consumer, everyone wins. If you analyse the Quantcast stats for Joomla prior to their GPL debate, as well as post-it, you will notice a distinct trend whereby Joomla consumers expect more and more services for less to no cost. This has been reflected in the work of third party development for Joomla 1.5.

    Take home message:

    If we head down the GPL-only/GPL-compatible route merely because the powers that be, such as Matt and OSM, tell us to, they are then encroaching on the protections we as creative web professionals afford to our clientele.

    It’s a simple choice..

  4. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Outstanding explanation Alister. I am not a developer or coder in any sense. But I am user of Brian’s ‘Revolution Theme’. I admit that I have made amateurish changes to its code for my own needs.

    What your post does is entice novices like myself to venture into the world of theme development. Not that I could do it.

    But your explanation of what is happening with respect to GPL and WordPress tells the very descriptive story of the strong devotion to the GPL principle Automattic is intent on supporting and advancing.

    I mean wow! It’s almost religious!

    I think we are all better off for it.

  5. Dave
    Posted 7 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    I cannot think of a case with a large commercial software vendor where this issue around GPL is a major one.

    You can charge a fee with the GPL. BUT, you must also provide source or provide source when asked.

    With LGPL, you do not have to provide source.

    If someone makes software application/service A that is under the GPL, then any extensions (i.e. anything that accesses or depends on A) is a derivative work.

    If you produce a theme with a php file that calls a WP defined function or directly access the wordpress defined database tables, it’s a derivative work — you have to share the source files if/when asked.

    BUT… So what?

    Themes come with source. You can charge for themes already under GPL.

    As Andy Beard mentioned, this isn’t the case of commercial binary libraries under GPL. There, the commercial company would have to provide sourcecode.

    Here’s the source code is wide open with the purchase of the theme as a byproduct of what a theme is.

    Can CSS files or images be protected under GPL?

    Is this really a practice consideration?

    They are wide open. Once you see a theme on the net you can directly access the CSS and any images that are visible on the website using the theme.

    It doesn’t matter if GPL accesses them or not in a practical sense since they can easily be used and you’d have to resort to copyright to protect them.

  6. Posted 7 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    Well … IMHO, “Free” is supposed to be free to redistribute. You can modify the code and sell it if you want, but you cannot sell the original code, in this case a whole pack of WordPress, including kubrick and classic theme.

  7. Posted 7 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    @Dave – I think you have some misunderstandings there!

    First, the source code and objects that are covered by the LGPL do have to be made available if this code is redistributed. Any proprietary code that links to the LGPL libraries does not have to be made available. It’s an important distinction.

    It’s not wise to present as “fact” something that has never been tested in court and which even lawyers cannot agree on. The simple fact is – nobody knows if WordPress themes would be deemed to be derivative or not. You may believe they are derivative but that does not make it either a fact or true.

    The argument that CSS and images are easily seen on web sites does not mean anyone can use them. Copyright exists on everything that is published, regardless of whether the author makes a statement to the effect or not. Suggesting that people can just go and help themselves to whatever they find on the Net is the same as saying that they can walk into a store and help themselves. Just because the goods are on display does not mean anyone has the right to just take them.

  8. Posted 7 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    A mis-mash of thoughts from me –

    I see on the “about page” for the themes they changed it to read
    “All themes are subject to review. Themes for sites that support non-GPL (or compatible) themes or violate the WordPress community guidelines themes will not be approved.”
    Which doesn’t have the word “premium” any more, I’ve noticed Matt avoiding using that word in an interview (premium indicates quality and I think he was trying to say for sale).

    A design is not a theme (someone said a design couldn’t be GPL’d) a theme is built around the design and the theme is GPL’d (the design is too but only as a side effect). Although, I think you could argue that your images are not-GPL or the CSS (if someone tried to then sell them).

    I’d swear before this I heard/read that since the themes needed to be GPL’d you could remove the links at the bottom and no one could legally complain. Even the people who state they are free GPL themes but state you can’t remove the credit without paying.

    I think they removed themes with credit links to domains with “wordpress” in them to.

    And I always thought if you SOLD GPL’d software you had to make the code available to everyone. I thought that was something people complained to TIVo about a few times (it’s Linux-based) but maybe it was just because you needed the source code (and they sold distributed compiled code). With WordPress the code is the source code.

    Automattic is mentioned a lot above in the post and the comments. Isn’t Automatic running WordPress.COM? These themes were pulled from WordPress.ORG, correct? So really we’re talking about Matt, not Automattic, right? Yes, Matt is at Automattic but…
    The fact that the removed themes that linked to sites with “wordpress” in the domain name seems more Automattic-ish than the rest of this.

    And just to clarify, since I haven’t said it. I see Matt’s and Alister’s points and mostly agree with them (and I’m putting ‘mostly’ at 96%) and will probably be swayed more…

    Gary

  9. Posted 7 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    @Gary

    “And I always thought if you SOLD GPL’d software you had to make the code available to everyone.”

    That’s correct. Offering a GPL creation online for sale is considered distribution, and distribution is what makes the difference in releasing of source code. Of course, offering GPL creations online for FREE is also considered distribution and falls under the same.

    “So really we’re talking about Matt, not Automattic, right? Yes, Matt is at Automattic but…”

    Exactly. Matt has mentioned many times that he wishes people would make the distinction more often. The WordPress GPL Software = Matt. WordPress.com free hosting of that software = Automattic.

    “The fact that the removed themes that linked to sites with “wordpress” in the domain name seems more Automattic-ish than the rest of this.”

    The removal of themes is really not so much an issue in my viewpoint. The theme directory or even the themes provided by WordPress.com are run as a convenience to users. In the end, it’s their website, and they can decide what themes will be allowed on it. If they don’t want ‘adult’ theme designs, designs built with tables, designs that link to sites they don’t want to link to .. it’s their call as much as it’s the decision of a forum moderator to delete or edit posts. People are free to decide what to allow on their own website.

  10. Posted 7 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    @Gary

    “And I always thought if you SOLD GPL’d software you had to make the code available to everyone.”
    @Nicole
    That’s correct.\n
    It’s not correct actually. If you sell software that is licensed under the GPL you need to make the source code available only to the people you have sold the software to. You do not have to make it available to everyone.

    Of course, they are free to redistribute it under the terms of the GPL if they wish, and the same thing applies to them.

  11. Posted 7 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    @Lynne (and all)

    From http://wordpress.org/about/gpl/
    “For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.”

    But in the legalese section it says:
    “Accompany it [code] with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give ANY THIRD PARTY, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code,”

    I was going to agree with Lynne about that part but not that I see the “any third party part”, I’m not sure.

    BUT since compiled code isn’t really the case here, we’re kinda off on a tangent. Sorry!

    Since we’re

  12. Posted 7 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    Alister, great piece.

    I am an enthusiastic supporter of open source and GPL because it gives everyone access to a dream they can realize through software.

    I subscribed to Justin Tadlock’s ThemeHybrid site in August 2008 because I supported his vision and will be joining Brian Gardner’s Revolution site soon.

    I like to use analogies when explaining technical concepts so here I will use puppies:

    Designers of WordPress themes are like people who raise show dogs.

    (Please note: all assumptions from what I know about the AKC, breeders, puppy mills, friends who raise and show dogs for confirmation or agility. My goal is not to offend but to illustrate)

    Many people who raise show dogs do so because they love dogs. Well known breeders show their dogs on “the circuit” in confirmation and agility classes. They make their money selling their dogs to other breeders and for stud. They do not make money selling puppies as pets or by winning ribbons at dog shows. Non show quality dogs go as pets and shows are to build up points and exposure for their breeding program.

    Most of their time is spent raising, training, breeding, networking, visiting the vet, planning and going to shows. Word of mouth is huge in this industry. Now if these people had to find other ways to generate revenue, what would they do? I will link the loss of Google advertising to “rescue” operations and puppy mills which potentially decrease the demand for their dogs.

    Some viable options here are “train the trainer”, workshops on confirmation/breeding, develop a tangible product to be used with dogs (food, supplement, toy), create an online community around their breed with affiliate products and the like. Just like the designers of WordPress themes, deliver supportive services as the true business model.

    Designers need to add to their toolbelt. It can be hard to develop and market yourself if that isn’t your gift. Many may feel like they’re missing the “web 2.0 revolution”. I hear about it from folks creating designs in Photoshop and then needing to “find” someone to “convert” it rather than internalize the skill of developing the them with php, html and css.

    There will always be “sharks” out there looking to exploit. Look at puppy mills. They raise dogs en mass in cramped, unhealthy conditions, sell dogs to pet shops who then charge outrageous prices for dogs that often have genetic defects (hip dysplasia which affect many large breeds like German Shepard’s can be screened for before dogs are bred), which does a disservice to the consumer who ends up with a sick puppy that must undergo expensive treatments or be “returned”.

    I applaud Matt for keeping things above the bar and in the true spirit of what’s best for the community. I think premium themes are great and generate positive interest for WordPress as a CMS platform.

  13. Posted 6 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    I think the common mistake people make is that it’s only the WordPress source code that is GPL’d. In other words, we’re selling and copyrighting the CSS files, and the custom Javascript files that are independent of the core files that are included with the basic WordPress install.

    So, for example, I create a theme and I intend it to be non-GPL and I intend to charge for it. I can slap any restrictions I like on the style.css file, and on the custom Javascript files I include with it. I would not be in violation of the GPL license. However, I have to make the functions.php and other PHP files that are necessary to make WordPress function properly (the core files) comply with the GPL license.

    So for the style.css and any other files that are not necessary to make WordPress function properly, I can forbid folks from redistributing and/or modifying.

    The other thing I was thinking about, I’ve arrived at the conclusion that clients can redistribute and modify freely (paid or free) the actual theme structure which would include the PHP files and maybe even the XHTML markup, but that would be without the CSS and the custom Javascript files.

  14. Posted 6 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    On the other handAllister Cameron wrote a very analytical post about this matterthat may help you understand the removal of these themes (definitely worth a read).

  15. Posted 5 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    I admire Matt Mullenweg, he is the founding developer of the popular open-source blogging software WordPress.

  16. Posted 5 years ago // Permalink

    The current model of selling two types of restrictive licenses is old and flawed.

  17. Posted 4 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    If you go to Ebay you’ll find people selling copies of Open Office on CD’s, and that’s legal. So you could sell themes. The theme authors could offer additional incentives to entice people to pay, CD’s, support, credit link removal, CSS color choices, images, and whatever else you can think of.

18 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, GPL, and why I think he really gets it. – A few theme designers — including yours truly — received an email from Matt Mullenweg, Automattic’s boss, yesterday. It read (in full and unedited)… […]

  2. […] (and spammy themes) from the repository and in response Alister Cameron wrote a post suggesting developers need to be more creative with business models while honouring the GPL (make sure you read the comments for clarification on […]

  3. […] There has been a quite lengthy conversation about this over on Alister’s blog. http://www.alistercameron.com/…..press-gpl/ […]

  4. […] Cameron did a thoughtful article (”Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, GPL and why I think he really gets it.“) on the issue with another follow-up by Jeff Chandler (“More Thoughts On Premium […]

  5. […] Το θέμα έχει πάρει τις ανάλογες διαστάσεις του, με “εξτρεμιστικές” αντιδράσεις τύπου “More Hypocrisy from Mullenweg and WordPress with new themes jihad” (!), αλλά και πιο μετριοπαθείς και πιο κοντά στην αλήθεια γνώμες : “Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, GPL and why I think he really gets it”. […]

  6. […] Ауу, и тия нещо съвсем са откачилиhttp://www.alistercameron.com/2008/12/14/matt-mullenweg-wordpress-gpl/ […]

  7. […] Well of course the paid theme market is still very alive and active, as it should be. I hope 2009 will introduce a new wave of creative business models for theme authors looking to make profits from their work. The current model of selling two types of restrictive (single, developer) licenses is old and flawed. There are plenty of ways to create a business model around WordPress themes and make a decent profit, all while honoring the GPL. You just have to get creative (modifications are mine): So here’s the plain and simple point of it all: your theme files are PHP and they are dependent on the WordPress codebase and have no existence outside of that dependency, so you can’t charge for restrict them. BUT… the creatively-minded entrepreneurs among us will not walk away just because of that. Instead, they will do what smart business-people always do: they will create value somewhere else. In Brian’s case, it is with support. For someone else, it will be theme customization. For someone else, it will be something I haven’t even thought of yet. But it WILL be valuable and it will be worth the money charged, and it WON’T contravene the letter or the spirit of the GPL. — Alister Cameron. […]

  8. Nerdstuff für einen erholsamen Sonntag: WordPress 2.8 Beta ist da!…

    Wer heute noch nichts vorhat, kann sich die Zeit mit Fehlersuche vertreiben: Die Beta-Version von WordPress 2.8 ist fertig zum Test.

    Was ist neu in WordPress 2.8?

    Ich fange mal mit dem Punkt an, der wohl für die meisten die “gute…

  9. […] Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, GPL and why I think he really gets it. […]

  10. […] Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, GPL and why I think he really gets it. By Alister […]

  11. […] Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, GPL and why I think he really gets it. […]

  12. […] Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, GPL and why I think he really gets it. […]

  13. […] 17, 2008 Yes.. afgelopen week is de aflevering hier voorbij gekomen. Reply | Share | Tweet Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, GPL and why I think he really gets it.Dec 14, 2008 Thanks for taking the time and effort to share your thoughts on this matter. Very […]

  14. […] has been considerable debate recently over the merits of GPL licensing of WordPress themes, and WordPress’ founder, Matt Mullenweg, has weighed in with total support for […]

  15. […] been raging for quite some time now. In fact, it was back in 2008 that Alister Cameron wrote his very detailed post on this very subject. In fact, since then, the majority of leading premium wordpress theme shops […]

  16. […] more here: Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, GPL and why I think he really gets it. Tags: […]

  17. […] has been a subject of debate and discussion in the WordPress community before, but it reared its head again in a big way recently when Pearson and Mullenweg were brought […]

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