[theme-reviewers] GPL and limiting usage

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Wed Oct 9 21:53:25 UTC 2013

With GravityForms, the payment is for *support*. The code is purchased once
and distributed, and can be used forever, as-purchased.

With DMS Pro Plugin, the payment is for *use*. The code - still entirely
distributed once, is crippled via API if a subscription payment is not

Apples. Oranges.

On Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 5:45 PM, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 4:39 PM, Bryan Hadaway <bhadaway at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Man, full stop. Please go back and read the questions and GNU responses.
> > There is 0% paraphrasing there and 100% character for character exact
> quotes
> > wrapped in "" from the GNU email response. It's very clear.
> Yes, it is, and yet you're STILL misreading it... Why is that, do you
> think?
> The bottom line here is that you're interpreting any sort of
> "restrictions" in the marketing as being a licensing restriction. Even
> the parts of GNU's responses that Trent quoted argue that this is not
> necessarily a valid point.
> Let's take a simple example that everybody should be able to agree on.
> Gravity Forms. Most of us have used it, or paid for it in some way.
> It's good stuff.
> Gravity Form is 100% GPL code. Says so right here:
> http://www.gravityforms.com/terms-and-conditions/
> Now, they also have a pricing structure, here:
> http://www.gravityforms.com/purchase-gravity-forms/
> Look at the GNU Response Trent posted:
> "Sometimes, however, companies offering service/support will word
> their plans in such a way that it appears that you are limited, when
> in fact, it is only that their service/support is limited to a certain
> number of installs. For example, they could offer hosted GPLed
> software and the limit is actually on the number of hosted instances."
> Did you miss that part? Because that part is really key here.
> Additionally,
> "Again, however, sometimes companies can be misleading about what is
> restricted. ...  Determining whether a violation is occurring requires
> looking at the actual facts involved in the case."
> So, I must once again ask this question: What exactly is the
> "violation" as you see it here? Because a company charging an ongoing
> fee for service/support/upgrades is clearly not a violation. And if
> your *only* beef is that they are releasing code which checks to see
> if a user has paid for service and support on an ongoing basis, then
> your argument, as I see it, is fairly thin.
> Yes, we do not allow that sort of "checking" code in the directory,
> but that is a restriction we make *for the directory*, above and
> beyond the GPL. It's perfectly possible to release such code under the
> GPL. It's possible to release *any* code under the GPL.
> -Otto
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