[theme-reviewers] GPL and limiting usage

Bryan Hadaway bhadaway at gmail.com
Tue Sep 17 18:35:08 UTC 2013

Actually, *this is* an issue for the WPTRT in general. Specifically, no we
have no control over http://wordpress.org/themes/commercial/ as theme
reviewers, though this list is often used to discuss commercial theme
matters. It was even the case that a WP employee brought a discussion about
the commercial page to us because it really is the most appropriate place
to discuss, so even in that regard I think it's fair.

However, regardless of that, this issue does very specifically involve us
anyways. According to WP policy completely aside from the commercial page
issue, any free theme accepted into the repo, if it has a pro counterpart,
it also must be fully, 100% GPL, not part GPL, part proprietary code. *That's
not allowed*, full stop.

Just because a theme shop says something is GPL does not make it so.

It's interesting that you use http://www.pagelines.com/pricing/ as an
example, because this is a good example of a pro version of a theme that is
not GPL compatible, regardless of what is stated.

It's an important precedent that needs discussing. Continuing with your
example, see the following ticket:


This theme cannot be accepted as the pro theme is not GPL as it's
restricting usage. @Otto's point would not apply here because the
limitation has nothing to do with the number of sites that are allotted
customer support, it's made clear (in an earlier ticket
https://themes.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/14116) that it's actually a
license restriction to how many websites the customer is allowed to use the
theme on, which directly contradicts the GPL and is illegal.

For any of you that also develop themes, you can relate, we've had to jump
through many many hoops to stay compatible, not just with the GPL, but also
WP policies. We need to be very careful to not begin making exceptions that
are blatantly in violation of the rules that also involves taking advantage
of users with crooked licensing/membership schemes as then the whole system
falls apart.

We all must play by the same rules.
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