[theme-reviewers] GPL and limiting usage

Otto otto at ottodestruct.com
Tue Sep 17 21:48:19 UTC 2013

On Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 4:22 PM, Bryan Hadaway <bhadaway at gmail.com> wrote:
> Andrew admits that it's an actual usage limitation, NOT a support
> limitation. Further, there's discussion of what happens if someone stops
> paying their monthly fees, and what happens is that "pro" features are
> disabled.
> https://themes.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/14116#comment:15

Missed this in your reply... You may also notice that two comments
later that I'm the one who pointed out that that wasn't cool. So yes,
I'm well aware of the issues with DMS. :)

But that isn't what I was talking about in this thread. In the more
*general* sense, I am addressing the more *general* statement that
people sometimes make with regards to these sort of sales-pitch pages
that many theme shops have. Just because some pricing page says "X
websites" on it does not immediately make that a usage restriction,
and it does not immediately disqualify them from a) being on the
commercial page and b) being really, truly, 100% GPL.

I get reports like these all the time. Somebody being a bit too
pro-active about GPL and enforcement and saying to me "hey, why does
theme-company-X say you can use their themes on only one website?" and
then getting all annoyed and frantic about it for no reason. Usually
these are theme developers too, often using the "but they can do it,
why can't we" defense...

Yes, you cannot restrict usage and remain GPL-Compatible. But you have
to look at what is being sold too. That's all I'm saying. Big flashy
marketing crap doesn't tell you the truth about the matter, and
sometimes you have to dig deeper before accusing somebody of breaking
the license or doing-bad-things. No reason to point fingers when
they're doing the right thing and just labeling it wrong. It's much
nicer to point out the misleading label and say "hey, that might could
be worded better, ya think?" More flies with honey, etc.


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