[theme-reviewers] GPL and limiting usage

Otto otto at ottodestruct.com
Fri Sep 20 18:44:55 UTC 2013

On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 1:08 PM, Bryan Hadaway <bhadaway at gmail.com> wrote:
> No, I haven't reviewed the new ticket theme code nor will I nor should I, as
> I don't need to, that's completely irrelevant. The only proof needed is
> right here:
> http://www.pagelines.com/pricing/

If you're not actually reviewing the theme, then you should not be
posting in the ticket. And that is why you were asked to stop.

> You say that I need to be more clear and backup what I'm saying, well if you
> disagree with me, I invite you to do the same. If you disagree with me,
> here's what you're saying:
> 1. Under the GPL, we're allowed to sell themes, but restrict how many
> websites our customers are allowed to use those themes on.
> 2. Under WP policy, if we submit plugins or themes, we're not required to
> keep all our WordPress works GPL compatible.
> Is that what you're saying? And if not, I'm completely failing to understand
> what you mean. Instead of just disagreeing with me, do you have a rebuttal?

Both of those are completely false, and no I do not agree with them.
However, they are also not the anti-thesis to your own statements.

1. You cannot restrict usage of GPL'd code, period. However, their
pricing page does not say that it limits usage in any way, and your
continual assertions to the contrary are incorrect, no matter how much
you think otherwise.

2. The current policy is spelled out very clearly in the review
guidelines. I do not understand what part of it you are having trouble
with precisely, so I'll just refer you to that:

To the rest of your argument: *It is perfectly acceptable to sell
GPL'd code, and to place limitations on how you support and maintain
that code.* You can sell upgrades. You can sell support. You can sell
your time, your forums, your other products... whatever you want. And
if you want to price your sales based on the number of sites that the
upgrades will be used on, that's perfectly legitimate. WordPress.org
is not attempting to limit what you sell.

*OUR* concerns are a) the code in our repositories must be free (in
every sense) and b) the up-sell code must adhering to the WordPress
license. Nowhere has anybody ever said that you have to give things
away for free on your own site, and nowhere in the GPL does it state
that you have to support anybody for any reasons whatsoever.

Also, you can keep repeating the phrase "usage restriction" until you
are blue in the face, but that does not make it true. Is there any
usage restriction *in the code presently under review*? If not, then
please, stop claiming otherwise.


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