[theme-reviewers] GPL and limiting usage

Trent Lapinski trent at cyberchimps.com
Fri Sep 20 18:55:29 UTC 2013

I've just been watching this so far, and I have to admit I'm getting confused as well.

Are subscription based themes and plugins that limit usage if the user stops paying allowed on .org?

If no, then the theme shouldn't be allowed on .org until they change their pricing model.

If yes, can someone please explain how this is GPL compatible?

This answer will have a drastic effect on all upsell themes and pricing models for theme shops. We need a clear yes or no answer with a defined explanation. 

This isn't an us vs. them situation. This is simply a "is this allowed?" and so far not a single admin or .org representative seems to have an answer. 

Can we please get a clarification so we can put this issue to rest once and for all?

--Trent Lapinski
CEO of CyberChimps
Sent from my iPad

> On Sep 20, 2013, at 11:08 AM, Bryan Hadaway <bhadaway at gmail.com> wrote:
> @Otto
> Just because you disagree with me does not make the issues I'm raising a rant and it's not fair for you to be dismissive in that manner. Also, I'm not concerned that this discussion is being ignored. I wasn't even the one who started this discussion so clearly others have the same concerns. Furthermore, are you even reading my responses? They're very concise and backed up with facts, links, quotes etc.
> The GPL is not just about code and never has been, that's only part of it. I think it more importantly has to do with usage rights and specifically to the point, our roles of protecting the users of this community, hence additional WP policies and guidelines.
> 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/
> You already made your point that "Well, marketing language is one thing and the fine print is another..." (paraphrasing of course) and I already agreed that is a good point generally, but doesn't apply here as the theme developer has already clarified that it's not a support limit, but a usage one.
> I couldn't be more calm, clear and concise in my communications. Nothing I've said has been frantic or hyperbole in the least.
> 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?
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