[theme-reviewers] GPL and limiting usage

Trent Lapinski trent at cyberchimps.com
Fri Sep 20 19:17:28 UTC 2013

According to PageLines if you stop paying you lose all Pro functionality and are reverted back to a read-only version of your website.

If subscription based themes and plugins are not allowed then how can PageLines charge three different subscription prices for the exact same "add-on" code based on usage limitations?

You simply cannot purchase their Pro version once and take the code and do whatever you want with it. You will get locked out of Pro features that you paid for if you stop their subscription or go past their limitations.

They are essentially leasing their themes, not selling them. It's by far the most drastic case of theme-lock I am aware of, and seems to be counterintuitive to everything I have ever been told about the GPL. I'm not a lawyer so if this is the case then so be it, it just sounds wrong to me to charge 3 prices for the same code and to lock users in with no choice to just buy the product outright.

Technically PageLines is even limiting usage for paying customers as to how many websites they can launch charging upwards of $288 a year for unlimited usage. It is $192 a year just to launch 6 websites, and $96 for a single site for the same code.

If CyberChimps were to adopt an identical payment system and pricing structure limiting usage and forcing users to pay a subscription fee or their sites will be reverted back to the free version you're telling me were free to do so? As is any other theme developer on .org?

--Trent Lapinski
CEO of CyberChimps
Sent from my iPad

> On Sep 20, 2013, at 11:57 AM, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 1:55 PM, Trent Lapinski <trent at cyberchimps.com> wrote:
>> Are subscription based themes and plugins that limit usage if the user stops
>> paying allowed on .org?
> No, they are not.
>> If no, then the theme shouldn't be allowed on .org until they change their
>> pricing model.
> The problem is that their theme no longer does this. Their pricing
> model for another add-on piece of code they are selling is irrelevant
> to the theme.
>> 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?
> I have already answered this, multiple times, in multiple ways. What
> answer are you looking for that will satisfy you? How can I better
> explain this? Tell me, please, because it's as clear as day to me.
> -Otto
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