[theme-reviewers] GPL and limiting usage

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Fri Sep 20 19:26:23 UTC 2013

If the 1-, 6-, unlimited-site breakdown represents *usage*, of code
contained entirely in the distributed Plugin, then that is a
GPL-incompatible usage restriction. If it represents support, then it is
not GPL-incompatible.

The primary question at this point is: does existing policy apply to all
WordPress-extension code (Themes *and* Plugins), or merely to Themes, on
what I would consider to be a technicality. IMHO, it's simple: either WPORG
policy requires anyone who hosts code on WPORG to distribute their
WordPress-extending code GPL-compatibly, or not.

On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 3:16 PM, Bryan Hadaway <bhadaway at gmail.com> wrote:

> *@Dude* - I want you to not dismiss legitimate issues regardless of where
> they come from. Also, do you really want to have this discussion? Besides
> both Ulrich and I being theme reviewers, we're both privy to the ticket and
> its issues because *you* participated in a discussion with Ulrich and I
> where *you* made us aware of the ticket in the first place.
> "*@Dane/Towfiq sorry guys, just another ruined day for us too, but hey
> it's Friday!*"
> I'm tired of this dismissive/passive aggressive nonsense. Because you and
> some of the other admins either don't agree, don't like, or are not
> comfortable with things other people in this list are discussing does not
> render them moot. It seems apparent that @Dane was starting to see some
> legitimate concern/confusion here too.
> *@Otto* - Man, I don't know what to say, it's like you're responding to
> someone else who's saying different things. I'm sorry, your responses don't
> make sense in response to what I'm saying. It's sort of like I'm asking you
> "Is the sky blue?" and your response is "No, the grass is green."
> "*But what the GPL does not say is that there must be additional
> assistance provided by other people to make that code useful.*"
> *I agree with you Otto.
> I agree with you Otto.
> I agree with you Otto.*
> That has never been the discussion, no one has ever said that.
> The distinction that the 1, 6 and unlimited sites restriction being a
> usage limitation and nothing to do with support has already been clarified.
> This isn't a guess, speculation, accusation or something that I completely
> made up. This is a clarification that came directly from the horses mouth:
> https://themes.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/14116#comment:14
> *Chip* - "*In particular, can you clarify what "1 website", "6 websites",
> and "unlimited websites" mean. Is that use, or support/updates? If that is
> limiting use, then that's not GPL-compatible.*"
> https://themes.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/14116#comment:15
> *Andrew* - "*The Keys that the clients get when they purchase can be used
> to unlock 'pro' mode on a set number of websites, either 1, 6 or unlimited.
> *
> * Limiting use, as far as functionality, does not break GPL. Limiting use
> of the code however, does. this is a very important distinction. Users can,
> if they want, edit the code and remove all the key functionality and enable
> pro through editing code.*"
> *@Chip* - Thank goodness! The voice of reason! Thank you for responding
> on the subscription issue, could you please also comment on the 1, 6, and
> unlimited sites usage restriction issue?
> Thanks
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