[theme-reviewers] GPL and limiting usage

Ünsal Korkmaz unsalkorkmaz at gmail.com
Fri Sep 20 21:01:17 UTC 2013

I am not expert on GPL but if i cant use a code in WordPress Multisite
because of a license or code restriction (not talking about multisite
compatible), its not GPL in my eyes.. even author can say its gpl code..

*preserve, protect and promote the freedom to use, study, copy, modify, and
redistribute computer software, and to defend the rights of Free Software
users. *from http://www.gnu.org/

And yes, we cant use this theme/plugin/whatever in multisite if not
developer licensed: http://www.pagelines.com/pricing/

On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:49 PM, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 3:38 PM, Trent Lapinski <trent at cyberchimps.com>
> wrote:
> >> If the copyright holder says that the terms are GPL, then the terms
> >> are GPL. Period. No magic coding trickery can make it "incompatible"
> >> with those terms.
> >
> > Just because you claim something is GPL does not make it true.
> If you are the copyright holder, because you *wrote the damn thing*,
> then it absolutely does make it true. Every single time, without fail.
> Only the copyright holder has the power to license the work. That's
> the whole point of copyright.
> > There are plenty of people who release code under the GPL and violate
> the terms, and there have been several lawsuits on this matter.
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-violation.html
> >
> > The GPL is not the same as copyright, there is no inherent law granting
> you the right. If you release something under the GPL that is not GPL
> compatible, it is a GPL violation and you lose the privilege to claim your
> code is GPL compatible.
> This is so wrong that I honestly don't know where to start.
> Time for quick copyright school lessons:
> - The creator of a work gets the copyright to that work. This gives
> them all the rights to it. Nobody else has any rights to it at all.
> - The copyright holder can give those rights to others. They can do it
> freely, or make it subject to conditions. The conditions are called
> the "license".
> - The GPL is a license like any other. It is the contract by which the
> copyright holder gives you, the person with no rights, the ability to
> exercise those rights from the copyright holder.
> - The copyright holder cannot violate their own license. The very
> notion of this fundamentally misunderstands how licenses work. The
> license applies to you and everybody else. Not to them.
> > If you look at the violations page, one of the questions to determine if
> there is a violation is: "Is the available source code complete, or is it
> designed for linking in other non-free modules?"
> >
> > This is exactly what we're discussing.
> Violations can only occur to licensees. Not to the licensor.
> > PageLines is releasing a supposedly GPL compatible theme linking to a
> plugin that forces users to pay a subscription validated through the use of
> a priority API to use supposedly GPL compatible code. This is a violation
> of the GPL and renders both the theme and plugin as non-compatible with the
> GPL, and WPORG policy.
> This has no bearing on the GPL in any way whatsoever. The theme/plugin
> are licensed under the GPL because *their author says so*. That's the
> end of it, really.
> Whether it violates policy or not is a fair debate. I say it does not.
> > When it comes to policy on .org, the question is do we allow themes or
> plugins to upsell priority non-GPL themes and plugins? The answer as I
> understood it was a resounding no. You yourself said this is not allowed,
> so I'm not sure why you're claiming this situation is different then what
> it is.
> The issue isn't about "non-GPL". If they say it's GPL, then I accept
> that, and it's GPL. Done.
> >> Now, the review requirements go far beyond GPL, and that's fair
> >> enough. But there is no real case where you would ever need to "modify
> >> a pro theme heavily" to be GPL-Compatible. Whoever told you that this
> >> was the reason was mistaken.
> >
> > Actually they weren't wrong. This has been WPORG policy for over 3 years
> now as Chip mentioned.
> If the theme review team has been incorrectly interpreting the GPL and
> using it in a mistaken way, then I'm very saddened by that, and I
> offer my assistance to correct and educate the team in any way that I
> can.
> -Otto
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