[theme-reviewers] GPL and limiting usage

Otto otto at ottodestruct.com
Fri Sep 20 21:42:28 UTC 2013

> Copyright is by law and guarantees ownership.

No, sorry, but again this misunderstands the nature of copyright.

Copyright is not ownership. You cannot "own" things that do not exist.
Words arranged in an order make a novel. But you cannot own the words,
just the physical copy of the novel. You can only exert control over
the words in that order.

Copyright is the right given to the creator of a work, under law, to
exercise exclusive control over that work.

> If you release the code under a 3rd party license like the GPL, and you
> violate the terms of that license

You cannot violate the terms of your own license. The license is a
contract between you, the copyright holder, and somebody else who is
not the copyright holder. The license is the terms *you set* on other
people. You cannot set terms on yourself.

> In this case we are debating a 3rd party license that must be adhered to for
> inclusion on WordPress.org. What the copyright owner does with their code is
> up to them, but claiming something is GPL when it violates the terms of the
> GPL is still a violation of the GPL regardless of the copyright owners
> claims.

Code cannot violate a license. Code is not a thinking entity that can
enter into a contract.

Only human beings can enter into contracts. Only human beings can
accept or reject terms of a license. Only human beings can violate a


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