[theme-reviewers] Proper Copyright/License Attribution in style.css

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Tue Feb 11 19:17:32 UTC 2014

The key is to *maintain* proper attribution, which requires the original
work to *provide* proper attribution (something I've bugged the Automattic
and core dev folks about quite a bit *grin*).

1) If a Theme is a derivative of another Theme, whether Underscores, or
Twenty {X}, or anything else, per the license of that work, retention of
the original-work copyright is *required*. That's just basic copyright

2) Bare minimum:

XYZ WordPress Theme, copyright 2014 Mr. Awesome
XYZ is distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL

XYZ is derived from _S (Underscores) WordPress Theme, copyright 2013,
Automattic, Inc.
Underscores is distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL.

3) Yes, it would. "Ported over" is dead-giveaway terminology that code
derivation has taken place. Feel free to help me bug the Automattic and
core dev folks about proper copyright attribution. :)

On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 2:06 PM, Philip Arthur Moore
<philip at pressbuild.com>wrote:

> Chip,
> Can you give me some insight into this?
> Thanks.
> On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 3:47 PM, Philip Arthur Moore <philip at pressbuild.com
> > wrote:
>> I've been mulling over a commit<https://github.com/Automattic/_s/commit/5c3689cd67511c27ce58051805819ec5ce019863#diff-da232d78aa810382f2dcdceae308ff8e>I made to _s close to a year ago that included proper copyright and license
>> attribution in style.css.
>> If I recall correctly--I'm getting old so memory is fading!--a big reason
>> for this change was to make it easier<https://github.com/Automattic/_s/issues/10>for the Theme Review Team to enforce proper copyright/license attribution
>> for derivative works in Extend; I believe it was also done so that _s
>> stayed in line with GNU-recommended copyright/license attribution.
>> I have some questions, though:
>>    1. If a theme is built off of _s and submitted to Extend does the
>>    Theme Review Team require a notice to be put on its stylesheet that it's a
>>    derivative work of _s? If so, how would this look? (i.e. "Child Theme,
>>    Copyright 2014 Company Name, distributed under the terms of the GNU General
>>    Public License v2 or later, based on Underscores (Copyright 2012-2014
>>    Automattic, Inc.))
>>    2. Along the lines of the first question, what are the bare minimum
>>    requirements for style.css license declarations for Extend with regard to
>>    derivative works and/or child themes?
>>    3. I just read Obenland's post on Twenty Fifteen<http://konstantin.obenland.it/2013/12/19/twenty-fifteen/>again (he's awesome) and he wrote that Twenty Ten was ported over from
>>    Kirby, Twenty Eleven was ported over from Duster, and Twenty Fourteen was
>>    ported over from Further, which was developed using _s and an Automattic
>>    premium theme before being released to Core for inclusion. Wouldn't this
>>    require that Twenty Fourteen have a notice in it that it's based on _s and
>>    mention the Automattic copyright?
>> Can one of you fine folks shed some light on this for me?
>> Thank you.
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