[wp-trac] [WordPress Trac] #15769: Hello Dolly plugin doesn't explain license of copyrighted lyrics

WordPress Trac wp-trac at lists.automattic.com
Wed Dec 15 14:44:07 UTC 2010

#15769: Hello Dolly plugin doesn't explain license of copyrighted lyrics
 Reporter:  novasource    |       Owner:
     Type:  defect (bug)  |      Status:  reopened
 Priority:  normal        |   Milestone:  Awaiting Review
Component:  Plugins       |     Version:  3.0.2
 Severity:  major         |  Resolution:
 Keywords:  2nd-opinion   |

Comment (by novasource):

 You can replace the Lyrics with any other Lyric or Text, and the plugins
 purpose remains the same, to educate new developers on how to hook into
 WordPress, Style their output, and for the new to PHP, how to handle &
 shuffle arrays to start with.

 So perhaps acceptable resolution to this issue is for the WordPress
 Foundation to license the Hello, Dolly! lyrics or replace with text with a
 permissible license? That wouldn't harm the plugin's alleged educational

   Of course, The Example plugin can be used for inspirational purposes as

 "inspirational" is not a valid reason for fair use. :-)

   Everything has a primary purpose to which it was designed to do over all
 others, and in this case, It's a Demo Plugin.

 Then why is that nowhere in the Plugin's source code? The plugin's
 description is: '''This is not just a plugin, it symbolizes the hope and
 enthusiasm of an entire generation summed up in two words sung most
 famously by Louis Armstrong: Hello, Dolly. When activated you will
 randomly see a lyric from Hello, Dolly in the upper right of your admin
 screen on every page.''' Same for http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins

 Ergo, not even educational ''intent''. The ''appearance'' is the plugin
 author has some emotional connection to the song and wanted to share that
 with all WordPress users. But that even is irrelevant to the crux of this
 bug report because that does not qualify something for fair use.

   Can someone please ask the author of the hello dolly plugin if it is
 distributed under GPL or not?

 Irrelevant. Nonprofit/non-commercial does not entitle one to disregard
 copyright law. Nonprofit/non-commercial is just a way to clarify
 legitimate educational use. Without clarifying educational use, nonprofit
 /non-commercial is irrelevant.

 The use of Hello, Dolly! lyrics is not educational because, as per prior
 comments, A. nothing about Hello, Dolly! is being taught or commented on
 and B. the alleged educational purpose of the module would not be affected
 if the lyrics were replaced with text with permissible licensing.

Ticket URL: <http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/15769#comment:16>
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