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Marco Tabini's Blog:
WordPress, the GPL and cherries on top
July 16, 2010 @ 13:58:44

In case you've missed the latest happenings in the WordPress community, Marco Tabini is here to catch you up. The issue? Licensing of themes for WordPress.

The WordPress community is abuzz with news that the WP Foundation has essentially gone to war with the makers of the Thesis WP theme. The substance of the argument, as I understand it, is that the makers of WordPress claim that themes, since they rely on WP's GPL'ed code to run, must be covered by the GPL as well because they are derivative works. Thesis, on the other hand, is distributed under a commercial license, therefore violating this tenet.

Marco talks about all of the legal implications of the issue and some of the stances each side has taken - WordPress saying that since the code has a foundation on it, it must be covered and the themers saying that's ridiculous. As Marco points out, however, is that the opinions of non-legal professionals doesn't really matter. What matters is what would hold up if this issue were ever pressed into a legal arena. He even includes some suggestions he wishes the WPF would take to heart including to just back off.

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