who let the dogs out?

Weird thing happened just now; I couldn’t access the dashboard and kept getting bounced back to the login form. So I tried switching browsers and it told me my password was incorrect, even though it wasn’t. Changing my password got me in. I don’t know whether it’s hackers responsible or pissed-off developers, but whatever, if it’s going to be a regular occurrence I’ll just have to head back to lj.

What I was going to do is wonder out loud whether the lawyers have been set on wordpress-themes.net yet, since not ONLY do they have the impertinence to use the term ‘wordpress’ in relation to a site dedicated to… um, wordpress, they ALSO release their stuff under a CC Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works licence, which is GPL-incompatible in so many ways I can’t actually be bothered to enumerate them (though I may consider doing so on payment of a hefty fee). Developers have repeatedly said that non-GPL themes are illegal, let alone plugins.

(However, most of the pages seem to be 404, so maybe they got hammered already.)

5 Comments »

  1. GPL themes are a grey area. I would argue that the template files themselves (which use WordPress functions and cannot operate without WordPress) must be GPL, but CSS has nothing to do with WordPress and could be used without WordPress, so they should be able to license that however they like.

    There are actually some cases where I think a WordPress plugin could fall outside the GPL… but it would basically just be PHP code without specific WordPress integration. But once it uses add_action() and starts integrating itself with WordPress and using WordPress functions, it would need to be GPL.

  2. wank said

    I would argue that the template files themselves (which use WordPress functions and cannot basically operate without WordPress) must be GPL, but CSS has nothing to do with WordPress and could be used without WordPress, so they should be able to license that however they like.

    Yeah, that’s what Ryan was saying. Doesn’t the generic nature of XHTML interfere with that a bit, though, in that this code doesn’t rely on wordpress? You could convert a wordpress theme to MT, or Textpattern, or Typo, and visitors would be seeing exactly the same thing. And you could convert an NC-CC template from Blogger… well, no, actually, the original designer would probably have issues with you taking their template and making it GPL so would probably deny you permission. Unless they explicitly allowed derivative works. Jesus, that situation would be so messy I don’t even want to go there. The point is that designers are unlikely to accept that substituting wordpress function calls for Blogger tags makes the resultant template an entirely new work.

    Conveniently for WordPress, most template designers aren’t terribly well-informed about licensing issues, and will blithely label something GPL even while specifying that it’s linkware. This is wrong and should be publicised as such, but if it was I imagine the number of themes being developed would plummet. (Personally, I think there are enough themes knocking around already for that not to be a major problem.)

  3. Firas said

    But once it uses add_action() and starts integrating itself with WordPress and using WordPress functions, it would need to be GPL.

    No. Only once it starts using them to the extent that it falls under a copyright infringement claim does it have to be GPL, and even then the only provable way would be an under a lawsuit.

    add_action is an API! The WP devs can’t have their cake and eat it too. Imagine the linux guys saying anything that uses the OS API has to be GPL’ed.

    This GPL-compat nonsense really makes me fly off the handle.

  4. shorty114 said

    Also, the wordpress-themes.com site seems to be using the WordPress “W” logo in its banner (not sure if this is a registered trademark or anything)… just pointing this out.

  5. wank said

    If you have a problem with them taking your name in vain you’d sure as hell have one with them using your logo, for which you may or may not have paid money. (I would hope not, given the ugliness of said brand identity, but designers are notoriously less willing to work for free than coders).

    I expect lawyers charge extra for letters in Italian, but you wouldn’t think that’d be an issue now the VCs are on board😉

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