out of control

Oh my god it’s widgets gone mad! (via WTC) And let run wild under an attribution-non-commercial CC licence, at that.

Somebody give me an argument for this being legal, please? I’ve got a basketful of reasons why it isn’t and I’m in the mood for another abstruse GPL debate.

5 Comments »

  1. Alan said

    From what it says, it was coded from the ground up by the developers, so I don’t see how their choice of licensing affects anything (if they’d used Widgets it’d be different). Unless of course it’s the whole ‘everything WordPress must be GPL’ thing, but I support plugin/theme/whatever authors who decided to release under non-commercial licenses.

    The Spam Karma guy put his thinking best with “I’m not making money off this, so neither should you”, and I think a lot of people feel that way, heh.

  2. wank said

    Well, I can’t find any mention of this project predating the release of widgets and the modules look spookily like them (only green). I’m not sure why anyone would rewrite widgets from scratch when the code’s already out there, but maybe they thought it would be more fun that way. Either way, it won’t work without wordpress, so if you’re taking the hard line the devs traditionally have on this, it needs to be GPL because it relies upon GPL code. Even if you’re taking a softer line, the interface is so very widgety that you could probably claim ‘copyright infringement’.

    I have total sympathy with those who don’t want their work exploited for commercial purposes; but unfortunately ‘open source’ means open to everyone, even sploggers. To be honest, if I can’t apply a non-GPL licence to my themes without being excluded from contests and repositories I don’t see why non-GPL plugins should be advertised in the dashboard. If there’s going to be rules they should apply equally to everyone.

  3. canvas has been in the works for a looooooong time (pre-kiwi IIRC), and this is a long way from being the only non-gpl thing in your dashboard. if we’re going to go down that road, then i think we should be banning ad-related announcements, and, for godsakes, gmail support questions.

    weblogtoolscollection is a free-for-all. and there are for-pay themes linked from the codex, so i don’t think matt + co. intend to exclude profitable enterprises from running on wordpress.

  4. wank said

    I know the codex is supposed to be official, but in practice the developers don’t have the time or inclination to oversee everything that goes into it. And yes, WTC cites everything going, but Mark ain’t a developer and his linking of something shouldn’t imply official WP approval (but it does, since he’s syndicated in the dashboard).

    Of course Matt + co. don’t want to exclude profitable enterprises from running on wordpress… but these people want to exclude profitable enterprises from running on Canvas. And they’re not legally entitled to do that.

  5. as long as they’re not redistributing wordpress code, they’re entitled to copyright it if they want to. they can charge $1G a pop to license it. making it NFP is the least of the bad things they could do.

    even if they are distributing wordpress code, they only have to distribute (and allow commercial use of) the modified files. anything new they’ve writtten on top, they can do with as they please.

    caveat: i don’t know what they’re distributing.

    case-in-point: symantec security products contain GPL code, but they are certainly not free. or open source.

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