karma chameleon

wp-hackers angst about some company repackaging WP and selling it on without explicitly stating what it is.

Whatever the morals of this, the code itself remains open-source by virtue of being PHP and, you know, editable in Notepad; so as long as they keep some form of credit tucked away in a random text file nobody ever reads, you can’t touch them. It’s GPL, you have no rights. The developers are fine with this (who needs intellectual property when you have venture capital?) so I’m not sure why anyone else needs to worry about it.

8 Comments »

  1. Alan said

    It’s all mastabatory. GPL lets them sell the product, and the supposed GPL-by-association with plugins lets them bundle the plugins. End story. lol

  2. seriously. it’s impressive how few people actually understand the GPL.
    back to your own misgivings about the GPL, did you ever get around to checking out canvas, now that it’s downloadable? it seems to just be a plugin, i don’t see any modified core files.

  3. GPL misunderstanding is all too common. It’s not about Communism. It’s about freedom. Yeah, including the freedom to make a profit. Really, most GPL software that is sold isn’t about the software… it’s about the services and the support that back it up.

  4. wank said

    My primary issue with Canvas is that it looks like it’s based off the widgets code. I don’t think you can extend a GPL plugin and then re-release it under a non-GPL-compatible licence. If they actually have rewritten widgets from scratch (and, again, I don’t think that approach would make any sense — why rewrite code that’s already there?) it’s open to argument whether it needs to be GPL because it relies on WP code. Several people think it doesn’t, but the developers persist in saying that it does.

    It doesn’t look to me like Chameleon is violating any licence requirements at all, so if companies are stupid enough to pay them $6800 good luck to them.

  5. drmike said

    Dang, I can’t even read the Chameleon website. White text on neon red? Yuck.

    Heck, I make money using WordPress.

    And PHPNuke
    And Gallery
    And MySQL
    And Horde
    And SquirrelMail
    And AWStats
    And all of the other GPL softwares I use.

    I don’t charge $6800 for them though. 🙂

    Best thing to do is find places that are using the Chameleon package and point out to them how they’ve been ripped off. I bet you’ll get a few lawsuits.🙂

  6. drmike said

    Bump: Feel free to delete.🙂

  7. wank said

    Did you see Matt’s snide reply to their head honcho on wp-hackers today? About how everyone’s looking forward to seeing the plugins the guy didn’t say he had any intentions of releasing? That made me smile.

  8. drmike said

    I see them more as a Content provider. As I understand it, the folks behind Chameleon are doing the custom themes, the layout work, writing the site, etc.

    Of course, even I wouldn’t be charging $6,800 for that.🙂

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