#thesiswp And My Code

I’m not going to post my opinions on why WordPress theme PHP files are required to be licensed under the GPL as many, many, many, people have done a much better job at it then I could ever do.

However I felt I had to write a blog post to point out something: I wrote some of the code that is currently being used in Thesis 1 2 and I contributed it to the WordPress project under the GPL license. I overhauled a lot of the paged comments code originally contributed by Ryan Boren and others and added new functionality such as what comment page is shown by default or the sorting order of the comments themselves. It’s some of that code that I wrote that is currently in use inside of Thesis’ thesis_list_comments() function and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more of my code elsewhere in the theme.

So not only is Thesis violating the GPL license, it is violating my copyright as I own all code that I have contributed to WordPress. 3

Just a little food for thought.

Please keep your comments civil.

Notes:

  1. An analysis of GPL’ed code in Thesis by Drew Blas
  2. Changeset 9317 is one small example of the code I wrote that’s in use by Thesis
  3. Comment by Mark Jaquith on his own blog

9 thoughts on “#thesiswp And My Code

  1. I think this is a better argument really. However the people behind Thesis have stated elsewhere that the offending code is going to be removed and similar functionality written to replace it.

    I think also what people miss is Chris’s argument that he wants his code to be licensed under something else and rejects the idea and debate that his code has to be GPL. He wants his code to be something other than GPL, which is within his right. However, most other licenses that are compatible with the GPL are very liberal and offer even less protection.

    • However the people behind Thesis have stated elsewhere that the offending code is going to be removed and similar functionality written to replace it.

      So he’s going to rewrite all of the WordPress functions that Thesis uses? Function calls are no different from having the source of the function in your code.

      • Well, I would argue that is not the case, but if I remember correctly, there is one court case that proves your point. I will also concede that if he wants to sway over to the side of being perfectly (almost) on the side of legally interfacing with WordPress, then yeah, he should write his own implementations of everything he uses in his theme that is within the WordPress library.

        He would still be able to capitalize (ha ha) on the WordPress user base, as opposed to what he is doing now, which is capitalize on both the WordPress user base and the WordPress developer base that wrote WordPress. So while I have issues defending him completely, I also believe that one’s copyright of one’s code is important. I have many disagreements to everything else that he does and would be anything but civil, so I’ve refrain from discussing those points.

  2. It’s probably in the best interests of both parties to drop the bickering altogether. By not enforcing the issue WP/Automattic gets the best of both worlds in terms of commercial development that drives innovation and free source code for WP. If Pearson stops pushing the issue, he won’t incur the financial costs of a lawsuit and the business risks associated with it.

    • Thesis is pretty much the only non-GPL commercial theme. There are significantly more popular (I believe) themes out there that are GPL. WooThemes, StudioPress, and many others are all GPL and making millions of dollars a year.

      GPL doesn’t stop commercial development. Far from it.

  3. Pingback: #thesiswp y la licencia GPL | Todavía sirve

  4. In order to use custom page templates with Thesis, you have to use the thesis_hook_custom_template function which relies on conditional template tags such as is_page(), etc…

  5. Pingback: WordPress, Thesis, et la licence GPL | WordPress Francophone

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