WordPress.org bans Themeforest members from participating in official WordCamp gatherings

5311 posts The Dude Abides
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CodingJack says

Have been thinking about this some more, and I don’t quite understand why WP is so adamant against split licensing. Let’s say you make the best jQuery script on the face of the earth and. It takes you a year to make and you make a million dollars a year selling it exclusively on your own. There’s a ton of demand for it to be turned into a WP plugin so you spend a day making a very simple WP plugin. But now because you’ve stuck your jQuery plugin inside a WP wrapper, you suddenly lose the rights to the original work? That just doesn’t make any sense.

This is why WP shouldn’t be thumbing their nose at split licensing. Instead, they should realize that having the world’s greatest jQuery plugin available as a WP plugin is a fantastic and positive thing for everyone.

If I was in charge, here’s how I’d handle the licensing:

  1. If your plugin functions as a standalone front-end application, all of the JS and CSS can be separately licensed.
  2. If your plugin CAN NOT function as a standalone front-end application without the help of WordPress, all the JS and css MUST be GPL.

Win-win for everyone:

  1. Developers keep the rights to their original work.
  2. WordPress users get access to the greatest jQuery plugin on earth
  3. By adding to the pool of available WP plugins, the WP brand grows, and the creators of WP reap the benefits.
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Japh Staff says

Have been thinking about this some more, and I don’t quite understand why WP is so adamant against split licensing. Let’s say you make the best jQuery script on the face of the earth and. It takes you a year to make and you make a million dollars a year selling it exclusively on your own. There’s a ton of demand for it to be turned into a WP plugin so you spend a day making a very simple WP plugin. But now because you’ve stuck your jQuery plugin inside a WP wrapper, you suddenly lose the rights to the original work? That just doesn’t make any sense.

This is why WP shouldn’t be thumbing their nose at split licensing. Instead, they should realize that having the world’s greatest jQuery plugin available as a WP plugin is a fantastic and positive thing for everyone.

If I was in charge, here’s how I’d handle the licensing:

  1. If your plugin functions as a standalone front-end application, all of the JS and CSS can be separately licensed.
  2. If your plugin CAN NOT function as a standalone front-end application without the help of WordPress, all the JS and css MUST be GPL.

Win-win for everyone:

  1. Developers keep the rights to their original work.
  2. WordPress users get access to the greatest jQuery plugin on earth
  3. By adding to the pool of available WP plugins, the WP brand grows, and the creators of WP reap the benefits.

Interesting points, I like your example. From my understanding, there are two ways the WordPress Foundation would be ok with you maintaining your rights to your original work:

  1. The WordPress plugin loads the jQuery script from a remote API, so it’s not actually bundled with the plugin itself. Essentially this makes the jQuery script a “service”, and the plugin simply allows you to use that service.
  2. You bundle them separately, so the WP plugin requires you to install the jQuery script separately for it to function.

I may be wrong, but that’s the impression I get.

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Typps says

Interesting points, I like your example. From my understanding, there are two ways the WordPress Foundation would be ok with you maintaining your rights to your original work:
  1. The WordPress plugin loads the jQuery script from a remote API, so it’s not actually bundled with the plugin itself. Essentially this makes the jQuery script a “service”, and the plugin simply allows you to use that service.
  2. You bundle them separately, so the WP plugin requires you to install the jQuery script separately for it to function.
I may be wrong, but that’s the impression I get.

Correct. This would essentially make the foundation very happy.

IMO the GPL is one of the most misunderstood licenses. If people knew of the consequences, i.e. they are compromising their work and livelihood by willingly giving away any rights to their work, then I’m sure they’d make other choices. Contributions should be voluntary and not forced upon the user.

I know this because I have had my own GPL’d product since 2009. However, since it is a product targeting developers in a niche community where the consequences of the GPL are well known, it never saw enough traction.

The preferred business model to adopt when licensing GPL : 1. Donations. [Insignificant number of users donate] 2. Support. [Anybody can legally undercut the original author and sell support] 3. Author sells copies to their work through a marketplace like this. [Again, anybody can legally undercut the author] 4. SAAS

Options 1-3 mean you have put your work into the public domain. To be frank, when I develop a product, it’s already a huge investment I’ve made. I’d like a return now if you use my product.

The way the GPL business model works is, you make a ROI only later after doing more work through support. This marketplace however, has a massive user base and allows a return on investment NOW, even for GPL’d code, hence why they try to corner Envato into submission, this is speculation by the way but not so far from the truth.

The only problem is that we all know, people don’t pay for free stuff. This will allow a new market to emerge that takes all the GPL’d code here and sell it, undercutting it. Keep in mind that these are people who have not invested anything at all, neither in code, nor in time.

Wordpress.org quotes products like woothemes, studiopress, ithemes et al. as being successful but IMHO, these are small fish compared to the size and magnitude of Envato and there is no saying what will become of it if the majority of authors here will GPL their work, not that anybody is actually considering this but you never know :P

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Japh Staff says

Just a heads up for authors: go and check the announcement in your author dashboard for the license survey link.

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Typps says

Just a heads up for authors: go and check the announcement in your author dashboard for the license survey link.

Done! Waiting for the results now ;)

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VF says

Thanks you Matt for making Envato to conduct these kind of surveys! :D (since the survey covers more than GPL)

Finally the Developer License managed to participate atleast in the survey.

Still confused about why the item-by-item license opt-ins are again a matter of survey. Since adding that option will certainly improve choice rather than restrictions. An author who doesn’t interested in that option as of today may need it for future items.

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Japh Staff says

Thanks you Matt for making Envato to conduct these kind of surveys! :D (since the survey covers more than GPL)

Just to clarify, this survey was already scheduled as part of the new licensing rollout, regardless of the GPL issue. Some questions surrounding GPL were added due to community feedback, though.

580 posts Don't be so humble - you are not that great.
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plusquare says

I really don’t get Wordpress point of view, so they want great plugins but that authors give for free? We need to make a living in the end of the day :P

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VF says


Thanks you Matt for making Envato to conduct these kind of surveys! :D (since the survey covers more than GPL)
Just to clarify, this survey was already scheduled as part of the new licensing rollout, regardless of the GPL issue. Some questions surrounding GPL were added due to community feedback, though.

Coincidence swallows the merits, but this always happens with long delays. Getting a title such as “largest in the industry” requires much swift response and care towards customers. As of now there is no developer license, there is no multiple purchase options and there is not even shopping cart to compensate this. Developer license just now promoted into “survey level” – not fair. :(

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greenshady says

I really don’t get Wordpress point of view, so they want great plugins but that authors give for free? We need to make a living in the end of the day :P

Just to clarify: When they talk about “free”, they’re talking about freedom, not price.

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