An attempt to help people apply the GPL to their themes and plugins prior to release


(Richard Best) #1

Hi all. Hope it’s OK to post this here. I’ve just released a post on wpandlegalstuff.com called “How to apply the GPL to your themes and plugins (and avoid getting in the shi*)”. Its aim is to make life easier for developers who need to deal with the GPL-related legal stuff prior to releasing their products. It gathers together the GPL requirements and the WordPress.org requirements and has a GPL Engine people can use to build the legal content for their style.css/plugin file header, readme.txt and license.txt files.

I don’t know how many developers, Theme Review Team members and Plugin Review Team members are on WP Chat but if you’re one of them, are reading this and have a bit of spare time to take a look at the post, that’d be super awesome. I’ve done my best to be comprehensive but you know the old adage, “you don’t know what you don’t know”. So if you spot anything that’s amiss or have suggestions for improvement, I’d love to hear from you please.

All the best.
Richard


(jerod moore) #2

Great stufff. I had done most of it pretty correctly, but the generator caught a few items I had missed. Plus with an upcoming plugin I am going to release this info on third party tools is very helpful and I can already see I need to make a few changes. Thanks!


(Richard Best) #3

Hi Jerod. That’s great feedback. Thanks very much. All the best. Richard.


(Miroslav Glavić) #4

So you are including legal stuff?

This is why I am uncomfortable in with this:

  1. Are you a lawyer?

  2. Laws vary by country, and in the USA, some laws vary by state. In Canada some laws vary by province and territory. Which laws will you apply on the content of the website?


(Richard Best) #5

Hi Miroslav and thanks for your comments. Yes, I’m a lawyer - among other things a technology / IT / IP / open source and open data lawyer - and I’ve made a concerted effort to identify and analyse legal issues relating to the use of WordPress, including in particular issues relating to the GPL. I’ve also written the bulk of one government’s policy on releasing software on open source terms, including under the GPL. I’m qualified in two countries and have lived and practised in three. I appreciate that laws vary from country to country (and in some cases from state to state). I don’t profess to know the laws of all countries and states but we’re talking here about applying the internationally recognised GPL and a range of WordPress.org rules. It is true that courts in different countries could interpret the GPL differently (to date there is very little case law on the thornier GPL edge cases) but I’m confident that what I’ve written will be correct and produce correct results in the vast majority of cases. I’ve attempted to help developers. Hopefully some find it helpful. All the best. Richard.


(Travis Northcutt) #6

This is a great resource, thanks for sharing here. I especially found the section on attribution when basing something on a previous work helpful; I’ve known that’s required but never seen a concise recommendation on best practices for that.


(Richard Best) #7

Thanks for taking the time to comment Travis. Really appreciate it.