Poll on redistribution of commercial themes and plugins

(Richard Best) #1

Hi everyone. I hope it’s OK to mention one’s own post here. I’m doing so as I thought some of you might be interested in completing the poll in my latest post on redistribution of commercial themes and plugins, “Theme and plugin shops – Discouraging public redistribution – User poll”. I published the post and created the poll partly due to the recent discussion in WP Chat on this very issue. It would be great if those interested could complete the poll please. Thanks!

(Leland Fiegel) #2

Cool with me! :smiley:

I also just completed the poll.

(Eric Daams) #3

Really interesting poll @richardbest

This question gave me pause:

Assume you include the term in your terms of use. Would you be, or are you, concerned that vocal stakeholders in the WordPress community might openly criticise you for not complying with the ‘spirit’ of the GPL (even if the term doesn’t actually remove any GPL freedom)?

And yes, the truth is that that would worry me. Based on the results, I can see I’m not alone. Guess it shows that nobody wants the kind of backlash that some shops running afoul of the GPL in the past have received.


(Leland Fiegel) #4

I’m surprised the poll results are the way that they are. People like the idea of including the clause, but worry they’ll be criticized for using it. For the record, I voted that I would not be worried about it.

Yoast and Gravity Forms come to mind as businesses that have stated on the record as saying they reserve the right to disable keys for misusing resources.

In the Gravity Forms terms and conditions, it states:

##Account Suspension
Rocketgenius, Inc. reserves the right, at any time, to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, a support license with or without notice.

And here’s a similar clause in Yoast’s terms:

10.6. Without any liability to compensate the Customer Yoast reserves the right to disable updates and support in case of abuse and / or in the event the Customer is in violation of the preceding paragraph. This will not grant the Customer the right to a refund.

The clauses have nothing to do with restricting use of the code (that has already been downloaded), they’re just reserving the right to terminate the associated services: support and updates and such.

Merely including the clause shouldn’t be an invitation for criticism, but being a bit too gung-ho when it comes to “enforcement” could certainly be.

If it became clear that the GPL resellers were funneling their customer’s support requests to you, or passing out their developer license keys, I don’t think they’d get much sympathy from the WordPress community if their account was terminated by the original developer.

If a GPL reseller wasn’t doing anything abusive (funneling support, sharing license keys, trademark infringement, etc.) and the original developer somehow discovered the mere “reselling” and subsequently terminated their account, that would be another story.

I can’t imagine the GPL reseller getting much sympathy in that case either, but that debate would definitely be a bit more divisive.

Theme/plugins clubs breaking GPL?