SoloPine and the GPL?

Is anyone else uncomfortable with the extent to which SoloPine themes are being redistributed with only the very slightest of changes made to the design? Maybe I’m too sensitive to design similarities, but I see a lot of dupes on both themeforest and the free wordpress.org directory. I’ve even seen blogspot themes being made out of their designs.

I completely understand that embracing WordPress means embracing the GPL and the author obviously isn’t starving or coming across as especially bothered by it all. But browsing themes lately, it’s hard not to feel disappointed by the lack of creativity and love for design in what should design oriented environments.

Additionally, seeing a bit of the simmer/cookbook plugin drama unfold on twitter, I can’t help but get the impression that the lack of accountability attached to the GPL is attracting quite a bit of sliminess.

I’m not too familiar with SoloPine, but I found a few of their themes on ThemeForest and they do not appear to be 100% GPL licensed. That means the PHP is 100% GPL, but everything else (like graphics, CSS) is not. So if anyone is redistributing their themes, they’re likely violating ThemeForest’s proprietary license that covers graphics and CSS.

Also, WordPress.org has a rule about “original artwork” …so even if it was 100% GPL, an exact copy wouldn’t be allowed to be hosted there. I believe if a blatant copy was reported (free or paid), the Theme Review Team would quickly remove it.

In the design world, there is a fine line between “inspiration” and straight up copying. It’s just one of those “you know it when you see it” situations.

For further reading: “WordPress Plugins Cheap” - Plugins & Themes Re-selling and GPL and What happened to creative theme designs?

SoloPine does not own that design. There were a lot of themes like that being distributed for free long before they became an author. I get what you are trying to say, but you have two wrong assumptions here. SoloPine doesn’t start with that design, and they are not selling GPL themes as far as I know.