42 – Build it out of love. The morality of GPL licenses.

42 – Build it out of love. The morality of GPL licenses.

In this episode Nathan and David talk about GPL (General Public License). This is the license that allowed the work that was done webblog tool B2 to be used to make WordPress. It’s the licence that allowed WooCommerce to use the entire code of Jigoshop. Matt Mullenweg (CEO of automattic) has always fought to defend GPL and anything built to run on WordPress should carry the same GPL license.

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What does this mean for those of us who built websites professionally with WordPress? How do premium theme and plugin providers survive when anyone can legitimately take the product and repackage it? Do we even need to buy our software?

One of the amazing thing about the WordPress community is that we frequently see how decent most people are. Even though it is not always in our interests we want to see those who do good work get rewarded. We want to get behind those who are forging ahead new and exciting development projects.. Yet it seem to us a very delicate agreement.

We’ve seen plugin developers radically increasing their support prices to reduce support tickets. We copycat products lifting code from their competitors. We see more and more GPL clubs offer software at a fraction of the cost of the original product.

As always we don’t have the answers. We certainly don’t know the legal aspect, but we do think it’s a topic that rarely get discussed calmly.

News section:

You called it Gutenberg for a Reason.. That Doesn’t Make it Revolutionary. (An open response to Matt Mullenweg)

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Nathan Wrigley

Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social.

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