74 – Let’s try to understand the GPL license shall we? With Jonathan Bossenger

In this episode:

Discussion – How do we handle late content? – [4:16]

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Interview – Let’s try to understand the GPL license shall we? With Jonathan Bossenger – [24:46]

Ending Fact – 404 errors – [1:12:08]

Firstly, I’m an idiot. In the audio introduction to the podcast I mentioned we’d be looking at 401 errors, well I think that we all know that this should have been 404! Sorry about that!

Right… way back in September 2017, we did an episode called “Build it out of love. The morality of GPL licenses“. In this episode David an I (as is our custom) spoke at great length with almost zero understand of the subject matter. I’m happy to say that most of you just tut and move on, but one or two of you are really, really listening and decide to question our proclamations!

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Jonathan Bossenger is such a person and he was having none of it! He decided that you guys actually needed to know real facts about The GPL and so he got in touch. You of course understanding that I’m joking? He was very nice and thoughtful and considerate; which is more than we deserve!

Jonathan explains about the history of The GPL and how is all got started. It’s honestly really interesting. He then moves on to explain how it got itself tied up in WordPress.

If, like me, your entire existence is built around WordPress, then this could be quite important. I’ve heard endless debates about what The GPL means and how it applies to WordPress and what you can do with it.

It goes even further than that though, because it’s not just WordPress itself that The GPL is about. It’s about all the plugins and themes and products and services that are built on top of WordPress. What are we paying for when we buy a plugin or theme? Is it the code or is it the support and some kind of upgrade path in the future? Is it okay for GPL clubs to exist (these are places where you can get premium plugins/themes for less than you ‘ought’ to)?

I had no idea that there was such a lot to say, and by the end of this enormously long episode, you’ll probably think that way too!

If you use WordPress, then you need to know this stuff, so I highly recommend getting this one lined up ASAP.

Small caveat: Neither Jonathan or I claim to have the actual, concrete, certain, incontrovertible facts, so don’t be too hard if we’ve messed something up or left heaps out!



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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. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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