Thesis developer Chris Pearson and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg got into a bit of a debate yesterday. In short, Matt believes that Thesis should use the GPL license that WordPress uses but Chris disagrees.
- Matt thinks it’s disrespectful that Thesis isn’t GPL since it relies on a GPL product. He also points out it’s a violation of the GPL license.
- Chris believes that he should be allowed to put any license he wants on his products.
- Chris believes that the GPL license is at odds against what he believes.
- Matt points to top theme stores like WooThemes and StudioPress adopting a GPL license and states that they haven’t lost any income because of it.
- Matt hinted he may sue Chris over this issue.
- Chris says that Matt should back up his idle threats with real action.
I looked into the GPL license extensively a year or so ago when launching BlogThemesClub and was initially concerned that some people would distribute my premium themes for free. In the end I decided to go with GPL though many customers were still unsure about what GPL meant and assumed that they could pass on the themes for free (though I tend to agree with the thought that people who do this would do this regardless of the license a theme has).
I do not have a really strong view about this whole debate though. I am not sure if Matt is correct in saying that WordPress related products which don’t adopt a GPL license are violating the WordPress GPL license. If he is then I can fully understand why he is so vocal about this subject.
That being said, I still don’t think he should dictate how others run their businesses. Surely those who spend all their time working on a product should be able to dicate the license for it, even products for GPL platforms.
If you want to read more into this debate please check out the following articles:
- Would WordPress Sue The Maker Of Thesis, A Leading WordPress Theme? – with Chris Pearson and Matt Mullenweg
- GPL Showdown
- What’s Your Take On the GPL Argument Between Matt and Thesis?
- Syn-thesis 1
What’s your view on this whole GPL license debate?