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Thesis Theme Now Has A Split GPL license

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I have covered the recent debate on the Thesis theme not being GPL in my recent posts Chris Pearson VS Matt Mullenweg and Another Post About Thesis And The GPL License.

I’m happy to say that Chris Pearson announced yesterday that Thesis now has a split GPL license. The code behind Thesis will now be under a GPL license whilst the images and CSS styling will not.

Thesis Gets Split GPL

Jeff Chandler announced the news yesterday on WP Tavern (which I encourage you all to subscribe to if you aren’t already doing so). There are dozens of comments from WordPress users about the split underneath the post.

The general reaction is mixed with some people wishing that Thesis went 100% GPL. Though most people seem to agree that Chris and Matt both acted a little childish at times during this whole thing (which is kind of understandable in some respects since the debate has dragged on for so long).

I don’t know Chris or Matt personally so I’m not going to take sides on this. It isn’t the issue here. The main issue was resolving the Thesis theme breaking the GPL license and that has been resolved. Thankfully, it didn’t take a long drawn out court case for this to happen.

We can now all look forward to seeing how this will affect the WordPress community:

  • Will we see more WordPress developers contributing to the Thesis theme?
  • Will we see popular WordPress functions modified and released as WordPress plugins?
  • Will be see other developers take Thesis into a different direction?

I do hope that Chris doesn’t look out with this decision and doesn’t see his income drop. Remember, this whole thing was mainly about two people trying to protect their interests rather than a battle of good versus evil, therefore I hope the decision benefits all parties involved.

Fingers crossed, this will be the end of the confusion of the GPL license and what it does and does not apply to.

Thanks for reading :)


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Comments (3)

Comment by Eddie Gear says:

Kevin Apparently Chris was a little too late to take the decision. Almost all top bloggers moved away from thesis.

Comment by Nir says:

The really interesting thing about this debate is the issue of what constitutes derived work and digging into this seems to make the GPL (which I often use) come crashing down to pieces.

Chris did not break anything, WP are being pushy but would never dare to pursue such a case to court:

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

That’s a very good article Nir.

What is clear is that by including wordpress code in thesis he was breaking the GPL license by not making thesis GPL as well.

However, a lot of people believe that this isn’t against the law and any such case against Pearson would have been thrown out in court.

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