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Envato Licensing, the Community and the Foundation

On the weekend I got some time to tune into the WPCandy podcast with host Ryan Imel and guest Jake Caputo. They discussed the recent blackball post and jokingly refer to Jake, who is an Envato Elite author, as surely having access to a magic red button that he can press to “make things happen”. I wish we did have this feature! Elite authors like Jake, after all, are the lifeblood of ThemeForest.

It’s been an interesting week with those posts, all the many comments, as well as lively discussion threads on ThemeForest itself. And it’s been a timely one too. As you may know, we rolled out the second phase of our Envato Marketplace licensing overhaul in the same week.

WP Daily kindly gave me some space to discuss the situation, and to explain where our licenses are coming from. As I stated in that post, they are 100% GPL Compliant, and I’ve always felt were respectful of the GPL while also protecting our authors’ rights. I’d like to ensure its clear that this license structure is based on advice published on WordPress.org from the Software Freedom Law Centre.

Today I wanted to post again, and this time talk more about our next steps in licensing around WordPress.

Community Meeting

Three months ago, in October 2012, our WP Evangelist Japh and I were invited to the first ever WordPress Community Summit. It’s pretty far for us here in Australia, and I had already committed to PressNomics, so Japh packed his suitcases and travelled to Tybee Island, Georgia. We were excited to be included and as Envato representative, Japh went with the intention to raise the issue of GPL licensing around themes and plugins.

With Japh’s involvement, there was an extensive discussion on the subject, and I was pleased to hear that as an outcome Matt agreed to come and meet with me at PressNomics to discuss things further. Though a few emails have been exchanged over the years (one of which taught me the proper capitalisation of WordPress!), we’ve never actually met before.

That discussion was interesting and went way over the allotted time. Cyan and I explained much of the reasoning that I posted to WP Daily last week, particularly from the designer’s point of view. Matt asked about why we didn’t give authors a license choice, and talked to the benefits of GPL. At the end of the discussion we all agreed that both groups had much to think on, and that we’d come back with the results of that thinking.

Authors and Choice

One of my big fears around giving license options is that our authors will feel pressure to make a switch. I’ve met with many of the independent theme shops who have switched their licensing, and not all of them were happy about the decision. Some of our authors have reported being asked to push for completely GPL licensing on ThemeForest. And the recent exclusion from WordCamps feels like it would add further pressure.

In the past our position has always been that ThemeForest is just one option for distribution of themes. Since our earliest days I have said to our authors across all the Envato Marketplaces, that they should sell their work on a site that benefits them the best. We work hard to try to make that choice selling with Envato, but ultimately we are just one way to sell your creative work.

However I’ve been thinking about our position since last week. In particular Jake made some comments in his post and podcast that struck me. Essentially he doesn’t feel he has a choice in where to sell because ThemeForest is such a key part of his income. As Jake has put it, he’s caught in the middle. And that’s not fair.

Fairness is a key part of our culture, not just at Envato, but generally here in Australia.

With this in mind, I’ve reflected a lot these last few days – and I think I’ve been wrong in my stance. I would like to change that stance, and feel that ThemeForest should offer an option for authors, if they choose, to sell their themes with a GPL license covering the entirety of the theme. I am going to take this option to our community.

A Community Survey of Authors

Last week we rolled out the second phase of our ongoing license improvements. The next phase of the project is to work on more industry specific licensing. This is a huge project – if you think WordPress licensing is complicated, you should see what audio licensing is like! It is however a very important project.

I’ve asked the licensing team to move up the timing on industry specific licensing around ThemeForest and CodeCanyon. Part of that is a survey of authors and buyers on both those sites. We will be including questions about licensing completely through the GPL.

I’ve let the team know that I’d like to make the results of the GPL portion of that survey public (with respondents details completely anonymised). The survey will begin next week and while it’s a lot of work, we are going to push to try to have the results available by the end of the month.

The GPL licensing questions and results will relate not just to WordPress themes, but also to the multiple other GPL-based CMSes we support. If WordPress authors should be given this option, so should theme authors in other open source spaces. I feel confident that with the involvement and feedback of our author community, we can move forward on this important issue and offer the choice.

A Call for Clarity

One of the biggest challenges I have had in the WordPress community, is understanding where the lines are between Automattic and the WordPress Foundation. It’s extremely difficult to see from the outside.

I have a huge amount of respect for the people at Automattic. Along with Matt, I’ve spoken with their CEO, CFO and many other staff. But I do also recognise that they are a commercial entity, with commercial interests. They have had significant investment, of some $30M, and that creates pressure inside the organisation to deliver growth and revenue. That is a normal part of a venture backed company.

It’s great that the company is doing well, and fantastic that it’s doing so in the open source space. However the large overlap with the WordPress Foundation makes its very difficult to see where Automattic ends and the Foundation begins. In particular, it’s very hard when receiving guidance relating to how we conduct business at ThemeForest, to have any clarity on who is giving that guidance.

I would respectfully like to make a call for clarity in the community around this distinction.

I believe clarity would give more weight to the WordPress Foundation to achieve the objective Matt set out, to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: To democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software.

  • http://cliffseal.com Cliff Seal

    Countless kudos to you, Collis. Thanks for your honesty and clarity.

  • http://maxfoundry.com Dave Donaldson

    Collis – I think this is just about the best response you could have made, and I think it’s great that not only are you changing your stance, but also calling for some clear, definitive lines between Automattic and the Foundation. You’re certainly not the only one with confusion in that area.

  • matt

    Well done, Collis.

  • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ Syed Balkhi

    I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the GPL survey. While you are changing your stance on license, I might suggest that you guys think a little bit more about developing a proper affiliate program :) Ask Japh for details, him and I talked extensively on this topic at the WordPress Community Summit.

  • http://remicorson.com remicorson

    At least a beginning of the end, thanks for all your efforts to make things going well.

  • http://edwardcaissie.com Cais

    As this is really about the (WordPress) community, this is great to read the WordPress community et al. found on the Envato properties will have a “say” in what your go forward licensing plans will be. Well Done!

  • http://www.ait-themes.com AitThemes.com

    Smart decision. Thank you Collins. If everybody should be able to choose their license I’d like to see split license option on wordpress.org.

    • http://edwardcaissie.com Cais

      Don’t hold your breath …

      • http://www.ait-themes.com AitThemes.com

        No worries :)

  • http://geek.ryanhellyer.net/ Ryan Hellyer

    Smart decision. Hopefully this will help lead to some more clarity as I am also confused as to who runs/owns what at Automattic/WordPress.

  • http://deckerweb.de/ David Decker

    This is very welcomed move!

    I want to put a few plugins on CodeCanyon this year, if I have the chance of going 100% GPL with my stuff I WILL take that route, for sure!!!

    Thanks and please let it happen! Will be benefit for all in the long run!

    Thanks, Dave from Germany :)

    • http://ma.tt/ Matt

      I bet many of the best authors and contributors in the WordPress community feel the same as you, which is why offering a GPL option is not just morally correct, but smart business.

  • http://ma.tt/ Matt

    To clarify what may be your confusion — the rules around only promoting things that are 100% GPL on WordPress.org and at WordCamps come from WordPress.org, not Automattic, and they’ve been part of the community there for many years now. It’s also a stance I personally believe and advocate. Automattic, alongside countless other organizations from Microsoft to Adobe, StudioPress to Theme Foundry, also follow WordPress’ guidelines in the matter, and I expect they will continue to in the future.

    I’m also curious to see the results of the survey, though based on the feedback you guys got when you made the PHP compliant I’m guessing most of your community won’t care about WordPress’ guidelines or being fully GPL.

    Direct question: Do you plan to offer the GPL option to authors like Jake regardless of the survey results, or only if the majority of the people you survey “vote” for it?

    • Marshall Sorenson

      Your comment about “guessing most of your community won’t care about WordPress’ guidelines or being fully GPL.” came across as inflammatory to me. Why don’t we just wait and see the results of the survey, instead of speculating and risking more bad blood.

      • http://ma.tt/ Matt

        I didn’t mean it that way: when the Thesis stuff was going on Envato took a brave step to force all the PHP in all their WordPress themes to be GPL, and got huge blowback for it on their forums and elsewhere. Their community was very concerned it would hurt their sales, increase piracy, etc.

        • Marshall Sorenson

          Thanks for clarifying. I’m hopeful that perhaps minds and attitudes have changed since then.

          I think the key to avoiding these protracted licensing battles, not only related to WordPress and GPL, but to open source licensing disagreements in general, is to educate developers to pay serious attention to the licenses of software they are using and/or extending *before* they make a significant investment of time/money.

    • http://wpti.ps/ Piet

      With all due respect Matt, I think Collis and “the people” want an official statement from Automattic AND the WordPress Foundation (AND you) to clarify where Automattic ends and the Foundation begins (and vice versa), not via a reply on some else’s blog…

      • Geraldine

        +1

        If the WordPress Foundation is making decisions on behalf of the ‘WordPress Community’, we deserve to know who the people making are those decisions are, and how many of them are not actually Automatticians (assuming that it’s not just Matt).

      • http://ma.tt/ Matt

        Neither Automattic or the Foundation had anything to do with the rules about only promoting 100% GPL stuff on WordPress.org, the guidelines come from WordPress.org. WordCamps inherited those guidelines, though in the past I don’t think it’s been paid attention to much.

        I don’t remember if I wrote the guidelines or not, but the requirements for the directory being 100% GPL or compatible date back at least 8 years, before either Automattic or the Foundation existed.

        • Rick

          With all due respect you are avoiding the questions.

          “If the WordPress Foundation [or whatever WP agency] is making decisions on behalf of the ‘WordPress Community’, we deserve to know who the people making are those decisions are, and how many of them are not actually Automatticians (assuming that it’s not just Matt).” Who are the board members of these agencies, who has what vote, what is the process to initiate a review. How do we participate in the nomination/election of at least some of the board members. Why is there no agencies map anywhere, which is issued by any of the agencies concerned, which delineates the roles and responsibilities of each agency and the process of governing? I am sure that you have heard of ‘good governance’. But do you know what it means in real life?

          You have quoted the “Bill of Rights” mandate on many occasions. What is in our Bill of Rights and where can it be seen so we can exercise those rights including amending the Bill of Rights? We, the community, are asking for transparency. Why is it so difficult to be ‘open source’ about this? Why the closed door? Over the last few years, there have been many requests for this but you have consistently ignored them. What are you afraid of? Lack of transparency and good governance is so against what we ask at home, at work, in our society, in our community.

          Take a leaf from Collis’s book and accept gracefully that your stance is at conflict with our freedoms and choices.

        • Geraldine

          Matt, with respect, these should be simple questions for someone who advocates transparency.

          How many members are on the board of the WordPress Foundation?

          How may of those on the board are also Automattic employees?

          How many (if any) employees does the Foundation have, and how many of those are also employed by Automattic?

          It was an Automattic employee, Andrea, that contacted Jake about the WordCamp situation. In the past it’s been Jane (another Automattic employee) who has had to break bad news about WordCamps to the community (http://bit.ly/UBcE6M).

          It’s easy to see why people struggle to see where Automattic begins & ends.

          Quote:”WordCamps inherited those guidelines, though in the past I don’t think it’s been paid attention to much.”

          Someone made the decision to start paying attention to it now. It would be nice for the ‘community’ to know who was responsible for that decision/change of enforcement policy, considering that Jake has spoken at WordCamps in the past.

          • Kevin Conboy

            Why can’t someone be considered both?

          • http://wp.tutsplus.com Japh Thomson

            Someone can certainly be both. In fact, the problem is when they are both, it can be difficult to know which entity they’re speaking for at any particular time.

          • http://wpti.ps/ Piet

            That indeed is exactly the point that constantly is being evaded.

            And the longer this question remains unanswered, the lines keep being blurred.

            Is Matt currently speaking for himself? for Automattic? for The WordPress Foundation? for Audrey Capital even perhaps?

          • Mercime

            I don’t see any problem, why are you imagining there is any?

            Microsoft’s Bill Gates has his Gates foundation and some of Microsoft employees support the foundation and volunteer there. Apple’s Steve Jobs had the Steve Jobs Foundation and some Apple employees helped out there too.

            So if Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress and founder of Automattic, created the WordPress Foundation and Automattic employees are helping out at the Foundation, it’s not a big surprise at all. You get the drift?

            Matt wears many hats aside from the above-mentioned. But for this discussion, I see Matt speaking as the co-founder of WordPress and and head of the WordPress Foundation. I don’t see how it’s so hard for other people to understand it :-)

          • http://wpkrauts.com Kaiser

            Since when is MS Windows or OSX open source?

          • Tony Kowalick

            @Matt,

            Are you going to answer these questions?

            Not sure how accurate this board list is

            http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/board.asp?privcapId=26746424

          • http://john.do/ John Saddington

            That link isn’t working. Try again?

          • Tony Kowalick

            The link works for me, but here is a screenshot.

            http://www.diigo.com/item/image/35q77/d3a5

        • http://iammike.co Mike Zielonka

          Matt – Your in a positon of power to empower change for the better or worse. I truly hope you stay/get envolved and find a solution that empowers Evanto authors to be involved. I do not understand why you can not propose to the governing body of the foundation that an exception is made this year as Evanto works on providing their authors options. I am pretty sure you have a better chance at being heard by them then little Mr Mike from Wisconsin does.

  • http://justinjackson.ca Justin Jackson

    This is a huge step for the WordPress community. I think the questions surrounding Automattic are important as well.

  • https://twitter.com/dariodev Dario

    This is definitely the best decision, a clear win-win for everyone. Thank you.

  • http://www.chipbennett.net Chip Bennett

    Collis: Thank you. This is how community is supposed to work together. Huge step in the right direction.

    • http://jaredatchison.com Jared

      Agreed. I think this comment says it best.

    • http://www.Stephanis.info/ George Stephanis

      +1 (Is it a bad thing that I find myself in lockstep agreement with what Chip says on this stuff?)

  • http://circlecube.com Evan Mullins

    Great news. This is what’s great about community. People discussing and persuading calling for transparency. Then when minds are persuaded policies are updated.

    Very interested in what the survey results will hold. I think the majority of people really don’t care and only hope they never have to take a hard look at licensing. Of course, the worst time to take your first serious look is with a lawyer to see if what you’ve already done is in the right. Good idea to make this clear for all.

  • http://davidbecerra.com David B.

    Wow. Great response, Collis.

  • http://okaythemes.com Mike McAlister

    I just want to take a second and applaud Collis for how he’s answered this community dialogue, regardless of the outcome of this situation. In fact, if you don’t know, this is usually how Collis answers these types situations — with a very respectful and pragmatic public discussion, often leading to a compromise or solution. I’m not sure where this idea comes from that Envato makes decisions based on their best interests as a business, as that’s hardly ever how these situations play out.

    I’ve been an author on ThemeForest probably longer than anyone I know, and I’ve seen many community-based issues arise. Hell, I was even the catalyst to one of these issues regarding theme pricing. And naturally, Collis himself responded a few days later with a solution that benefitted the entire marketplace. He responded with respect to me and the community, not because he had to, but because that’s just the way he carries himself and his business.

    Throughout the many articles that were written about Envato and the GPL over the past two weeks, I noticed a lot of unnecessary, snarky, whiny, non-constructive comments and jabs from the representatives of team WordPress. Whether they were speaking on behalf of WordPress or on their own behalf, it was very off-putting to see so-called WordPress ambassadors speaking so disrespectfully towards Envato staff and authors involved with Envato. This is not the attitude we’re meant to believe the WordPress foundation or it’s representatives embody.

    You can be a fan of Envato or not, but you can’t deny that their practices aren’t pragmatic and in the best interests of their community, as well as the community at large. These changes may not happen overnight, but they do happen when there is a clear line of communication.

    And I hope everyone is paying attention, including WordPress/Automattic. There’s something to be learned about Envato’s ongoing strides towards transparency as a business, open communication, and ability to handle situations with patience and respect to these sensitive issues in an open source community.

  • http://notashamedoftheogospel.com Peter

    I have to give mad props to my man Collis! I already respected him before as an entrepreneur and CEO but now I respect even more because he said that he feels like his previous stance was wrong. That’s a irregardless of whether I thought his previous stance was wrong to begin with, I just really respect a leader that’s able to come out and say that he was mistaken.

    You’re awesome Collis! I LOVE ThemeForest

  • Rick

    +1,000,000

  • http://www.wpstrapcode.com Zulfikar Nore

    Great to see that you are taking the stance you have and I for one am looking forward to the results of the survey.

    I have upcoming premium themes due for release soon – given the current situation my dilemma was either to go with what would give me the best benefits (use ThemeForest) or go it alone! The lack of clarity was putting me off the first option and at the same time going it alone is not the best of options.

    Kudos to you Collis for taking on the situation and aiming for a resolution one way or the other.

  • https://page.ly strebel

    +1 for clarity.

    The ‘who is calling the shots’ thing is not a new issue.

  • Sameer Pattnayak

    Decent reply Collis. Whatever may be the outcome of this step I want to tell you that, I and so do most of the guys here are with you. I am not a member of ThemeForest yet, but I’ll soon become one. All this issue shook me for a while, last week, on my decision to become a theme author, but I am confident that you’ll come up with something that is best for the whole community.

    I have a deep respect for you and all other Envato staff for working so hard and providing opportunities to learn and earn with your community. Thank you, for everything.

  • http://www.getshopped.org Dan Milward

    In 2008 i met Matt in Australia and he asked about our licensing for WP e-Commerce Plugin, the issue way back then was that the WP e-Commerce Plugin was non GPL but it was in the Repo. Doh!

    Based on that conversation we switched all our software to GPL. NOT because Matt told us too but because it was the morally correct AND it did turn out to be great for business.

    Speaking of Open Source we just moved our repos to GitHub. So if you fancy helping fashion the future of the WP e-Commerce Plugin read our post here:

    http://getshopped.org/getshopped-news/wp-e-commerce-is-officially-on-github/

    @Matt – I saw your talk about Open Source in Philly – mate if you want to lend us some core devs for a couple of weeks to help make the worlds first WP e-Commerce Plugin even better we’d love you (even more)!!

  • AnyDog

    I think it’s very clear and simple – Automattic and other related commercial entities are attacking competitors – Envato (TF), because their business partners and/or investors are putting pressure on them. Calling on “morality” in this matter is (sorry to say, Matt, I had great respect for you, until now) is hypocritical.

    If Collis (hello to you C.), and TF team decide to make full GPL or split licence choice – the full GPL licence will collide with their exclusivity policy, and because of that, I believe the full GPL themes should be non-exclusive, with lower author commission. Considering that, most authors won’t have any interest in make their themes full GPL, especially because full GPL will enable anyone (including Automattic, WordPress.com or even some Warez sites) to resell their themes with no obligation to authors whatsoever.

    Matt and crew – you are losing my respect rapidly (I know that doesn’t bother you a lot, bt still …)

    As someone said, time to fork WordPress. ….

    • http://www.Stephanis.info/ George Stephanis

      I think GPL should be able to be done in concert with the author’s decision to only distribute via ThemeForest — primarily as ThemeForest would then be the only place that end-users can come back to the Author for support, thereby increasing the value proposition and status of ThemeForest.

      In short — GravityForms is GPL, and anyone can resell it, but it’s the support key and everything entailed that is exclusive. So long as authors keep that support gateway being exclusively ThemeForest and requiring the customer to have paid for it, ThemeForest should still pay out at the exclusive levels.

      As opposed to cutting the author payout in half.

  • http://themesforge.com Ed

    Excellent response from Collis and Envato.

    The path to a resolution on this whole debable now looks clear thankfully.

  • http://adamwwarner.com Adam W. Warner

    This is indeed a thoughtfully made decision, and one made with the community of theme authors in mind. Kudos to you Collis.

    Regarding the outstanding question brought up above of “who is Matt speaking for” in his replies, he’s clarified the positioning above, but perhaps in the clearest of ways (according to commentators here).

    @Matt, I think what the community is asking for here is further clarification on the specific interests for each entity concerned. That’s all.

    It may be clear to many who’ve been around awhile, but it couldn’t hurt (if you and the other interested parties are so inclined) to consider writing up some specifics to explain the differences between .org, the foundation, and Automattic and what entity is responsible for what guidelines, rules, etc.

    We all know that the success of the WordPress project is due to the community. It seems to me that they are screaming out for detailed clarification that can be referenced in one place from now on (and updated as necessary).

    Is this something you would consider?

  • dan

    Matt is clear enough you people need to just stop reading in some kind of gray area between the “Foundation” and Automatic. I can not thank Matt enough in defending the GPL. IT’s not a popular job but someone has to go to bat for the freedoms WordPress stands for.. Many companies and individuals make a TON of money off this free system called WordPress and there is no one to defend it..or hardly anyone..it would seem.. So thank you Matt Mullenweg for defending the GPL and taking the *slings and arrows from those who oppose you. ( *I have read a ton of negative comments around the web aimed at Matt)

    :)

  • Harper Stone

    I’m a WP admin (won’t go so far as “developer”) who hangs around the edges of community discussions, but very rarely participate. I’ve purchased themes and plugins for several sites, almost always by first discovering fully useful free versions on wordpress.org. I also use purely free plugins and themes and donate whenever I decide I’ll be sticking with one on a site.

    So I am befuddled by this controversy.

    I mean no disrespect to anyone, but if the facts are:

    1. WordPress declines to permit participation as a presenter at official word camps, or other vehicles of official WP promotion, and

    2. Evanto has a couple million members and is considered a “major player”

    then how does this warrant extended debate that is recommunicated to the extent that even we on the fringes are getting “filled in” more fully than if a new core release were issued?

    A professional coder was told he couldn’t participate in word camp?

    So what? This does not take money off his plate. It denies him the promotion and by-association credibility associated with being a speaker at an official WordPress function, but again, so what?

    If such events are so vital to Envato’s community, WordPress can’t stand in the way of an Envato Camp. Go for it.

    It seems to me that the complaints about word camp participation are really a proxy for WordPress’s strong position on licensing, not about who can or cannot join a panel.

    If that is the case, then dispense with the word camp stuff and stick with the heart of the matter.

    The big joke is that lots of commercial plugins such as one of my favorites, Gravity Forms, include the GPL along with a copyright notice right in their primary php files, eg:

    “Copyright 2009-2011 Rocketgenius Inc.

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify

    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by

    the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or

    (at your option) any later version”

    when it is of course not free. The variations on “you pay for support, not the code” and so on are fine, but it is simple fact that significant, valuable features are unavailable in the free versions and no one’s kidding anyone.

    Additionally, none of the anxious developers would have anything to develop without WordPress, so I get a bit flustered at the vitriolic nature of some demands that they be allowed to license under whatever terms they want, because after all, it is their livelihood. Well, sure. Same goes for people who develop to the Microsoft or whatever other platform.

    Gravity Forms, Woo Commerce, S2Member Pro and many others have created great incomes for their developers and well they should. But they at least go to the honest effort of creating fully compliant versions in the spirit of the free platform on which they build those incomes.

    So not everyone has to be like the Suffusion developer with more than a million downloads unconditionally free with all the addons free. It’s okay to charge money and make a good living. In fact I think it’s essential to the long term health of the WP platform.

    But demand that WP actively promote commercial developers? Or demand that WP start allowing commercial versions on wordpress.org? How is that anything but hypocritical?

    Exactly what universally free and genuinely useful code has Envato provided to the community?

    Before challenging WP to explain itself with “a clear line” between the foundation and Automatic, could Envato disclose the size of the generous donations it has made to the foundation that makes Envato’s WP revenues possible?

    And what about those developers who announce they are making “a good living” that is threatened by the WP position on GPL. Are they making regular donations to their benefactor? Or is money only something they deserve and the foundation, well it’s blurring with Automatic, so, gosh, can’t donate to my competitor. I would feel ashamed to use someone’s work, even if they say it’s free but request donations, if I made money off that work and did not donate. I would be very ashamed if my gratitude extended to the point of increasing my profits and no further.

    There’s lots of room for criticism of the sometimes arbitrary way wordpress.org is administered, from shielding nasty moderation of the forums to confusing the community with thoughtless core changes (like let’s break everyone’s htaccess files and tell them about it later). Lots to complain about. But staking out a position on GPL sure is not among them.

    • http://wp.tutsplus.com Japh Thomson

      Hi Harper, I just wanted to clarify a couple of things you mention in your comment:

      Gravity Forms, include the GPL along with a copyright notice right in their primary php files, […]

      when it is of course not free.

      It’s important to understand what the GPL means when it says “free”. The preamble in the license itself explains this: “When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price.” As in the portion you quoted: “you can redistribute it and/or modify

      it”.

      Exactly what universally free and genuinely useful code has Envato provided to the community?

      There are actually quite a number, some of which are listed here: http://wp.envato.com/ Also, all the code snippets and tutorials made freely available on http://wp.tutsplus.com/

      Before challenging WP to explain itself with “a clear line” between the foundation and Automatic, could Envato disclose the size of the generous donations it has made to the foundation that makes Envato’s WP revenues possible?

      This information is readily available at the relevant sources. WordCamp Sponsorships prior to the enforcement of the guidelines in 2011, and the WordPress Community Summit 2012’s respective websites. You can clearly see the sponsorship levels.

      I hope that somewhat clarifies things for you.

  • AnyDog

    Hi again,

    my apologies on my previous post and calling you hypocrite, Matt :( … You don’t deserve that … I just freak out when someone mentions “morality” …

    WordPress is yours and your team product, and you have every “moral” ( ;) ) right to suggest people how to and how not to use WP.

    But, legally I believe legally – you can’t force ppl not to use split licence … And, in real world – if you give something for free (under GPL or any other licence), you can expect from people to use it or MISUSE it.

    Individuals and companies are earning a lot of money on top of WP, that’s true, but a lot of them contributed back to WP community in a lot of ways, and because of that WP became better and Automattic and WP.com is making more money. And they are not earning money ONLY on WP behalf – they are working very hard for that (yeah, I am theme author).

    This is very complicated issue, and in everyone’s benefit it would be the best to finds some sort of compromise …

    WordPress is great, great product and I hope it will be for a long time.

  • http://wpandmore.info Andrea Barghigiani

    Since I am documenting myself to create an article that will talk about this controversy I would like to know about the today situation. I can only imagine how difficult are, for both sides, manage all the request for clarification; but where are we now?

    I mean, I can suppose that the Envato survey is now over (since I can’t get it from the link in this article http://torquemag.io/themeforest-survey/), I would like to have a look at the GPL part that Collis was talking about.

    And from the WordPress side of the issue? any news? They ever replay to the questions about clarity that the user asked in the comments?

    Thanks in advance for the help guys!

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