I think we should fully embrace GPL license

So,

I’ve read a lot of discussions about gpl vs wordpress, gpl clubs and related licensing things.

I am sure that the reason Wordpress has grown as much as it has is because it is open source. Nobody can make improvements and customize Wix for example, but they can with Wordpress

The GPL somehow forces only the best plugins and themes to survive and makes sure no good ideas die. There is always someone to fork and reuse the code. And honestly, that is beautiful.

I know a lot of people think “ah, developers need money, we can’t fork or distribute x plugin/theme for free” but actually, we forget some very important points:

1- If Wordpress didn’t have so much audience already, would you be able to start a business on top of it?
2- If you are taking advantage of the Wordpress core and the work already done by so many other people, why do you think your code is special and that this idea is exclusively yours?
3-If you think the GPL is bad and abominable, why don’t you develop other than for Wordpress?
4-If the person is downloading the premium plugin/theme from a GPL club, do you think that if they didn’t have this option they would buy directly from the developer or they would simply not buy?

Anyway, there are many considerations that can be made, but in general, I think we really shouldn’t be afraid to fork or distribute anything we want for free. Of course it is good to support developers as much as possible, but for people who are in third world countries, it is almost unfeasible to start a business if every theme and plugin you need is a few hundred dollars a year.

I think currently the wordpress community is with too many people trying to sell things that don’t make much sense. It would be interesting if ClassicPress could create a different ecosystem, like Linux for example, which is usually done by donations or support.

An example that I think is very nice is LSCache. Their plugin is INCREDIBLE and totally free. It clashes with other amazing options such as WP-Rocket. So how do they make money? As far as I know, with the support for the LSCache plugin and also with the enterprise LS server.

It would be really interesting if we could get more free plugins and themes to be distributed (more license free) and have businesses focus on other products, I think that would help the community to grow and progress a lot.

I for one am much more inclined to buy a plugin/theme that has no protection. Even though there are several free GPL distributions of ForumEngine for example, I decided to buy it because:
1- They offer ClassicPress support
2- Their license allows unlimited sites and they don’t care about distribution, so they didn’t put any protection on top of the code.

Same thing with Divi Buider, which has an extremely generous license and ends up basically selling support.

Anyway, I think my text got a little messed up, but in summary what I want to say is that I think the ClassicPress community would be better off if we focused on selling support and tutorials instead of the code itself of the plugins and themes for example

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Sure. Feel free to fork, if you find the source code, and attribute correctly, and maintain, and keep up to date any software in gpl you want. But please also commit to it and take the responsibility for whatever tool you plan to fork (“you” here refers to whomever wants to do that, not “you” as in you specifically, unless you plan to do that)

It’s not something possible without someone doing it, and it’s not cp core responsibility to do that. If you as a developer want to provide a Forked (paid) gpl software, as long you don’t infringe the license or any copyrights, you’re free to do so. We as cp community at This point don’t have the capacity to provide paid support for a (example) “free” elementor.

The legality and morality of this has been discussed at large and is the essence of gpl.

I can tell you why it isn’t a viable solution however:
You won’t be able to maintain and support such plugins. They all come with companies behind them, entire teams and they make money just as you say by providing support licenses

Nothing that can’t be done, but it needs the people to do it. And these people aren’t here at the moment.
They are where the money is, and that’s in wp, because there they actually have clients buying these licenses.

3 Likes

Yes, I understand. I guess I didn’t say it in the best way, but I didn’t mean for us to be a “GPL club”, just so we wouldn’t be afraid to fork plugins that don’t even support ClassicPress anymore (Rankmath seo for example).

I love ClassicCommerce and I know it is without a lead developer. Unfortunately, at the moment I only know linux and bash, what I know about PHP is not enough yet, but once it is, I intend to help as much as I can

This has nothing to do with opensource
Open source doesn’t mean free
It only mean you can see, modify redistribute and whatever with the code.
The decision about selling code, support or add-ons or whatever is a marketing decision.
It is true also that having open or closed code depends on the dev, and this also is a marketing decision.
We can require that the ones listed on directory are open, not force every dev.

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We’re not afraid to do that :sweat_smile:

We do not have the resources or people to maintain that.

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Hehe, I understand.

Well, I think once WP drops the ClassicEditor plugin, a lot of people will come to CP

Yup, I’m aware. What I’m trying to say is: Linux desktop is a absolute success, and most of tools are not only open source, but free. That attracts and makes many people contribute to the programs and code. Wordpress at the other hand have a lot of paid stuff, and usually just small teams develops the things.

I’m not trying to say that everything should be free or something like that, but sometimes I wonder what would happen if WP devs relied on other marketing ways instead of selling the plugins/themes.

As CP isn’t big yet, perhaps we can kind of change the environment. But yes, I see that we are lacking devs and I’m not complaining, just trying to discuss. Hopefully I will be able to help more soon

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You don’t know how WP got these devs in.
Facr is that WP.com was created to fund WP.org.
And basically .org follows .com
Funds being available meant marketing efforts, having money to pay for repos…
And got companies involved, who wanted to make money.
Money calls money.
It’s not a “bad way to do things” but originated a bad community IMHO.
There are other ways CP can explore, but what CP needs now isn’t really money IMHO.
It has to take off because people want it before we involve the money aspect.
Both the money to fund CP and the money people are going to make out of it.

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It’s both my hope and fear at the same time. I still keep telling people that the plan for Gutenborg is to entirely replace the pre-existing editor structure, and that they can read up ALL THAT plans in plain sight, but people do not seem to care. Or just think: Oh, till WP 6.0 its still sooo much time. Or maybe think I’m just over-exaggerating.

Can’t help people. sighs

cu, w0lf.

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