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