WordPress Themes Must be GPL

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This is a simple explanation of how GNU’s GPL works for programs like WordPress, Drupal, etc. which are open source, but nonetheless licensed. It also contains a very clear explanation of why the php must be GPL, but also, how that doesn’t mean a theme or other GPL product can’t be commercial.

Please remember that this is about copyright and respecting the license that the WordPress copyright holders have chosen. It isn’t about money. Premium themes are fine. It is non-GPL themes (a.k.a. proprietary themes) that are the issue. Also realize that WordPress cannot change its license. It is forever locked to the GPL (version 2). Arguments along the lines of “WordPress should allow proprietary themes because of X,” are pointless. We are as much bound by the license as theme developers!

via Why WordPress Themes are Derivative of WordPress « Mark on WordPress.

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