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[closed] A Second Call to ban MaxBlogPress plugins (54 posts)

  1. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    It looks like your right about it getting removed. Is it safe to keep using it though or should I remove it?

    @Eric: It's 100% safe to use the plugin and you can keep using it. :)

    - Pawan Agrawal

  2. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    If I were to keep using it, would you recommend not upgrading to newer wordpress versions?

    To make sure its still compatible and all. Im kinda a new blogger.

    This message proves people need more than just one time plugin. People, need support and new updates for the plugin. That's what we have been providing for free.

    Eric, if wordpress support us then we'll continue to provide free support and free udpates. You can upgrade to new version of wordpress without any problem and we'll keep our plugins fresh and updated over time.

    - Pawan Agrawal

  3. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    For those of you using MaxBlogPress plugins, I have just released a plugin that will auto-activate all of them, circumventing the registration/email subscription process:

    Chip, it's unethical to ruin all the hard work of a developer. If you read above, the newsletter registration is what supports the development of our plugins as well as free support, free bug fixes and free updates. Building such plugins is like stealing from us.

    Also, I forked three of the MBP plugins, "sanitizing" them: Favicon, Ping Optimizer, and Multi Author Comment Notification (I don't want to link-spam this thread, so just search for them in the repo if you want them).

    As I said in the previous post, if you can give continuous support to those plugins then I'm more than happy for this fork. But, if you don't have time or dedication to do all these hard work then please don't ruin it for everyone.

    I have dedicated my full time in this maxblogpress plugin development since many years. I know what kind of dedication does it require. In fact, it's not just me. Our team member are also putting in their full time in this project. If you are willing to put so much time then congratulation and I wish you good luck. It's not that easy as you think.

    - Pawan Agrawal

  4. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @dholowiski: The MBP plugins didn't update via the repository anyway. They use their own update routine, built into the plugin, that checks for updates at the MBP website. (By my reading of the repository guidelines, that also was a violation.)

    Chip, it seems you are new to this wordpress development. In the past there was no automatic notification andautomatica installtion for the plugins. We custom developed such features for the support of our user. Talk about dedication. At that time no other plugin developer had thought in that way. I think we were the only one who provided such easy features to users.

    Later, wordpress built its own wordpress directory and then provided update notification and automatic install to the wordpress users. Those codes are there as it is from the past. Our plugins now gets updated by wordpress repository in the same way as other plugin does.

    Also, there's still one more unique feature in our plugins. Our plugin have custom notification bar in our plugin's setting page where we alert the user about important updates. There's still no such feature available in other plugins.

  5. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    maxblogpress - given all the complaining from people, and the fact you aren't using the email addresses for spam, and the fact people can opt-out, why not change it so people don't need to provide their email and give then a method to opt-in to your newsletter?

    Regardless of how you would use those email addresses, it comes down to perception, and generally people don't like handing out their email address.

    @MichaelH: Thanks for your input. As you can see I provide free support, free plugin updates and free bugs for all our free plugins. The only way to support it is via the newsletter registration. I think for all these efforts and hard work, there shouldn't be any problem for the user to try the newsletter once. Later, if they don't like it they can unsubscribe anytime they like.

    Look at this thread:
    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/175208

    Not all people find it offensive. It's just that people don't understand the concept. I think putting the registration disclaimer in the description will avoid all the confusions.

    - Pawan Agrawal

  6. MichaelH
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @maxblogpress - oh I'm note arguing the right or the wrong about your approach, I'm suggesting that people's perception of the issue is getting in the way of things.

  7. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @MichaelH: That's what the problem is. People see that I have a registration form but they don't see that I'm providing free support, free bug fixes and free updates. I think I am one of the very very few developers who provide support link right inside the plugin.

    I'm sure other developers won't dare to put such link to face lots of support questions which will take up their whole day.

  8. MichaelH
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    maxblogpress--there are plenty of plugin authors who provide support for their plugins right here in these forums. Review http://wordpress.org/development/2009/11/a-little-support/ for details.

  9. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @MichaelH: Yes, I agree many plugin developers provide support. But most of them are usually random support and don't allocate dedicated time just for support. That's what we do for free.

    Also, most plugin user don't even know where to ask for the support and if they ask they don't know when they'll get the reply.

  10. MichaelH
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Yes but many plugin authors, whether they 'allocate' specific time, do a good job of providing support here in these forums. I suspect many of them subscribe to the RSS that is related to their particular plugin so they can keep advised of new topics posted about their plugin(s).

  11. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    For those of you using MaxBlogPress plugins, I have just released a plugin that will auto-activate all of them, circumventing the registration/email subscription process:

    Chip, it's unethical to ruin all the hard work of a developer. If you read above, the newsletter registration is what supports the development of our plugins as well as free support, free bug fixes and free updates. Building such plugins is like stealing from us.

    I am in no way "ruin[ing] all the hard work of a developer" by releasing the auto-activate plugin.

    There are hundreds of plugin authors, who have released thousands of free plugins. You are the only one, to my knowledge, who has built a business model around a forced registration and subscription to an email list.

    (By my interpretation of the GPL, such requirements violate the user's right to use the work as he chooses, and to use the work without being compelled to communicate with the developer or a third party regarding that use. You may charge for the download if you choose, but you may not compel the user to register (communicate their use to you) or subscribe to an email list before they use the plugin.)

    If forced email subscription is the only thing supporting your development work, I would suggest finding a new business model, or finding a different license under which to develop.

    Further, there is no rational way that you can construe circumvention of your registration/subscription requirements as "stealing" from you.

    Remember: you released your plugins under the GPL, and your plugins are derivative works of a GPL work. Anyone can look at the underlying PHP of your plugins, and figure out how to do exactly what I did - thus, anyone using your plugin can, with the simple addition of a database option, circumvent your registration/subscription process.

    Such people in no way whatsoever "steal" from you by donig so. Further, according to the GPL, you have no right to compel them not to use their GPL work (WordPress) in the way they choose.

    I am merely automating the process for those who choose to exercise their rights as users of a GPL work.

    Also, I forked three of the MBP plugins, "sanitizing" them: Favicon, Ping Optimizer, and Multi Author Comment Notification (I don't want to link-spam this thread, so just search for them in the repo if you want them).

    As I said in the previous post, if you can give continuous support to those plugins then I'm more than happy for this fork. But, if you don't have time or dedication to do all these hard work then please don't ruin it for everyone.

    I'll support the forks as best as I can - but, primarily, I was merely trying to contribute the cleaned up code back to the WordPress community.

  12. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @dholowiski: The MBP plugins didn't update via the repository anyway. They use their own update routine, built into the plugin, that checks for updates at the MBP website. (By my reading of the repository guidelines, that also was a violation.)

    Chip, it seems you are new to this wordpress development.

    True, but irrelevant.

    In the past there was no automatic notification andautomatica installtion for the plugins. We custom developed such features for the support of our user. Talk about dedication. At that time no other plugin developer had thought in that way. I think we were the only one who provided such easy features to users.

    Update notification for repository-hosted plugins has been built into WordPress core since version 2.3 - over two years ago.

    Later, wordpress built its own wordpress directory and then provided update notification and automatic install to the wordpress users. Those codes are there as it is from the past.

    You develop plugins for a living, and you just "left in" a couple hundred lines of dead code? Riiiiiiight.

    Our plugins now gets updated by wordpress repository in the same way as other plugin does.

    Not the versions I downloaded a few weeks ago. They still invoked the update functionality right after verifying that the user was registered and on your email list.

    Further, if you are now updating via WordPress SVN, why does the update link in the plugins point to a current version, rather than a two-year-old version?

    Also, there's still one more unique feature in our plugins. Our plugin have custom notification bar in our plugin's setting page where we alert the user about important updates. There's still no such feature available in other plugins.

    Uh, wrong again.

    Every repository-hosted plugin has this functionality, via the "Upgrade Notice" section of the readme.txt file. This notice appears on the Manage Plugins page.

    So, there's nothing you're providing that isn't already provided for by the WordPress repository and the plugins' built-in functionality.

  13. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Requiring registration after the program has been acquired is a usage restriction and violates the terms of the WordPress license in my opinion.

    WordPress operates on GPL license. The GPL license give the developer the freedom to desing the softwares the way they like. Also, the user have their own rights too. If they don't like the developer's creation then they have the option to not use it.

    Apparently, you misunderstand the intent of the GPL. The GPL is primarily concerned with the rights of the user, not the developer. It says so, right in the preamble:

    The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to make sure the software is free for all its users.

    Further, the GPL defines itself as a Free Software license, which it defines thusly:

    Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it means that the program's users have the four essential freedoms...

    The freedom to run the program means the freedom for any kind of person or organization to use it on any kind of computer system, for any kind of overall job and purpose, without being required to communicate about it with the developer or any other specific entity. In this freedom, it is the user's purpose that matters, not the developer's purpose; you as a user are free to run the program for your purposes, and if you distribute it to someone else, she is then free to run it for her purposes, but you are not entitled to impose your purposes on her.

    Thus, the intent of the GPL is to ensure the user's rights.

    The GPL explicitly states that you can charge a fee for downloading a GPL work, but it is equally clear that you cannot restrict the user's use of the work.

    Requiring registration before use is plainly a use restriction, and thus violative of the GPL.

    Requiring email-list subscription before use is even more of a use restriction.

    I chosed to support the plugin development by making the user...

    FULLSTOP.

    Under the GPL you are not allowed to make the user "do" anything once they are in possession of your work.

    ...try our free newsletter. (User can unsubscribe anytime they like)

    Have you asked yourself why you are the only WordPress plugin developer in the world using such a business model? Seriously.

    Oh, and you may say that the user is free to unsubscribe anytime they like - but as soon as they install a new MaxBlogPress plugin, they are once again forced to subscribe - to an email list from which they have already unsubscribed!

    Talk about user-unfriendly.

    Not every people have money to pay for the softwares. I know because I myself can't buy all the softwares I like to use. That's the reason, instead of making people pay for the plugin I let them use the plugin just for registering for a free newsletter. That's the sprit of giving away stuffs for free while finding a way to survive the development as well.

    Charge for the plugins that that market would support charging for.
    Charge for support.
    Develop paid plugins for clients.

    There are lots of ways to build a viable business model.

    Also, I'm not tricking any user. If that was my intention then I don't have to put the registration form at all. I can subscribe you automatically in the background without even letting you know about it.

    Thanks for pointing out that potential security/privacy breach in WordPress. We'll have to press the devs to take a look at it.

    But that's not my intention. I want the user to know that by registering for the plugin they'll receive emails from us. The user has an option to register or not register.

    And that's why your plugins are not suitable for the WordPress repository. The registration takes place after download and installation, and thus represents a use restriction that renders the plugins not GPL-compatible.

    If you want to force registration/email subscription, make users download the plugin from your website, and put the registration/email subscription before the download.

  14. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    There are hundreds of plugin authors, who have released thousands of free plugins. You are the only one, to my knowledge, who has built a business model around a forced registration and subscription to an email list.

    Well, so you want everyone follow the herd and don't innovate?

    I'll support the forks as best as I can - but, primarily, I was merely trying to contribute the cleaned up code back to the WordPress community.

    As I said earlier, either say you want to devote hard work in the development or don't ruin it for everybody else who value our plugins. I know there's no law enforcement for this neither I anyone can force you into this. But, as I see you are fighting for the user rights. If many users are happy with the plugin as they are don't you think it should let run as it is and don't make it shut down just because you didn't like it.

  15. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    You develop plugins for a living, and you just "left in" a couple hundred lines of dead code? Riiiiiiight.

    If you know the development process then you probably know that it's always good to keep the functions as it is in the code which can be used in the future. It's the worst decision to remove all the codes which are not being used. Some are kept their intentionally to develop on that further in future.

    Not the versions I downloaded a few weeks ago. They still invoked the update functionality right after verifying that the user was registered and on your email list.
    Further, if you are now updating via WordPress SVN, why does the update link in the plugins point to a current version, rather than a two-year-old version?

    Please, check properly which plugin you are talking about. Not all of our plugins are hosted in wp repository. The one which are hosted in our website still check for the updates from our own server.

    Every repository-hosted plugin has this functionality, via the "Upgrade Notice" section of the readme.txt file. This notice appears on the Manage Plugins page.
    So, there's nothing you're providing that isn't already provided for by the WordPress repository and the plugins' built-in functionality.

    It's funny to see your interpretation. Well, does that upgrade notice shows the notice in the plugin's setting page? Most users never check their manage plugins page unless they want to add/remove any plugin. I think update notice should be displayed in the seeting page as well so user get notified about the updates for the plugins they regularly use.

  16. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    The GPL explicitly states that you can charge a fee for downloading a GPL work, but it is equally clear that you cannot restrict the user's use of the work.

    Requiring registration before use is plainly a use restriction, and thus violative of the GPL.

    Requiring email-list subscription before use is even more of a use restriction.

    Thank you for making this clear and saying this yourself. I'm not restricting the user's use of the code. Please read the GPL thoroughly and then read it again. GPL says "GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software" and yes, I give user the freedom to share and chage the software.

    Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software

    Where is there restriction in our plugin for the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software? I give them the freedom to run the software the way they like. If they don't like the way it runs, they are free to change it and run it as the way they like. :)

    Have you asked yourself why you are the only WordPress plugin developer in the world using such a business model? Seriously.

    Innovation. Creativity ??? Do I have to follow the herd? You may even complain that every email software sorts the email by date, name or subject. Why Gmail don't have any sorting functionality at all?

    Can't someone do the things in different way?

    All the dating sites used to have premium paid feature. PlentyOfFish.com made all those paid features free. They instead put lots of ads in their website to make the service free. Are they wrong because they didn't follow the herd?

    Oh, and you may say that the user is free to unsubscribe anytime they like - but as soon as they install a new MaxBlogPress plugin, they are once again forced to subscribe - to an email list from which they have already unsubscribed!

    Talk about user-unfriendly.

    If user come and download my other plugins and use it again then don't you think I'm providing excellent value? :)

    - Pawan Agrawal

  17. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Charge for the plugins that that market would support charging for.
    Charge for support.
    Develop paid plugins for clients.

    There are lots of ways to build a viable business model.

    What if someone can't pay for the plugin? If you have got lots of money then it doesn't mean you should make everything a paid service and make it harder for the people who can't pay for the paid plugin.

    What if listening to you, google stop showing ads in their search engine and ask you to pay to use their service? What if all the radio starts asking for monthly subscription charge and stop accepting the ads? What if all the tv channels stop showing ads and start asking you to pay huge subscription charge for just watching a single channel? Chip, please don't think from one side. Look the world from other side as well.

    Thanks for pointing out that potential security/privacy breach in WordPress. We'll have to press the devs to take a look at it.

    That's not a security breach. If you are a good programmer then you should have understand what I have said above. If I was coding under wrong intention and wouldn't have respected the users rights then I would have made everthing automated without asking for user's permission. The subscription form is there to make user know that they are subscribing to a newsletter.

    And that's why your plugins are not suitable for the WordPress repository. The registration takes place after download and installation, and thus represents a use restriction that renders the plugins not GPL-compatible.

    I can give hundreds of reasons why this plugin is GPL compatible but it would be waste of my time as you are not in the mood of listening from the other side as well. Later, sometime think about the whole thing with cool mind.

    By the way, if you really think the plugins are not GPL compatible then you are violating the law by modifying and distributing the plugins developed by us without asking for any permission. You yourself is touting that my plugins are not GPL compatible and you yourself is treating it like the way it is distributed under GPL.

    - Pawan Agrawal

  18. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    There are hundreds of plugin authors, who have released thousands of free plugins. You are the only one, to my knowledge, who has built a business model around a forced registration and subscription to an email list.

    Well, so you want everyone follow the herd and don't innovate?

    What you're doing with these plugins isn't innovation; it's exploitation.

    I'll support the forks as best as I can - but, primarily, I was merely trying to contribute the cleaned up code back to the WordPress community.

    As I said earlier, either say you want to devote hard work in the development or don't ruin it for everybody else who value our plugins. I know there's no law enforcement for this neither I anyone can force you into this.

    Again: I'll support them as my time allows.

    I have given them freely to the community. If others believe they can better support them, they are free (and encouraged!) to take them on.

    But, as I see you are fighting for the user rights. If many users are happy with the plugin as they are don't you think it should let run as it is and don't make it shut down just because you didn't like it.

    You ascribe far too much power to me. I cannot make anything you do "shut down" (nor do I want to do so).

  19. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    You develop plugins for a living, and you just "left in" a couple hundred lines of dead code? Riiiiiiight.

    If you know the development process then you probably know that it's always good to keep the functions as it is in the code which can be used in the future. It's the worst decision to remove all the codes which are not being used. Some are kept their intentionally to develop on that further in future.

    I'm familiar with the development process, even if I'm new to developing for WordPress.

    It is always bad form to leave dead code in place, and there is never a valid reason to leave it in.

    If you take that code out, and then need it again, it is as simple as putting it back in. Taking it out of a given work does not mean that the code is gone forever, never again to be remembered.

    Also, since the WordPress SVN repository handles all versioning and WordPress core handles updates, what possible future use could you have for roll-your-own plugin update code? Do you somehow expect WordPress to drop this functionality in the future?

    Not the versions I downloaded a few weeks ago. They still invoked the update functionality right after verifying that the user was registered and on your email list.

    Further, if you are now updating via WordPress SVN, why does the update link in the plugins point to a current version, rather than a two-year-old version?

    Please, check properly which plugin you are talking about. Not all of our plugins are hosted in wp repository. The one which are hosted in our website still check for the updates from our own server.

    I only looked at plugins (that were at one time) hosted in the WordPress repository. Every single one had the same update code.

    Every. Single. One.

    Every repository-hosted plugin has this functionality, via the "Upgrade Notice" section of the readme.txt file. This notice appears on the Manage Plugins page.

    So, there's nothing you're providing that isn't already provided for by the WordPress repository and the plugins' built-in functionality.

    It's funny to see your interpretation. Well, does that upgrade notice shows the notice in the plugin's setting page? Most users never check their manage plugins page unless they want to add/remove any plugin. I think update notice should be displayed in the seeting page as well so user get notified about the updates for the plugins they regularly use.

    Most well-configured plugins do not require frequent visits to the plugin options page.

    The built-in plugin update notice appears:

    a) On the Manage Plugins page
    b) In the Admin Menu
    c) On the Tools -> Update page

    Want to innovate? Write a plugin that hooks into the built-in banner notification for core update, to notify users of available plugin updates. (I'd be surprised if someone hasn't already done so.)

  20. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Thank you for making this clear and saying this yourself. I'm not restricting the user's use of the code. Please read the GPL thoroughly and then read it again. GPL says "GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software" and yes, I give user the freedom to share and chage the software.

    I realize that others hold a different interpretation of GPL, which is why I prefaced my statements by saying that they represented my interpretation. But the GPL says far more than "GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software". In fact, I quoted far more from the GPL itself.

    Where is there restriction in our plugin for the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software? I give them the freedom to run the software the way they like. If they don't like the way it runs, they are free to change it and run it as the way they like. :)

    Where is the restriction for the users' freedom to run the plugin? That's easy:

    1) Download/install a MaxBlogPress plugin
    2) Active the plugin
    3) The user is immediately presented with a note that the plugin must be registered in order to be used.
    4) Navigate to the plugin settins page
    5) The user is presented with a registration form, rather than the plugin's settings.

    Clear restrictions of the users' freedom to run the plugin are bolded.

  21. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Fixing blockquotes:

    Have you asked yourself why you are the only WordPress plugin developer in the world using such a business model? Seriously.

    Innovation. Creativity ??? Do I have to follow the herd? You may even complain that every email software sorts the email by date, name or subject. Why Gmail don't have any sorting functionality at all?

    Can't someone do the things in different way?

    All the dating sites used to have premium paid feature. PlentyOfFish.com made all those paid features free. They instead put lots of ads in their website to make the service free. Are they wrong because they didn't follow the herd?

    GMail? Dating sites?

    Please try to stay on topic.

    Oh, and you may say that the user is free to unsubscribe anytime they like - but as soon as they install a new MaxBlogPress plugin, they are once again forced to subscribe - to an email list from which they have already unsubscribed!

    Talk about user-unfriendly.

    If user come and download my other plugins and use it again then don't you think I'm providing excellent value? :)

    - Pawan Agrawal

    Irrelevant. If a user unsubscribes from your email newsletter, that user has clearly and explicitly indicated his desire not to receive your newsletter. And yet, in order to use another (not-yet-installed-at-time-of-unsubscription) MaxBlogPress plugin, you require that user to subscribe (again) to your newsletter.

    Whether you are providing excellent value or not is completely irrelevant. You are knowingly forcing a user to subscribe to an email list from which he has already unsubscribed.

  22. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    That's not a security breach. If you are a good programmer then you should have understand what I have said above. If I was coding under wrong intention and wouldn't have respected the users rights then I would have made everthing automated without asking for user's permission. The subscription form is there to make user know that they are subscribing to a newsletter.

    Actually, if a plugin has such easy access to the current user's profile information, then yes, I do consider that access to be a potential security/privacy breach - for precisely the reason you have given: the plugin can scrape those data, and do with them whatever it chooses.

    And that's why your plugins are not suitable for the WordPress repository. The registration takes place after download and installation, and thus represents a use restriction that renders the plugins not GPL-compatible.

    I can give hundreds of reasons why this plugin is GPL compatible but it would be waste of my time as you are not in the mood of listening from the other side as well. Later, sometime think about the whole thing with cool mind.

    Yes, for the most part, your plugins are GPL-compatible. The forced registration/email-subscription is not, in my interpretation.

    I've always thought about it with a cool mind. I hold no animosity toward you, and generally take a very pragmatic view of the GPL itself.

    By the way, if you really think the plugins are not GPL compatible then you are violating the law by modifying and distributing the plugins developed by us without asking for any permission. You yourself is touting that my plugins are not GPL compatible and you yourself is treating it like the way it is distributed under GPL.

    - Pawan Agrawal

    Uh, no.

    You've released them under the GPL. That doesn't mean that exercising my rights under the GPL is somehow illegal if you've coded the plugin in such a way so as to be incompatible with the license; rather, it just supports my rights with respect to the GPL-incompatible components.

    Further, WordPress plugins are unquestionably derivative works of WordPress; therefore, any such derivative works that are distributed must be GPL-compatible. You cannot distribute a GPL-incompatible derivative work (e.g. a plugin), and then attempt to enforce the GPL incompatibility.

    In other words:

    You distributed a WordPress plugin, which by definition must be GPL-compatible. As a user who has acquired such a distributed work, I don't have to ask for your permission to do anything with respect to that work.

  23. maxblogpress
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Well Chip, you already know, I make a living out of the wordpress plugins. So, you should have expected that I've consulted with many sources and experts to be sure what consitutes as GPL and what's not. I'm not throwing off my personal expressions. I am saying it because I consulted about this with the experts.

    In essence GPL means the freedom to use the code freely without asking anything from the developer. If I had encrypted the optin form codes and distributed it then of course I would have violated the GPL. I am giving full control to the user to do whatever they like with my codes without any restriction.

    They are free to do database hacks, change the code and do whatever they like to run the plugin. That's called the freedom.

    - Pawan Agrawal

  24. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Well Chip, you already know, I make a living out of the wordpress plugins. So, you should have expected that I've consulted with many sources and experts to be sure what consitutes as GPL and what's not. I'm not throwing off my personal expressions. I am saying it because I consulted about this with the experts.

    There are a lot of GPL experts (and not-so-experts) out there, and most of them will hold differing opinions on all matters GPL-related.

    In the end, all the opinions are virtually meaningless, until one is challenged/argued and upheld in a court of law.

    In essence GPL means the freedom to use the code freely without asking anything from the developer.

    Now that is a somewhat silly interpretation.

    Binary code can be properly GPL (see, e.g.: Mozilla Firefox), even though the user must "ask" the developer for the source (with Firefox, I believe source is available on the web site - but that's not always the case). In fact, the GPL even explicitly states that the developer can charge a nominal fee for the medium used to transfer the source code to the requester.

    If I had encrypted the optin form codes and distributed it then of course I would have violated the GPL. I am giving full control to the user to do whatever they like with my codes without any restriction.

    Yes, I know: there are others as well who believe that, since the code is able to be modified to operate in a manner consistent with GPL, then the original code is in conformance with the license.

    However, the ability to modify code is a separate freedom entirely from the freedom to use code. (Again, it is my interpretation that) if a user is required to modify code to make it free to use, then that modification requirement represents a use restriction, since not every user will have the ability to modify the code.

    They are free to do database hacks, change the code and do whatever they like to run the plugin. That's called the freedom.

    If you truly believe this, then why did you earlier admonish me that releasing my MBP auto-activate plugin was "unethical" because it "ruin[ed] all the hard work of a developer"?

    To say that users have such a freedom on one hand, and then call users who exercise that freedom "unethical" on the other hand, is to be a hypocrite.

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