Support » Everything else WordPress » CC Attribution code inside of GPL theme – can it be?

  • I created WordPress theme which I wanted to publish under GPL. However, one supporting file (for the drop-down menu) is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (BY-2.0) license.

    My questions is: can the theme bear the GPL license then?

    What I uncovered through searching is that CC licenses are not GPL compatible, but that case does not apply here.

    I don’t publish the theme as CC-BY. Theme would be GPLed while it’s using one file under CC-BY license. Does GPL allows something like this? This is basically the question for lawyers :), someone who understand the ins and outs of GPL. Does anyone know?

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Moderator Matt Mullenweg



    Perhaps you couldcontact the author of the dropdown code to see if they could relicense it for your theme.

    The Attribution 2.0 simplified, means that you can use it, and release it under anything you like (GPL, for example) as long as any derivative work attributes the original author.

    For example, you create a theme, you note in the theme (source code comments, for example) that you used work from so and so. Then you release your theme under the GPL (or any other license you choose). However, anyone who creates a derivative work from your theme, must also credit the original author.

    So in short, yes you may GPL your theme.

    There’s something like this…

    Thanks for the answers guys. I wanted to post a theme for the WP theme competition, but it’s over now.

    Francey, my thoughts were exactly like yours (it sounds logical, after all) but wanted to get some more thoughts on this.

    Are you still going to release the theme? Just because the competition is over doesn’t mean yoyu can’t release it.

    You can have it added to this list here:


    I do not what the arrangements are now but last year the comp morphed into a gallery. Folks submitted for ever.

    FWIW, it’s a lovely looking theme. Well done!

    Alex King won’t accept anything with a CC Attribution licence, so if you were going to submit it there you’d have to take the CC file out. If you don’t want to do that, just list it at the WordPress Reference Centre and the Codex.

    I have pointed out to Alex and others that limiting the subsequent licensing of a gpl’ed product is itself a breach of that license. There is plenty of software eg linux which is gpl. The desktop environments though are not necessarily. Furthermore there is no doubt that a theme is not software anyway. I hope folks are going to persist in this.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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