My free plugin is being bundled with a paid for theme (7 posts)

  1. alanft
    Posted 5 years ago #

    I feel some uncomfortable about this. Not outraged, as I make my code freely available as is the norm with WP plugins (with a justgiving link for the generous). And they don't hide the fact - it's there in b/w on the main purchase page. It just seems a little off.

    Is this common practice? Am I feeling too proprietorial over what is basically free for anyone to take anyway?

  2. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 5 years ago #

    I don't know how common this is but exactly the same happened with our main plugin too. I can't help feeling that some contact before the theme went live would have be... well... nice. Not to ask permission or anything. More of a "Fancy having a look at the way we've used your plugin?". Whilst using plugins in this way is perfectly in line with GPL, I can't help feeling that to ignore the original plugin author completely is not in the spirit of the thing.

    What does gall is having their theme support pushed over onto our plugin support forum. I don't know how many times we've had to politely explain that the theme is nothing to do with us and, no, we can't really help. I'm sure people think we're being awkward.

    So I know exactly how you feel.

  3. No, I'm with you two (and I've never had that happen). It's legal, but it's not NICE. And if YOU (the theme dev) are making money of it, maybe you should donate to the plugins. Esp. if you're dumping support on them. Sheesh.

  4. hotinthenews
    Posted 5 years ago #

    simple solution for your next free plug-in

    Add this sentence to your plug-in EULA:

    "Plug-in is free and may not be used commercially or in conjunction with paid-for-services without the express written consent of the author of this plug-in!"

    At the very end of your EULA put your contact info.

    One more suggestion: offer a free plug-in and 'charge' for your plug-in when used in commercial applications.

  5. GRAQ
    Posted 5 years ago #

    You could possibly see the nice side. Most likely, your plugin code could be lifted straight into the theme functions file(s). Strip out your comments and add some sar and possibly most people wouldn't even spot that your plugin code was being used. They are leaving it as-is and acknowledged/credited your work.

    Just trying to spin a happy thought!

    [Though I do admit that where I work we have effectively sold themes with other people's plugins in, and we try to buy the 'pro dev' (most expensive multi-use) version they offer. So, personally, I think they should cough up]

  6. MomentCaptor
    Posted 5 years ago #

    alanft, how you feel is understandable. i loved your plug-in and used it heavily until I recently upgraded to wp 3.1

  7. "Plug-in is free and may not be used commercially or in conjunction with paid-for-services without the express written consent of the author of this plug-in!"

    That would be non-GPL and we wouldn't be able to host it here on WordPress.org.

    The GPL doesn't allow for extra terms like that. It is perfectly acceptable, under the GPL, to take somebody's plugin and sell it, as-is, or modified, or whatever. The GPL isn't about whether people can sell things or not, it's about freedom of the code and the passing on of the granted rights to that code to others.

    Somebody can sell your GPL'd plugin, even bundled, but they can't do it under terms other than the GPL. Meaning that if you get a copy of that theme with your plugin, you can then turn around and give their theme away for free too.

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