What is the official stance of WordPress regarding non-GPL plugins and what should the stance of the WordPress community be?
1) I’m talking about plugins such as WP Wishlist which charge for a license to use the software and are not released under the GPL, or a GPL compatible free software license.
2) I’m aware that it is perfectly within the bounds of the GPL to charge for software, so long as the four freedoms of the GPL are preserved. However, these freedoms include the right to run the software (on as many domains as desired), the right to redistribute the software (with or without charge) and the right to modify and distribute modified versions of the software.
3) According to GPL FAQ “If the program dynamically links plug-ins, and they make function calls to each other and share data structures, we believe they form a single program, which must be treated as an extension of both the main program and the plug-ins. This means the plug-ins must be released under the GPL or a GPL-compatible free software license, and that the terms of the GPL must be followed when those plug-ins are distributed.” [emphasis added]
4) There is certainly no question of infringement, nor any wrong doing, in selling installation, customization, support or training services. I’m only talking about software (plugins).
I am interested in hearing the views of the WordPress community on this issue. Perhaps you see it as immoral to flout the terms of the GPL by selling plugins? Or maybe it is an essential service, providing you with functionality that you couldn’t otherwise obtain. Others may even see it as irrelevant, “que sera sera” – whatever will be will be. What do you think?
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