Support » Themes and Templates » Not in the spirit of the GPL

  • I would like to draw your attention to two forum posts,
    and then ask a question about the intentions behind the GPL regarding wordpress themes. I believe that cyberchimps are acting in a mean spirited way with regard to the GPL and would like the opinion of someone from wordpress if possible, regarding why one developer is taken to task over doing something which another developer gets away with

    Two conversations, one of which is in one of the the sites and one of which is in the cyberchimps websites.

    In the first a theme developer is being taken to task for basically ignoring the terms of the GPL. WordPress state that he is basically doing something which is analagous to selling a safe and charging extra for the keys

    now look at this short conversation in the cyberchimps support forum, in which they openly admit they are doing exactly the same thing

    My question is, what is different to what cyberchimps are doing and what the other developer is doing? If nothing then why are their themes still in the repository?

    I will offer my own opinion on this attitude of cyberchimps. They are advertising functionality for the lite theme which infact you only get if you pay for the pro version. You do not find this out in the description until you activate the lite theme.
    then you realise they have subverted all the directories and locations of code to make it difficult to interpret what is going on and any support request for the lite theme is met with “If you have the technical skills or the pro version you can do anything”.
    I think they are just taking us for a ride, but people really aren’t as dumb as cyberchimps think they are

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • I thought I would add in the relevant quote from
    to save people having to track through a load of irrelevant posts

    What you’re trying to do here isn’t cool because you’re essentially ripping-off your customers, in my view. You’re not *selling* them anything tangible. The code to do the “premium” options is already in the theme, all that you’re selling them is a code to turn that functionality on. What’s even worse is that the code only unlocks functionality that you intentionally locked away behind it in the first place.

    It’s like selling somebody a safe on the cheap and then charging them extra for the key after they’ve already gotten the safe.

    Moderator Jan Dembowski


    Brute Squad and Volunteer Moderator

    I know I’ll be sorry for asking this, but can you provide a link to the theme and/or plugin that you are referring to in the WordPress repo here?

    Not a trac link but something that starts with

    Moderator Andrew Nevins


    Forum moderator

    With the Cyberchimps topic, it seems they’re asking users to pay for support. Am I missing the point? I don’t see what’s wrong with this.

    Moderator Jan Dembowski


    Brute Squad and Volunteer Moderator

    To be honest I’m not getting it either but that may be my own shortcoming. 😉

    Latka if someone’s violating the terms of hosting a theme or plugin on the WordPress repo please let us know. But if someone’s doing or saying something somewhere else then there’s not much to be done about that.

    I don’t see any GPL violation with that theme. If you don’t like that theme or theme author then just don’t use their code. The decisions made regarding other themes or theme authors is not connected.

    Well that’s fair enough and I think youre right they are telling people to pay for support, by which they mean upgrade to pro. It’s just the way they are doing that which irks me.
    I didnt like the fact they are being sharp in their interpretation of the GPL. There is a difference between “complying” with the law or with contractual terms, and being “in the spirit of”. I just think that the attitude is lets offer free support and offer all this functionality and stick what amounts to an advert in the admin side of the theme, and when they come for support on the lite theme we’ll just shrug and say “go buy the pro version”. I agree they comply with the GPL but I think as far as the spirit of the GPL is concerned their only wish is they could do away with that license all together. Frankly I flirted with their theme for 20 minutes before deciding to get help and then all I was told was “buy the pro version” which sucks considering many other authors are only too willing to help even though they provide lite and pro themes
    I still think the originators of the GPL would think the same as me

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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