Support » Plugins » Plugin GPL violation?

  • Resolved Christiaan


    I recently purchased a WP plugin. This plugin has a free version on this site in the plugin repository and is licensed under GPL 2.

    The plugin is great. It’s robust, works nicely and is doing just what I need it to do. I’m happy to have paid for it and and I’m happy to keep paying for it to support the developer. However, having just received a upgrade, it’s occurred to me that the developer appears to be violating the GPL license.

    In the upgrade email I just received it says:

    Please, note that this plugin licence is per 1 site.
    You should not edit and/or (re)distribute this package.

    When purchasing the plugin from the developer’s site one is also faced with a choice between a 1 site license and a multi-site license.

    My understanding is that this is all a violation of the GPL. You can’t impose these restrictions on editing or distribution. Am I correct? If so I guess my next step should be to inform the developer?

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  • MichaelH


    Download and use the version from the repository.

    Please provide a link to that plugin. Thanks.



    The version from the repository doesn’t include all the features that are in the premium version.

    I’ve written to the developer who replied saying that the free version is GPL but not the premium version.

    Two problems with that. Firstly the premium version distributed to me includes the GPL licence at the top of the plugin file, so there’s no getting around that.

    Secondly, as I understand it, you can’t mix GPL and non-free code and then distribute it as a package. Is this correct?

    Would I be correct in saying this to the developer?

    The plugin is already released under GPL (the license is included in the plugin). You can’t take that back. The GPL also requires that any derivative you distribute must be made available under the same license.

    Secondly you can’t mix non-free and GPL code and then distribute it as one package.

    I will provide a link if I’m correct in my understanding and I don’t get a positive response from the developer.



    I’d say “why say anything to the developer?” Just use the plugin.

    If you continue this thread a link to download the GPL version of the plugin, please.



    I’d say “why say anything to the developer?”

    Because it’s the right thing to do for free software. Because it’s the polite and civilised thing to do. Truth is I don’t want to use it on multiple sites nor edit it, nor distribute it, but it’s only right to assert my and other peoples rights under the GPL license and help the developer if they’re acting in good faith and have simply misinterpreted their responsibilities.

    Just use the plugin.

    Just using it and not saying anything would be the wrong thing to do.

    If you continue this thread a link to download the GPL version of the plugin, please.

    As I said, if I don’t get positive response I’ll post a link. As it stands I have now received a positive response, saying they will omit the restrictions. No need to make it bigger than it is, right? If they don’t follow through I’ll post a link.



    Follow up: the developer has now removed the word “license” from their “1 site” and “multi-site” price listings on their website.

    It’s worth noting the developer’s English is very limited so may have contributed to the situation.

    Hopefully all just a misunderstanding.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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