[Resolved] [Plugin: WordPress Advanced Ticket System] Not Open Source, but in Plugin Repository
I just found the plugin “WordPress Advanced Ticket System” the WP Plugin Repository.
On its “Faq” page it states (among other license restrictions):
“This is not an open source software.”
In my understanding of http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/about/ this is clearly a violation of the requirements for a plugin to be included in the WP Plugin Repository at wordpress.org.
Any ideas on what to do?
Free doesn’t always mean open source, isn’t it?
The plugin is free for the moment and my feeling is that it can be usefull for some users here.
Now I have spent a lot of time working on it and I don’t want someone to take the code, change few lines, change the name and publish it. So that’s why I have put in some “restrictions” but I am not naive and I know how easy it is to browse php code and reuse it. I have no problem with that as long as the plugin isn’t duplicated by someone else…
Another way to protect it could have been to make it payable. I understand that this wouldn’t have been very kind so I have made it free so that everybody can use it. You can understand that I want to protect a bit what I have done, isn’t it?
> Free doesn’t always mean open source, isn’t it?
Well, that’s the question. Are you talking about free as in “free beer” or as in “free speech”…
I appreciate your hard work and can (to some degree) understand your concerns regarding protection of your code. But I don’t know if your described scenario is real threat. I’ve not yet heard of a single case were someone stole open source code from a developer and released it as a new plugin.
As I’m a plugin author myself, I can assure you that you will get lots of recognition for your good work. But restricting the use (and making changes) does more damage than it helps.
There a a discussion about the plugin “cform II” a few months ago. The author originally did not put his plugin under the GPL but placed it in the WP Plugin Directory. He ultimately came to the conclusion that open source was the right way to go. (see http://www.kingrat.us/2009/01/cforms-ii-not-gpl-compatible as a starting point).
Now, I don’t judge you on your decision or reasons to imply restrictions on the license as you did. I just want to convince you that your fears are unsubstatiated. Why should someone change a few lines and rerelease it if he could just ask you to add it as a feature? And even if he did, isn’t your release prove enough on who came up with the idea and the code? And users will note, believe me.
So, I would like to ask you to make a decision:
You might either release your plugin under a GPL-compatible license or if you wish to keep it under a restricted license (which is ok), remove it from the WP Plugin Directory as it currently is for GPL-compatible plugins only.
I didn’t thought I would have faced this kind of problems when I released my plugin. You are the first and only one who provided this kind of feedback, I am very surprised…
Having said that, few points :
1/ The WordPress site said : “Your plugin must be GPL Compatible”.
You can interpret this sentence in two ways. The first one is : “your plugin must be under GPL” and the second one is : “your plugin must be able to work together with GPL licensed S/W” which is the case for WordPress unless I am wrong so my understanding is that WordPress guys are just asking your plugin license to be compatible with WordPress license.
2/ What are compatible licenses? Extract from the GPL page :
What does it mean to say that two licenses are “compatible”?
“In order to combine two programs (or substantial parts of them) into a larger work, you need to have permission to use both programs in this way. If the two programs’ licenses permit this, they are compatible. If there is no way to satisfy both licenses at once, they are incompatible…”
My plugin is in essence compatible with WordPress GPL license as I allow users to run it together with WordPress. If I wouldn’t (by asking them to notify me for any installation or restricting the delivery), then I would agree that these are hardly compatibles.
But my plugin is available for free (no money), the source is easily browsable and the plugin can be downloaded easily.
I spent hundred of hours developping this plugin. You could understand that I’d like to protect a bit my work. If you don’t, you probably have a good salary beside your wordpress plugin coding and that’s not a big deal for you if your work is stolen as you don’t expect anything from it anyway…
Now we could speculate on the risk. Everybody has its own vision on that.
To close on this discussion :
1/ Based on my current understanding of the GPL “compatibility” and the WordPress statment, my understanding is that my plugin with its license (and what you describe as restrictions) could stay here. Again, the gain here is more for the user than me.
2/ Many other plugins don’t have any license or are more restrictive than mine and still they are on the repository.
3/ If my interpretation is wrong, then I would be happy to get the point of view from the WordPress repository admin so that we can see what can be done…
Having said that, I thank you for your time and wish you a good day!
The plugin has been withdrawn. It is not GPL.
If we are told about any plugin that is not GPL it is always withdrawn. It is replaced if the author chooses to make the plugin available under the GPL.
If you want to report any or are not sure about a license for a plugin you have downloaded please contact us and we’ll get back to you:
regarding “Your plugin must be GPL Compatible”: This obviously means that the license of a plugin has to be GPL (or another open source license that has the same goals/meaning as the GPL). It has nothing to with technical compatibility.
> But my plugin is available for free (no money),
> the source is easily browsable and the plugin can be downloaded easily.
I acknowledge that, but that is not enough for a plugin to be part of the WP Plugin Repository.
I also acknowledge the hard work and countless hours you already put into your plugin. And I do understand your wish to protect your work. Putting license restrictions is just the wrong way. In fact I don’t have a salary at all (I’m just a student) and I don’t make money from plugin development either (besides a few small donations). I just have fun giving back to the community with my plugins. I’ve people are happy to use it and it helps them – great for me as it makes me happy. If people like it so much that they add a new feature – even better as it helps even more people.
I don’t know what you expect from your plugin. If it’s recognition and fame, don’t worry, you’ll get it if your plugin is open source.
If it’s money or programming jobs: Read http://www.wptavern.com/cashing-in-on-wordpress-plugin-development and the links mentioned in it.
To sum up: Don’t get me wrong, in no way do I want to harm plugin development. I just want the best benefit for all WordPress plugin users (including those of your plugin). But as WordPress has a strong affinity to open source, it’s just fair to ask for plugins that are hosted and promoted on the WP Plugin Repository to follow those ideals.
Thanks Tobias, I appreciate the way you closed on the debate, it motivates me a lot to share my work with others…
I’m not sure, you’re getting the point.
It’s perfectly fine, if you are sharing your work with others only if they follow your license restrictions. It’s your work, so it’s your rules.
But at the same time the WP Plugin Repository tries to offer plugins to users that are free. But “free” as in “free speech”, by giving them all rights open source software gives them. The GPL is just one measure to enforce this. And as it is WP’s platform, their servers, there philosophy, they set the rules for it. And if they choose to only host GPL compatible plugins, so be it.
Thousands of other plugins developers do it this way, are happy with it, and it would be unfair to them to accept non-free plugins. They also work hard on their code and are very proud of giving it to the community. And they get recognized for it.
If you don’t want to put your plugin under an open source license, again, that is perfectly fine! But then don’t expect an open source dedicated platform to host and support it.
All the best,
You should be really frustrated to spend time trying to enforce policies…
Or maybe you wanted to get my plugin to duplicate the code for your own needs… Too bad.
Last message from my side, I don’t already lost too much time with you.
Hope you will discover one day that things aren’t black and white and that there is a third path between good and evil…
> You should be really frustrated to spend time trying to enforce policies…
Actually not, but your reaction shows me that it’s necessary to do.
> Last message from my side, I don’t already lost too much time with you.
There’s no reason to be mad at me. If I wouldn’t have asked about the license, someone else would have. My french is not too good, but if I’m not mistaken someone has already asked in a comment on your website.
And if you look at my first post, you’ll see that I never asked for an admin to remove your plugin from the repository as this was never my goal. You didn’t follow the rules and were not willing to adjust, so don’t blame others for sticking to them.
> Hope you will discover one day that things aren’t black and white
> and that there is a third path between good and evil…
In fact I know this. The beautiful thing is: In the area of software development, this was made possible by open source. Great, isn’t it?
Good luck with your plugin (which personally I think is great).
well, I see things this way: you wanna play with the wordpress plugin repository? then follow the rules or get lost.
Same in everyday life: you wanna drive on public roads? then drive by the rules.
And the most important part: take responsibility for your actions.
I.e. I get a lot of speeding tickets which I pay, because by driving on public roads, I agree with the rules.I don’t follow them, so if I get caught, I take responsibility and pay the fines.
same here: you know the rules, you don’t comply with the license of your plugin, face the consequences: get your plugin removed.
No use discussing, its their site, so abide by the rules.
This doesn’t mean I agree with the rules 🙂
has any body had this problem when you activate this plugin.
The page isn’t redirecting properly
Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete.
* This problem can sometimes be caused by disabling or refusing to accept cookies.
There is a redirection loop bug. You are the second one to report this issue but I have still not been able to reproduce it. It would help me if you could contact me through my contact form on my blog to indicate the url of your blog and the login details for the guest user if you agree.
after reading this I woner why wats is still available for download it on wordpress.org, althouhg it was supposed to be removed some months ago!
Were there any changes about the license?
Reading is fundamental.
1/ License terms : WATS is licensed under GPL v3.
2/ Price : WATS is free but you are more than welcome to make a donation to thank me if you’d like to.
That counts as “changes about the license”.
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