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WorldPress Theme Thesis Maker withdraws, takes over GPL
Make this a win for the Free Software movement: The Thesis, the very much -loved WordPress theme by developer/designer Chris Pearson, is now available under a shared GPL, the licence that allows you to modify and distribute this software as you wish. Pearson's ruling marked the end of a dramatic conflict between him and Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress and Automattic, which operates WordPress.com and a fistful of related software.
A few people were wondering if the struggle of words could end in a fight for legend, as Mullenweg fought to keep the free software principle alive, and Pearson fought to keep a grip on his very popular software. The paper created a little turmoil when it was first published a few years ago; since it was based on WordPress and used the WordPress plug-in API (GPL software), the topic was allegedly governed by the same share-and-share similar principle and should have been published under the same GPL.
Known as the General Public License, this paper was first written by Richard Stallman, who still has very clear opinions about software-sharing. Under the GPL, software may be resold for commercial purposes, but the software must be free to be shared, changed, distributed to the public, and copied.
" The work was resold for $87 per copy under a more traditional licence, even though it used and referred to GPL-licensed codec. For whatever reasons, we haven't heard too much about this particular WordPress topic from person to person, even though it has become a real cash gun for Pearson.
Until Andrew Warner of Mixergy did an explosively interesting radio talk with Chris Pearson, the author of the diploma thesis. When Pearson betrayed the monetary triumph he should have seen of his at least partly free and open sourced software, WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg returned on Twitter. "If Thesis hadn't copied and inserted large parts of the WordPress (and GPL plugins) coding, PHP would still have to be under the GPL," Mullenweg posted in his Blog.
It also began to encourage diploma thesis students to give up the topic and look for alternative ways to use the GPL. "â??We are writing software that strengthens and safeguards the freedom of the user, it is our Bill of Rights. Whereas last weekend it seemed that neither side was ready to take up its stance, Pearson has only just given in, if only to the extent necessary, to meet the GPL statutory requirement.
" It' s a complicated and subtle subject, but we are happy that Pearson thought it appropriate to comply with the GPL and that no bloody thing was shed.