At last check, there were 6,769 plugins available on the repository. Many of these plugins overlap each other providing similar or the same exact functionality. Over the past few months, I’ve heard developers tell me about particular plugins which were gaining in popularity in the repository were nothing more than ripoffs of their own creation. But, plugins on the repository are filed under the GPL meaning modifying and redistribution of code is completely valid. To make matters worse, many of the plugins that make use of another plugins code do not contain any form of credit acknowledging the plugin author or where the code came from. I know this because I’ve taken a look at the source code of some of the plugins in question and if you didn’t know any better, they wrote the entire thing themselves. While I could ask the same questions regarding themes, I would like to save that for another day.
So how much code does it take to qualify a plugin as a ripoff? Can a plugin even be considered a ripoff when the license clearly says you can modify and redistribute GPL code without worry? If a plugin author is going to use code from another plugin, what is the proper way of attributing that code? Is attribution even required?