Thesis has officially adopted a split GPL license, putting an end to the explosive debate between WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg and Thesis developer Chris Pearson which launched a community-wide discussion on the GPL and WordPress themes.
To clarify the split GPL license, Chris Pearson adds, “the PHP is GPLv2 and the CSS, JS, and images are proprietary.” Specifically, this means that Thesis no longer violates the GPL of WordPress and the several plugins that Thesis was based on. Matt Mullenweg was thrilled to hear the news, replying with, “Now, back to work. This has taken a lot of my time over the past few days and was going to consume more if it went forward.”
It is unknown if this will have any affect on Mr. Pearson’s business. While the split GPL license now allows the core of Thesis be redistributed by a third-party either free or for a fee, the rest of Thesis is still protected and would therefore require extensive work to redistribute anything like it. In addition to the proprietary portions of Thesis, Mr. Mullenweg mentioned in the original debate that Thesis is “more than just a code and a theme; it is the forums, the support, the community, and all the things around it that make it valuable. That is not something that someone in another country selling it for half-price is going to be able to duplicate because they don’t have you.”