Matt, The GPL And More

December 17th, 2008
WordPress Weekly

If you are a premium theme developer or have an interest in WordPress themes, you may have heard that over 200 themes were removed from the theme repository. The reasons behind the removals have yet to be made public and there is more afoot than just the removal of themes. Over the course of the past few days, debates and discussions have been taking place on numerous blogs regarding WordPress, the GPL, themes and much more. Matt has agreed to appear on WordPress Weekly on Thursday at 1 P.M. EST to set the record straight so to speak. My goal for this special episode of the show is to get an explanation as to what happened with the theme repository, the new guidelines, Matt’s stance on the GPL, the entire issue of premium themes, what will happen with plugins and a whole lot more. This episode is really important to me as I try to clear up as much of the muddy waters as I can.




  1. Ryan (55 comments.) says:

    Looking forward to it. Great job getting Matt on the show Jeff.

  2. Ike (13 comments.) says:

    Don’t know if this is a related issue, but I have noticed a disturbing trend.

    Themes that are featured in this column as “new releases” often come out free with no links, and typically stay that way for a few days. Later, when you visit the sites clicking over from the archives, you’ll find those themes now have premium versions, or come with terms of service that include mandatory links.

    I wish I had bookmarked the examples the other night, as I had gone several months back in your posts looking for a particular theme, and finding a few that do not meet the current terms and conditions of being featured.

    • Neil (6 comments.) says:

      I agree with Ike, this is a worrying trend, im always looking for great themes as they tend to set my mind off in different tangents of what i could do with them. I regulary bookmark the sites containing the free themes, and when i go back as soon as a few weeks later they are not free anymore. What im trying to figure out is what are these sites trying to achieve by doing this?

      • Ike (13 comments.) says:

        What are they trying to achieve?

        Free publicity.

        Maybe I just need to make it a habit to download a local copy of each theme on the first day, just to ensure there are no changes later.

        • Neil (6 comments.) says:

          All of which are short lived if they only have themes free for a limited period. Are these websites committing any wrong doing by offering themes under GPL to later change their minds?

    • David Coveney (4 comments.) says:

      That’s pretty sucky if people are trying to game the system – but I don’t think any of the big premium guys are playing that game, and I know we definitely aren’t!

      I guess in a way it’s the folk doing the less straight stuff that’s spoiled it for the rest – how can distinguish between honest developers like us, Woothemes or iThemes and the dishonest that play spammy games?

      It’s not an easy thing for them to manage without criticism.

      Sadly a lot of people in this world are neither honest nor fair. I keep coming across dishonest and unfair practices which, frankly, just mean my faith in humanity is dimishing daily. Oh well.

      • David Coveney (4 comments.) says:

        Just to mention, that list of honest developers/designers isn’t exclusive – there’s an awful lot of honest guys out there! My big worry is that there’s lots of dishonest ones too – if we go fully GPL they can cheerfully and legally take away and repackage our themes and support packages at lower cost. People buy with their eyes, then with their wallets… by the time they realise they’ve bought into rubbish support from a cowboy we’ll have gone bust.

  3. Malcolm Bastien (7 comments.) says:

    I’ve only been around WordPress for so long but I can see that this is the hottest topic I’ve seen so far. If people don’t get an answer soon I can see this growing into a monster of a fiasco.

  4. Manuel says:

    I heard that these templates where removed because they contained links to casino sites – is that true?

  5. JellyBeen (5 comments.) says:

    I’ll be waiting to pick up the podcast on this WPW. I’m most interesting in hearing this interview, one I would love to participate in if I didn’t already have obligations to tend to.
    Great idea, and thanks for taking the time to get this put together.

  6. Rori says:

    Thank you for keeping us up to date. I am interested in the evolution of this theme trend.

  7. Kim (2 comments.) says:

    I’m very interested in hearing Matt speak on this issue. Thanks Jeff for getting him on the show! :)

  8. Xavier (4 comments.) says:

    Excellent news. It shall make for a very interesting show. It would be cool if you would set-up some sort of vote-a-question form…

  9. Mark (1 comments.) says:

    Interesting topic. I always wondered how the WordPress core people made money when the bells and whistles people charge more for their stuff than the core application. Tried to buy a mug to show support but the shipping was $18 to receive a $10 cup.

    These folks should not exploit the WordPress community in any underhanded way.

  10. Mark Ghosh (386 comments.) says:

    This is a test comment.

  11. Mark Ghosh (386 comments.) says:

    This is another test comment.

  12. David Russell (32 comments.) says:

    They should just require anything which wants to be listed on the WordPress directory (themes, plugins etc.) to be either GPL-compatible or more liberal than the GPL (Apache license etc.) In other words, no forced links. Ever.


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