The GPL FAQ on template licensing.

Within the “Removal Of Over 200 Themes?” thread inside the wp-hacker mailing list, Amy Stephen pointed out about this part of the GPL FAQ regarding template licensing:

Both Joomla! and Drupal use the SFLC’s guidance and have made statements that suggest the HTML portion of the template would considered an extension of the application, but the Javascript, CSS, and images are “data” (as described in the FSF FAQ) and not extensions of the core code, and therefore not subject to the same licensing requirements as the core code.

Previously, WordPress veteran andrea_r tweeted:

Can graphics be GPL? Why or why not? I say not.

According to the FAQ, she is correct. IANAL, but it looks like the solution for those who wanted to sell themes is to GPL-ize the theme’s PHP files and sell the CSS/JS/images package instead.

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3 Responses

  1. Andrea_R says:

    Yep, that was where I was headed. Theme designers who want to get paid for their work (and should be) are talking about the *design* – the look, the graphics.

    For many people, it’s about not seeing their work plastered all over the internet without some sort of credit. And you can’t decompile images.

  2. Matt says:

    The FAQ also suggests that linking JS can be enough to “link” the files together and requires a special exception, so I think JS and CSS are still a grey area:

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#WMS

  3. Hairul says:

    Such a usefule blog

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