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WordPress vs Thesis Battle Over: Thesis Theme is Now Split GPL Licensed

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WordPress is considered to be the best blogging platform. After the arrival of WordPress 3.0, it has acquired a huge user base. Under the surface of the giant however, there was some tension going over for last so many days. It was between one of the best known WordPress premium theme developers, Chris Pearson (Thesis theme maker) and Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of the popular open-source blogging software. In one of the videos, Mullenweg called out the “Developers of the premium themes” as ‘Evil’ because these are the themes for which users need to pay money. According to him, these had to come under GPL (General Public License). To Mullenweg, if you build off of free software, and depend on it, to license them under other means is a breach of ethics. It is also favored by most WordPress development firms.

Whereas Pearson disagrees with him. According to him, he should be able to license his own work in whatever manner he sees fit, regardless of the platform on which it is built. Thesis theme was being sold for $87 per copy under a more conventional license, even though it used and referenced GPL-licensed code. Pearson revealed the financial success, he achieved from this, that was the time when Matt fired back on twitter. Both of them were having kind of war of words on twitter.

GPL has a clause which states that anything built on a GPL licensed platform must also be under GPL licensing. So, finally free software movement succeeded. Thesis theme, the wildly popular proprietary WordPress theme from developer/designer Chris Pearson, is now available under a split GPL, the license that makes it possible to alter and redistribute this software as you see fit. This must have brought comfort to all the WordPress developers and users. We are happy that Pearson respected the healthy spirits of GPL and the issue was not dragged to court rooms. All well that ends well.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Please write them in comments.

Varun Bhagat is a technology geek and works with PixelCrayons as a Sr. Technology Consultant. He possesses in-depth knowledge of different web development technology and helps our clients to choose the best technology as per their needs.

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