WordPress To Launch Theme Marketplace, All Themes To be GPL
About 4 weeks back I was contacted by Toni Schneider CEO of Automattic. Automattic was thinking of launching a WordPress Theme marketplace for WordPress.com. At that time they wanted to keep to it under wraps. Now Matt himself has confirmed this.
I thought it was an excellent idea especially to give exposure to WordPress theme designers. But there was one confusion i.e. wanted all the themes to be GPL. Below is my response to this. I didn’t get any response to my feedback. Not sure if it has something to with the fact that I objected to a GPL for Premium themes.
We’re thinking of making it a requirement that the themes be original (never published before), GPL licensed (to help other designers and keep the copyright issues simple) and not have any credit links (since they are paid). Any thoughts on that?
How can a theme be premium and GPL at the same time? Once it is GPL everyone has access to it for free. If its free why buy it? I wouldn’t sell a Premium theme with a GPL licence. Also if I am correct you mentioned that the theme is CSS based i.e. using the SANDBOX Theme. Which means It is very easy to grab the CSS source code hence It just doesn’t make sense to GPL the theme.
Credit links need to be shown irrespective of whether the theme is free or premium. Not only is it the right thing to do this is the way most Freelance designers get more clients and spread the word about themselves, it also acts as a copyright.
A comment from malan and a post from Matt blog got me rethinking.
blah! this will KILL any and all free WP themes. great job WordPress.
From Matt’s blog.
Beyond the obvious guidelines of browser compatibility and general not-sucking, weâ€™ll require submissions be original, link-free, not published before, and GPL-licensed. (That also means that all themes in the marketplace will be available FREE to WordPress.org users. That may force some to switch from .com to .org, but thatâ€™s fine.)
I was in the process of releasing my current Theme “Azure Sky” as a free theme. But I had seconds thought of releasing it as a paid theme since I had put so much time and effort into it. I think if I release the theme on WordPress.com it solves both my problems i.e. I get paid for it and it also get to release it for free for WordPress.org i.e. people hosting WordPress themselves.
I am think I am willing to experiment and see how this marketplace works out. As long as the effort that I put into a theme is compensated for.