I recently read an interesting post over at Blogsessive on the big controversy over the GPL and WordPress. It covers the other perspective, that of the smaller theme developers trying to earn a living, from a somewhat neutral standpoint of someone who on one hand likes the GPL, but on the other hand doesn’t want to put stifle the creativity of the authors who can’t necessarily devote time to something that will have little return.
The discussion around this always seems to evolve into “open source” versus “author protection”. As Alex King pointed out in one of his posts, theme authors should be aware of what the GPL license exposes them too, while it provides freedom for basically everyone else.
I’m not by any means against freedom and open source. I’ve been preaching about the power of WordPress and the wonder that it is, but what I love more is to see a protection system for those authors that make a living out of releasing quality themes and plugins for WordPress. Somewhere along the way, in our quest for “freedom” we forgot how hard it is to earn our living, how hard it is to learn the things we now use to feed our families.
I have a similar position. I like the GPL as much as anyone who contributes to the WordPress community, and I appreciate it’s provisions for paid software, but as nice as that sounds in print, it doesn’t always work out that well in real life.
My Take on the WordPress Themes & the GPL License [Blogsessive]