Switching from Creative Commons to GPL

I’ll be switching all of my themes from the Creative Commons ShareALike Attribution license to the GPL license. Under GPL, you can basically do whatever you want with my themes; it’s almost like a free for all deal. Mainly, GPL means removing the link-back requirement.

Why am I switching?

Despite that, I’m just ONE theme designer and despite that, I don’t contribute directly the WordPress codes, I believe that switching to GPL is a step in the direction to support the WordPress team and to help the WordPress theme community grow (positively). And, I’d like to encourage other theme designers to make the same decision, or at least sit-down and consider switching to GPL.

Why didn’t I release my themes under GPL in the first place?

Actually, I did. Early WPDesigner.com themes like Neo-Sapien was released under the GPL license. Later on, I started using Creative Commons ShareALike Attribution and required a link-back because I was friggin’ tired of rip-off designers. Some people actually ripped-off my themes, repackaged them and put them up for downloading on their own sites.

Creative Commons and requiring a link-back was a way for me to discourage rip-offs, trying to get exposure on places like the Theme Viewer and WebBlogToolsCollection. I’m not going to name names, not because I’m taking the high road, but because they truly don’t deserve a plug on this site.

If you go through the archives, there is no post from August to October because I was so frustrated with people ripping my themes, that I took a break from it all. The last theme before I took the break is Annoyed. Can you guess what I was feeling then?

So why the switch now?

I didn’t consider switching until I had a chat with Matt Mullenweg. He wanted to know why I release my themes under CC and I explained to him the whole deal about rip-offs and blah blah blah. Afterwards, I didn’t give that part of the conversation much thought; I went to sleep.

The day after the chat, I reconsidered the conversation, the part about theme licensing, and how I would feel if I HAD TO link back to the theme designer because link-back was a requirement. In conclusion, I decided that CC and requiring a link back, just to protect myself from rip-off designers, isn’t the way to solve things. And whatever I do to discourage rip-offs should NOT affect the rest of my theme users.

Bottom line

I will be switching all of my themes throughout the next several days to GPL. Thank you to those that continue to link back to WPDesigner.com.

P.S. – I’m sorry to those that came across my emails or messages requesting you to restore the link to wpdesigner.com. I had to do it. Otherwise, there’d be no point in requiring a link-back. You can use my themes without linking back from now on.

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