Improving a free WordPress plugin and selling it? Share your opinion.

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Hey, folks...

Let's say someone takes a free WordPress plugin from https://wordpress.org/plugins/ , improves it and then sells copies of it for money.

It appears this is possible, BUT then the buyers of that paid plugin could probably distribute it as they see fit.

From what I understand, if a premium (paid) WordPress plugin uses entire sections of a free open-source WordPress plugin, then that *entire* plugin is supposed to be distributed under the same GPL license.

In practice though, WordPress doesn't really seem to enforce this, because they *want* more marketers creating plugins and helping spread the word about WordPress.

Not too sure if the original developers of the free open-source plugin would be too happy about that though.


And what if the premium plugin developer adds a licensing function that stops someone from using the plugin without paying the seller of the premium plugin?

What do you think?

Thanks!
#free #improving #opinion #plugin #selling #share #wordpress
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  • Perneali45,

    Originally Posted by perneali45 View Post

    Let's say someone takes a free WordPress plugin, improves it and then sells copies of it for money.
    The buyers of that paid plugin could probably distribute it as they see fit.
    GPL? I don't think so.
    Third parties are only allowed to use and distribute the open source portions of the premium plugin's source code (as it is, including modifications as long as it doesn't have proprietary assets).
    Also, the premium plugin owner is just expected to include the same license terms for the open source portions of their source code; and
    They also need to make the open source code they used, in its entirety (as it is including modifications and excluding proprietary assets), accessible to anybody who wants to see and use it ...

    Originally Posted by perneali45 View Post

    From what I understand, if a premium (paid) WordPress plugin uses entire sections of a free open-source WordPress plugin, then that *entire* plugin is supposed to be distributed under the same GPL license.
    I think the premium plugin owner, as I mentioned earlier, is only expected to distribute their premium plugin with the same license terms, but only for the open source portions of their entire source code.
    They can protect their proprietary code and assets, such as images / graphics, text and so on ...

    Originally Posted by perneali45 View Post

    In practice though, WordPress doesn't really seem to enforce this, because they *want* more marketers creating plugins and helping spread the word about WordPress.
    Maybe.
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