Official word on WordPress theme licensing

| July 3, 2009 | Leave a Comment

The great debate on the GPL (GNU Public License) and its pertinence to WordPress themes has been going on for months, but it seems the issue may be finally be laid to rest, thanks to the response of the Software Freedom Law Center on the matter.

Matt Mullenweg quotes the whole thing on the WordPress Development blog, but he has a a one-sentence summary for it too:

PHP in WordPress themes must be GPL, artwork and CSS may be but are not required.

Of course Matt points out that a WordPress theme would be pretty useless without graphics and CSS, and therefore now that they’ve launched the Commercial Themes Directory, they’re requiring 100% compatibility with the GPL. Meaning everything, including graphics and CSS, must have no restrictions on usage. Again, the GPL license does not require themes to be free of charge.

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