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Updates from August, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts
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And, above all, society needs to encourage the spirit of voluntary cooperation in its citizens. When software owners tell us that helping our neighbors in a natural way is “piracy”, they pollute our society’s civic spirit.
Richard Stallman – Why Software Should Not Have Owners
I find the WordPress “premium” plugin and theme business models odd, and the community attitude toward sharing the code for those is one that is beyond my understanding currently.
I was saddened today to again request a piece of GPL software from my fellow WordPress users on the WordPress channel on freenode and be met with a “This is not a warez channel” and “You will be banned if you ask this again”. After a little contemplation, and confirming that this is the official policy, I have come to accept that since they own the channel, they have the right to choose what conversations are taboo. I get it, though I still regret it.
It saddens me that my favorite website development platform promotes this opinion that a noble act of sharing software you possess is something to be frowned upon. As soon as I learned about the distinction between Free Software and the Open Source software asset management strategy, I have been a proponent of Free Software in addition to the Open Source software asset management strategy. Perhaps Free Software is a concept that is hard to grasp for people who have never had to go without something they needed, something I was lucky enough to experience during my modest childhood. I am more and more aware of the lack of this experience in my Daughter’s North American life so far, and a little worried about the consequences.
The position that “redistributing code [of GPL premium plugins equals to] … asking people to undercut wp-based businesses” is quite an interesting one to have, for a community that demands the derivative software such as themes and plugins release their software under the GPL. In fact, on my bike ride home, I realized that if the WordPress.org project was to adopt the corrected GPLv3, this would probably cause some trouble for the WordPress.com service. Interesting stuff, I’ve not thought about that before.