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  1. #1
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    GPL license intricacies

    For the lack of a better place...

    I've built a WordPress theme, which I would like to offer under GPL license. However, the theme uses a supporting component which is licensed under CC Attribution (BY-2.0).

    Is legally possible then to claim that the theme is GPLed?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Columnist
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    You may want to check this page out and see if the author of the component you are using is willing to be flexible with his or her license terms.

    http://creativecommons.org/license/cc-gpl?lang=en
    Freelance System Administrator, Researcher, Writer
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    Open Sourcery "SitePoint's Open Source Blog"

  3. #3
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aleck
    For the lack of a better place...

    I've built a WordPress theme, which I would like to offer under GPL license. However, the theme uses a supporting component which is licensed under CC Attribution (BY-2.0).

    Is legally possible then to claim that the theme is GPLed?
    Clause 4a of the BY-2.0 license says it all; you cannot sublicense the work, and you cannot offer or impose different licensing terms, and you must include CC license identifiers with each copy. Depending on how functionally independent your app is from the CC'ed component, you may be able to maintain a separate GPL license for your theme. You might have to go LGPL if they're not clear-cut independent.. I don't remember. Do some reading on the LGPL and check around over at FSF.

    I'd either figure out how to distribute independently or consult with the original author.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the answers guys. I did not even know about the CC GPL.

    Anw, I think I own some explanations. Both the theme and the supporting component is mine. What I was looking for is more an explanation of my doubts and general confusion I have over all this.

    The only requirement of CC Attribution is to note the original author, to give credit. On the other side, GPL states:
    0. The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
    1. The freedom to study how the program works and adapt it to your needs.
    2. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
    3. The freedom to improve the program and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

    CC Attribution does not forbids any of these. Just to remind, this is BY, not BY_SA. Thus naturally, I would say that inclusion of BY-licensed code is not problematic at all. BY-SA does forbids republishing under different license (the SA part).

  5. #5
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aleck
    CC Attribution does not forbids any of these. Just to remind, this is BY, not BY_SA. Thus naturally, I would say that inclusion of BY-licensed code is not problematic at all. BY-SA does forbids republishing under different license (the SA part).
    So you're just trying to untangle the licenses for consistency sake, then?

    Release a new version of the component, change licenses on the new version to either the GPL or a GPL-compatible license; leave the previous version under CC.

    Problem solved.


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