(Please retweet as the more that take this super quick poll the better.)
So, the email
This is what I said:
As you’ll know, the sale of a commercial theme or plugin usually entails access to the theme or plugin for download as well as a right to support and updates for a defined period, usually 12 months. It seems to me that some ‘public redistributors’ leverage the fact that they, as purchasers, can get access to support and updates. In other words, they use this access to seek support relevant to ‘their customers’ and/or they use it to get access to updates which they then release for download on their own sites.
Now, this sort of activity is generally permitted by the GPL, as long as they do it in the right sort of way and don’t breach any trademark rights or relevant laws. This might make you think that this kind of behaviour can’t be controlled contractually. But I think it can, at least to some extent.
After I wrote this, I did a search on the web to see whether I could find other businesses doing something similar to what I’m proposing. Lo and behold, it seems that Red Hat did this a few years ago. See GPL expert gives Red Hat the all-clear.
All the best.
P.S. I appreciate that a mere legal term relating to support won’t stop people who are hell-bent on redistributing GPL’d themes or plugins on a publicly accessible website from doing so. But it may stop a subset of people who actually care about their access to support and updates. The inclusion of such a clause might also make would-be redistributors wonder whether that kind of redistribution is ethical.”
Now for the poll
The poll has now closed. Thanks to all those who spent the time taking the poll. Much appreciated.
(Thanks to The Art Gallery of Knoxville for the “FREE BEER 3.3 Ready to Drink!” image https://www.flickr.com/photos/16038409@N02/2327155978/, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)