Since starting iThemes back in early 2008, one thing Cory, and I when I joined the team, were justifiably concerned with was protecting our products, and of course our hard work, from being stolen or used without permission. This was our livelihood, so we couldn’t fool around.
Even though we both believed that we would have been within our rights to copyright the entire work, we decided that we would license all WordPress code in our themes (function calls, loops, etc.) as GPL, and protect our images, stylesheets, etc., under a copyright. We felt it was a good compromise.
Ever since then, we’ve been internally debating the subject, going back and forth over the benefits vs. risks involved with licensing our themes completely under the GPL, and have finally decided, in the interest of our users, and the WordPress community at large, that we should cover all our themes, in their entirety, with the GPL license.
What This Means for Us
Not much is going to change here. We’ll still continue to bring premium WordPress themes to our customers on a regular basis. For us, this was about respecting the license of the platform upon which we build our themes, WordPress.
What This Means for Future Customers
Again, not much is going to change there either. The themes will still be the product, and they will continue to be “for sale”. However, because we are adopting a less restrictive license, there are a couple of changes that will have to happen:
- All our themes will be “multiple use”
- Prices will likely drop
- Our support model will likely change
But for previous customers, don’t worry, nothing much is going to change for you. The only difference is that if you purchase a “single use” package sometime in the past, you are now free to use the theme on as many sites as you would like.
Yes, iThemes Is Now 100% GPL Compliant
So there you go. Though it wasn’t a huge change from our previous license, we do want to celebrate. Ultimately, this is good for everyone. We understand that there will likely be some questions and concerns, so please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below, or sending an email to us. We’ll do our best to answer everyone who emails us.
You can also go and read the official announcement from iThemes.
What do you think? Do you consider this a good move? A bad move? Let me know in the comments below. I’m very interested in what everyone thinks.