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My Thoughts on GPL, WordPress, Thesis Theme, and My Theme [Standard Theme]

We’ve been in the Official Commercially Supported GPL Theme on WordPress.org for a while and it’s been great.

And here’s the thing: The Standard Theme wouldn’t exist without Matt and his community-developed product WordPress.

A few personal thoughts on the current (and long-lasting) storm that surrounds GPL [An interview between the two parties]. If you want the “short” version, read this here, want some of Matt’s thoughts on GPL and Themes, click here, and if you want another perspective, check this out, and here too.

Anyways, here are my thoughts…

Respect WordPress

WordPress is one-of-a-kind. It powers websites from personal blogs to entire enterprise businesses within the Fortune 50. It even is used by the government and the military. It’s a robust software package that can create unbelievable results for these organizations and individuals.

Thank God for WordPress. Some people make their entire living off of it and they didn’t do anything to contribute to its existence nor it’s continued growth. As WordPress grows, so do their businesses. They profit directly from WordPress’ success!

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!

Respect the GPL

WordPress was built on the robust licensing of GPL, which is one of the most popular Open Source licensing on the planet. It powers some of the systems and software that we use daily and without it we’d have much less innovation within the web and software space.

Thank God for the GPL. It has enabled me to be successful as a businessman and entrepreneur. It has given me a greater appreciation for the software community at large and has helped establish relationships and a successful business model that will provide for me (and my family) for years to come.

Respect the Community

WordPress is powered by the community and without it WordPress wouldn’t be nearly as awesome as it is today.

But, it’s all enabled by the founder’s choice to use GPL as it’s base and by disrespecting GPL you disrespect others, their work, and the community that supports and uses it day-in and day-out.

Once you understand the symbiotic relationship between GPL and the community you realize and understand something very human: Dependence on others and the value that collaboration brings.

You also gain a bit in the humility department as well.

Respect Yourself

Getting a big head about your contributions, your work, and your “place” in the world is lame, especially if your success is entirely built and dependent on someone elses work. If anything, you should have the utmost respect for their work and be eternally grateful.

You disrespect yourself and damage your own image by being pompous and wordy especially when your base argument is nothing more than that of a grade-school-like tantrum. Basing your business decisions on your feelings is one thing but it doesn’t change the legal evidence and facts, and your responsibility to be informed and above-board.

It also doesn’t give one the right to break the law.

Personally, I want to follow the letter, intent, and spirit of the law and I respect WordPress, the GPL, the Community, and myself.

The End Result

So, here’s the bottom line:

Finally, I firmly disagree with Chris Pearson’s position with his product, Thesis Theme, and will not be using it in client’s sites nor will I personally recommend it to others.

If you are using it I would highly recommend looking for an alternative because I’d imagine you’d like to represent yourself with the highest integrity possible, for yourself, your business, and for all those that you represent and relate to within your respective communities.

A Great Alternative

If you’re looking for a great place to start and a great theme to use for your blogging needs, try ours: The Standard Theme, which is 100% GPL-compliant. My team has done a phenomenal job of building something from scratch and creating a true “standard” in terms of a blogging theme. I’m so proud of our work!

We have a growing and thriving support community and have seen some real innovation with the product. We are also super close on releasing our next revision of the theme and you will seriously be blown away.

I can’t wait to show you…!