Are these free software?

Hi,

While checking the code I saw on the top of php files saying "This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License (Version 2 - GPLv2) as published by the Free Software Foundation."

Are these really free to distribute? Will they work without the API key?

Best regards,

Mustafa

  • Eric G.
    • The Crimson Coder

    @maslan

    All fall under the GNU license. Which you can read about to see exactly how that works. What you are really paying for is the access to great support and upgrades to those plugins. Anti-Splog requires and API to get the most out of it. Otherwise, the rest will work even if you are not a member. You just do not have access to the support and upgrades unless you are.

  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero

    We are thinking about offering an enhanced WordPress/cPanel product, and we'd like to offer a great pack of preinstalled plugins (e.g., WPMU DEV SEO and other). They would probably be white-labeled with our brand.

    The concern is that users could access them via FTP and redistribute...I guess that's allowable under the GPL, but we're not out to encourage redistribution. And I guess the key is (as stated above) that the value of the subscription is the support.

    WPMU DEV, is it okay for us to offer plugins like that? Again, we won't encourage people to redistribute...the selling point is that these plugins will be available as part of users' WP installation, and we'll provide support for all the components we provide. I know it's no problem making the plugins available in multisite because users can't access the actual files. But cPanel with FTP is a bit different.

    Also, if we white label them, do we have to retain any WPMU DEV attribution, or can we just change all WPMU DEV references to ours? I want to make sure we're in compliance with the GPL.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  • Philip John
    • DEV MAN’s Apprentice

    Hiya Mark,

    Have you considered not offering FTP? I'm planning something similar and hoping to eliminate FTP because it's not exactly secure....

    Otherwise, yes this would be okay. Technically they can download from FTP and distribute but also, under the GPL they are able to request the source code and you should hand it over anyway.

    You can definitely change the attribution if you want as well. It's 'free' software so you have the freedom to do as you wish.

    Phil

  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero

    Have you considered not offering FTP? I'm planning something similar and hoping to eliminate FTP because it's not exactly secure....

    @Phil, we have considered this, but in our focus-group-style testing, we have found that most intermediate to advanced users insist on it. We have considered setting cPanel/WHM to require a secure FTP mode though.

    Again, we would never remind people that they can download and distribute any of this. Most of our clients would be individuals looking for web hosting, as opposed to people looking to distribute premium plugins. And we'd only offer a select few plugins, not the whole lineup.

    We firmly believe that the purpose of the GPL is not to simply redistribute someone's work unchanged, but to collaborate and improve a product. So we're not trying to sell the plugins for profit, we just realize that some of them would add value to our hosting product. So that's why we're conscious of these issues instead of just saying, "It's GPL, let's just do what we want."

    You will need to take out the code requirement for the "WPMU DEV Update Notifications" plugin though, which will be a hassle to continually do as plugins update...

    @Chris, very good point. Thank you.

  • Philip John
    • DEV MAN’s Apprentice

    Sure, I know exactly what you mean. I have considered this same thing with my own service. It hasn't come up so far and I don't expect it will.

    The GPL is great and you certainly have the principles spot on which is great, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    Phil

  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero

    Thanks @Phil.

    A followup thought. Is there an effective way under cPanel to offer plugins and themes in such a way that they're actually symlinks? In other words, what is in the user's FTP directory is only a symlink or pointer that is not useful if downloaded...yet the links point to themes and/or plugins in such a way that they work?

    Just a thought...

    Thanks,

    Mark

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