After a heated debate between the founder of WordPress (Matt Mullenweg) and the creator of the mighty Thesis theme (Chris Pearson), it looks like cooler minds have prevailed with Pearson finally embracing GPL for Thesis via a split license.
Previously Mullenweg hinted at taking Pearson to court over the GPL violation, which resulted in many bloggers debating over whether or not GPL could be enforced upon a theme developers (at least within the US).
Mullenweg (who admittedly is a huge fan of GPL himself) was not thrilled with Thesis’s GPL rebellion and offered Thesis fans a way to acquire a premium theme of their choice free of charge.
As I said on Twitter, if there’s another premium theme you’d like to try out I’m happy to buy you a copy, just send a link and your info to my contact form. It’s better to choose a solid platform now rather than put it off until later. (Matt Mullenweg)
With Thesis selling for $87 and $164 for individual and developer licenses, respectively, it looks as if Pearson’s GPL adoption has saved Mullenweg hundreds of dollars (although truth be told his generous offer is a lot less expensive than hiring a team of lawyers).
Pearson’s embrace of GPL will probably be followed by other WordPress theme developers, many who avoided embracing GPL out of fear of giving up legal rights over their creations.
Now that the legal dust has settled and the lawyers have been called off, Automattic can refocus its efforts into improving WordPress products (like VaultPress as well as bbPress) and Chris can focus on creating superior WordPress themes without being attacked by members in the community.