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FUD

FUD – source: ckelty at flickr

First a declaration…

I am employed by Automattic but these are my personal opinions and not a statement on behalf of Automattic. More relevantly I am a contributor to WordPress but this is by no means a statement on behalf of that community.

Now, to the point…

I’ve been following the discussion over at pomomusings which follows a post where Adam Cleaveland listed the Thesis theme as one of the top 10 reasons for switching to WordPress. Matt Mullenweg (who can make statements on behalf of WordPress) posted an early comment where he suggested that the WordPress Theme “Thesis” was “hostile to WordPress’ core freedoms and GPL license”. The obligatory GPL debate ensued with Thesis developer Brian Clark refuting the claim. His comments so far have culminated in a statement where he indicated that he suggested to Matt that “we consider a declaratory judgment action” to resolve the question of whether the Thesis theme should by law be distributed under a GPL license.

I’m going to skip over the part of the discussion where Brian seems to get mixed up about derivative works with regard to copyright as opposed to as it is defined in the GPL (that’s intellectual property law versus contract law, conflating the two is erroneous at best and deceptive at worst). Rather I take issue with this notion of taking the whole matter to court. As I see it, the suggestion is a tactic in managing public perception.

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