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+ - When GPL becomes Almost GPL - The CSS, Images and Javascript Loophole.

Submitted by sobolwolf
sobolwolf (1084585) writes "It has been apparent for sometime that many developers (mainly theme designers) are split licensing PHP based Based GPL distributions, releasing proprietary files alongside GPL files with the excuse that CSS, Javascript and Images are "immunized" from the GPL due to the fact that they run in the browser and not on the server. This is almost always done to limit the distribution of the entire release, not just the proprietary items (most extensions will not function in any meaningful way without the accompanying CSS, Images and Javascript). Some of the more popular PHP based GPL projects like WordPress have gone as far as to apply sanctions to developers distributing split licensed themes/plugins while others such as Joomla have openly embraced the split licensed model, even to go as far as changing their extension directory submission rules to cater specifically to split licensed distributions.

In light of all this I would like to ask the following question: While it seems to be legal to offer split licensed GPL distributions, is it in the spirit of the GPL for a project such as Joomla (who's governing body has the motto "Open Source Matters") to openly embrace such a practice when they can easily require that all CSS, Images and Javascript be GPL (or GPL compatible) for extensions that are listed on the Joomla Extensions Directory?"
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When GPL becomes Almost GPL - The CSS, Images and Javascript Loophole.

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