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Question regarding GPL, Split GPL License, and where do you draw the line of unique code?

Discussion in 'Blogging' started by DMTME, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. DMTME

    DMTME Newbie

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    So I recently entered the Web Developing business and I'm loving it, although there are a couple of things that confuse me regarding licenses and unique code.
    Themeforest and WordPress have been fighting for a long time regarding their Split License that differentiates them from most other theme developers who obey WordPress (e.g. WooThemes)

    What I'm wondering is this:

    Since all PHP in Theme Forest templates are 100% GPL and therefore free to redistribute, and CSS, images, Java etc. is not, where do you draw the line of "para phrasing/ modifying CSS & Java code" and making it your own (and therefore free to distribute like the PHP)?

    I mean, when is CSS/ Java code considered unique (I've searched for the answer but no luck)?

    If I buy a TF theme, the PHP is mine, I know that, HOW much editing do I need to do to make the rest of the code 'mine'?

    Say if I want to create an image Slider Function, and I "para phrase" the code from a plugin developer (just like A LOT of people para phrase other peoples articles for their own niche sites, or use spinning software) by simply looking at the code and modifying it for my own usage.

    When is it legal, and where do you draw the line? I mean you can only come up with so many unique ways to create a 'jquery slider with 4 rotating images, the core code will always look somewhat similar when it's the same programming language, no?

    Is it a bit like, there's more than one way to structure a sentence in order express the same meaning, so basically if you just change some of the JS / CSS structure it becomes unique?

    I'm asking not because my big goal in life is to steal code and claim it's mine, but because I'm often looking at theme code from other developers and learn a lot from it, and some day I'd like to sell my own plugins without risking copyright infringement because a few lines of code look the same as another developers (because I learned by reading & playing around with their code).

    Surely I'm not the only one who's wondering about this, so what do the experts in here say? :)

    Cheers!
     
  2. CyberSEO

    CyberSEO Senior Member

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  3. DMTME

    DMTME Newbie

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    Thanks I checked it out, but it doesn't answer my question of when CSS / JS code is considered unique and thus you can't risk copyright infringement if you use elements of other peoples code...

    Anyone else? :)