Dear iThemes customer community and the whole WordPress community–
iThemes and those on our team have said for a long, long time, individually and collectively, that, “We love WordPress and we support, appreciate and respect open source contributions that have made it possible.”
WordPress is indeed beautiful, easy-to-use, and powerful software – made possible through contributions by hundreds, maybe even thousands of people in its six-year existence. Whenever possible, I’ve sought out contributors like Mark Jaquith, Jacob Santos and founder Matt Mullenweg to express that appreciation.
But one of the differences we’ve had within the WordPress community has been with our theme licensing model. And since we opened for business in January 2008, we’ve wanted to find a way to be more aligned with the wishes and philosophies of those who have ultimately helped make our business possible in the first place by building such great software.
And frankly, that means licensing all our themes under the General Public License, just like WordPress is.
So after much deliberation within our team and business partners, iThemes has decided to switch our licensing packages to the GPL, from our current model, effective immediately.
Here are some of the underlying reasons why we’re making this switch and being open and honest about it to all:
- Ultimately, we want to do what’s best for the WordPress – this is a strong signal of support from us to say we love and embrace open source software and WordPress
- We want to be a respected and valued member of the WordPress community – part of this move is for our team, like our developers Chris and Nathan, to be able to participate and contribute freely in the development of WordPress without restraint or hindrance for the better of … WORDPRESS
- What helps WordPress, helps you (our customer and the grand community), and ultimately helps us (and vice versa – it’s reciprocal) – that means that when we develop a cool feature on top of WordPress, it can easily be included back into the core software of WordPress to improve and innovate together in true open source fashion that leverages talent across the world in different realms, businesses, etc.
- Being open source is sooooo web 2.0 and the future and has tangible benefits for all - We feel this switch is a celebration for open source philosophy that has made WordPress so popular and we hope our customers and others will be as excited as we are to move in this direction!
What does this mean for past customers and future ones?
For the bulk of our past customers (previous single use customers), you won’t notice or care about it because it won’t affect you. But essentially, it means you can use your themes purchased in the past on multiple websites and blogs and you’ll get the same support we’ve offered in the past. Just know that you’re also contributing to something bigger in terms of WordPress by your continued support of iThemes!
For customers who are designers and developers, this is a great day …. as it means lower prices and more freedom. There may even be broader ways where you can help us with features and fixes. And we welcome that!
For everyone who loves WordPress and looking for a great, high-quality WP theme, it means you can celebrate with us as we’re 100% aligned with those behind this amazing piece of software! In essence, we’re supporting WordPress by supporting the ideas that make it possible.
I’m sure there will be many questions and some concerns. We understand that and we’ll try our best to answer them as best we can.
But in the meantime, go write a blog post about how great WordPress is (WP 2.8 just released today), and thank those who contribute to it by embracing open source philosophies with their time and talent!