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Is it proper to remove the credits of a CSS?

  1. I have the theme Unsleepable set up, I love it, with the CSS upgrade I like to play around with it more. is it possible to remove the credits at the bottom of the page? with all respect and gratitude to Ben Gray for the Unsleepable theme.

  2. why don't you just make the font smaller or in a less obtrusive color? I don't think it's right to completely remove the credits.

  3. It's very bad form. You can even get an email from the designer expressing outrage! They make the themes available to WordPress.com to offer bloggers partly because of those links; it's a PR exercise.

    If people remove them, they might just not make their themes available to us in future.

  4. I agree. The theme designer deserves credit. In fact, I've used the CSS upgrade to make the credit more prominent (i.e. in the sidebar, rather than right at the foot of the page).

  5. I believe designers deserve credit for their work and their generosity. Removing the credit implies that one designed and coded the theme oneself. And, as observed above, removing credit may eventually result in removing the motivation to donate another theme. IMO credit to the designer of the theme and any who modify it should be placed in the footer.

  6. I agree that they should receive credit as well although some would think that just having it in the outputted HTML and not necessarily displayed in the browser as a link is good enough. The Open Source community goes both ways on teh subject. I believe Matt feels that the credit in the outputter html is fine while Francisco Burzi, the developer of PHPNuke actually wants a specificly worded credit and link in the footer and even went to the Organization that provides free legal service to Open Source projects and got their legal opinion on teh matter.

    I wonder if it's doable actually. Take a look at the page source someone and tell us what you think. In this case, I would recommend doing a display:none for the footer div but you;ve got all that javascript in there for tracking, stats and the admin bar. If you did the display: none, would that affect any of that?

  7. If you are asking if you are allowed, the answer is Yes.

  8. I'm so tempted to get my attorney into this but I'm not shelling out the fee for it. It's the end of the month.

    I found the article over at phpnuke. I'm looking at the "if it's generated by the designer, you have to leave it in there" bit under 2(c) of the GPL.

    But if Mark says it's allowed....

  9. WordPress is GPL as is MU - and it's perfectly fine to remove the credits for that from visible use. I used to answer this many times at the .org forums
    If a theme is GPL I see no difference.

  10. Almost everything is possible, not everything that is possible is legal (unless you have the money to put yourself beyond the law). I don't know specifics and will defer to any judgment from those who do. From a technical standpoint removing credits should be easy enough, from a legal standpoint it may cause you problems down the line if you do so.

  11. The designer isn't really in a position to complain about the removal of credit if they released the theme as GPL. If they care about being credited for their work, they should take the trouble to licence it accordingly. That said, if I come across a blog using a theme I recognise and the credits have been removed, it really doesn't give a great impression of the blogger.

    I am quite surprised that wordpress.com allows us to hide the footer link back to them as it must be a major source of signups, and it's standard practice among free hosts to require the linkback. I suppose they get enough links through global tags for the loss of the footer link not to matter too much.

  12. I politely disagree with Wank's statement as I and others feel that the GPl requires credit back but I'd rather get some work done today.

  13. There is a difference between feeling and reality.

    http://developer.mozilla.org/devnews/
    http://www.loc.gov/blog/
    http://center.arc.nasa.gov/
    http://blogs.download.com/
    All are within the GPL and not a single 'WordPress' to be seen.

    Matt said on more than one occasion in the wordpress.org forums that removing visible credits to WordPress was fine. So if a theme is GPL, the same goes for it.
    Here the actual theme CSS cannot be removed and credit would remain there.

    But there is a clear difference between what someone feels should happen and what they are actually allowed to do. Users here need to know that removing or hiding that footer link is allowed.

  14. Great Feedback. Now all I need to know is how to add CSS to keep the Credit, but just make the Text the same color as the background. Therefore it is still there, but not directly visible.

  15. #footer, #footer a {color:#333;}

    works for me.

  16. Matt said on more than one occasion in the wordpress.org forums that removing visible credits to WordPress was fine.

    Which is what I said. Matt as the copyright holder for wordpress gives permission to remove it. GPL does not grant that permission to remove it and in fact requires it. Matt's permission extends what the GPL allows.

  17. interesting.
    doesn't the designer have to include a copyright notice for all this to kick into effect? (i.e., just a link in the footer isn't a copyright notice)

  18. 2(c) of the GPL says if the developer above you doesn't provide for one, you don't have to either. Since Matt gives permission to remove it, you're not required to have it further down the chain.

  19. props. thanks for digging that up.

  20. I think you're getting mixed up between copyright and credit. You're right that removing the name of the copyright holder from style.css or the readme would be contrary to the GPL, but the author cannot stipulate that a visible vanity link be kept to their site. GPL-licenced software is not linkware.

  21. FSF disagrees with you, Wank.

  22. You can alter a GNU GPL-licensed theme in absolutely any way that you like; however, if you release that theme to the public, ie, to distribute it, then there are some stipulations.

    It's a bit ridiculous for a theme author to licensed a theme with the GNU GPL and then complain about people modifying it.

  23. http://weblogtoolscollection.com/archives/2007/04/12/on-sponsored-themes/

    Finally many of these themes try to legally disallow you from removing the advertising link by claiming it’s part of the Creative Commons attribution to leave it. This is almost funny, because these themes are on shaky legal ground themselves. WordPress is Free, meaning you’re free to do pretty much anything you like with it. It’s under a license that encourages user freedom called the GPL, which says if you distribute something that links internal functions and data structures of a GPL program (like themes do with WordPress) that also needs to be Free. At best, theme authors claiming you can’t remove the link are ignoring or ignorant of the license issues, at worst they’re actively exploiting the work of thousands of volunteers that have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into WordPress.
    The above was written by Matt.

    Ignore the Creative Commons - the fact is the visible link is not required.

  24. the visible link isn't required, which is nothing new.
    the point of the linked article is that the copyright notice can't be removed, if it's visible on the theme. this doesn't diminish matt's point, either. in order to stipulate that a sponsored entity remain, the designer would have to sell the copypright (c.f. cutline)

  25. wow... I've stirred up a bit of trouble with this thread. All for good reasons I'm sure.
    There is a question though... I have made the colors the same as the background. Since this debate has been settled; how can I remove the name of the CSS designer and link placed at the bottom.

  26. #footer a {display:none}

    There, now you can go ahead and pretend it's all your own work. It won't fool anyone who's been around WP longer than five minutes, but never mind.

  27. It won't fool anyone who's been around WP longer than five minutes

    You forget what happened with the mistylook theme and all of the "folks who had been around for more than five minutes" who thought I had designed it. :)

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