WordCamp Volunteer Guidelines relating to GPL

In the comments on this post a point was raised that warrants further discussion:

A person works for a marketplace that sells non-GPL WordPress products. They want to help organize or volunteer at a WordCamp.

When vetting all Volunteers for a WordCamp we use the 100% GPL vetting checklist and the GPL Primer We define Volunteers as organizers, speakers, and volunteers. We have a belief that our events should reflect the core projects beliefs and philosophies, especially with regard to the GPL. Anyone associated with WordCamps in a Volunteer role is our representative. It is important that they reflect the projects values. We look at all Volunteers and review and WordPress derivative products and ensure that they are GPL. If not, we ask them if they can change the license to GPL. If they cannot, they cannot be a Volunteer at a WordCamp.

In the Comments a comment thought was repeated:
@stephencronin

link Personally I think I should be judged on my own software, which is all 100% GPL, rather than my choice of employer.

@jdembowski

link I think individuals who work at such a marketplace should be able to organize, participate, get involved etc. as long as they are representing themselves and not their company.

My employers do not exist within the WordPress realm so that’s easy for me to write. It just does not come up and when I participate in support at an event, it’s just me.

But if my employer was against opensource (they’re not, I checked), I don’t want my participation to be evaluated on that basis. My involvement as an individual contributor should be an option.

 

@hlashbrooke

link there are two key things to bear in mind here:

The current rule that requires all WordCamp organisers, speakers, sponsors and volunteers to be 100% GPL compatible, extending to the company that they work for, is one that we cannot currently make an exception for. That’s how it is at the moment and individual exceptions cannot be made right now. Which brings me to the second key point…
While I think I can safely say that we will never change the rule that individuals must be GPL compatible in their personal capacity, there is a valuable discussion to be had with regards to how we handle individuals who are personally compatible, but their employer is not. This is the case that @stephencronin explained above with his employment at Envato. As @kcristiano has stated, this is a discussion better held in a dedicated post and I think it is a discussion that we need to have. I’m not sure what the outcome would be at this stage, but we definitely need to talk about it and make a firm decision that both upholds the principles of the WordPress project and remains as inclusive as possible.

I do agree with @hlashbrooke that we should take a look and decide how to handle individuals who are personally compatible with the GPL license, but work for a Company that is not. We’ll hold this post open until April 3rd for comments. Please chime in with your thoughts.

Link to Summary

 

#gpl