Dual-Licensing Gutenberg: Next Steps

Last year it was discussed on GitHub and then proposed on Make/Core to dual-license GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ under the GNU General Public License v2 GPLGPL GNU General Public License. Also see copyright license. and the Mozilla Public License v2.0, in order to broaden Gutenberg’s usage outside of WordPress and within mobile apps.

Before doing this, every Gutenberg contribution must be dual-licensed either by obtaining explicit consent from the contributor or because the contribution was made under a dual-license. New contributions are made to Gutenberg every day so, in order to cover every contribution, this post proposes updating Gutenberg’s license by following these four steps:

  1. By Friday, March 19th: Update Gutenberg’s license to dual-license future contributions, but leave the project as a whole licensed under the GPL (GitHub gist with draft interim license), update the PR template to include notice of this change, and leave comments on all open PRs requesting consent to the relicense the contributions in those PRs.
  2. By Friday, April 2nd: Open a GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ issue seeking consent from all past contributors to dual-license their contributions. Any PRs opened before the interim license change that are still open would be closed at this time if the contributor has not left a comment on their PR consenting to dual-licensing their contribution.
  3. Three months later: Begin removing or rewriting any contributions that cannot be relicensed because the contributors have not consented.
  4. Once any contributions that cannot be relicensed have been removed or rewritten: Update Gutenberg’s license to release Gutenberg under a dual-license.

Some Gutenberg modules are not relevant to using Gutenberg in software outside the context of WordPress, and there is a GitHub issue to discuss whether any of these modules should remain GPL-only and, if so, how to accomplish that.

Any questions or thoughts? Please leave a comment. 🙂

Thank you to @jeffpaul and @pschrottky for reviewing this post.