I’ve been building a few open source themes and plugins (not publishing in the wordpress ecosystem, but using github for collaborative development).
I’d like to use ACF Pro to support these themes, but it appears I can’t include them in my distributions. I wanted to better understand the reason behind this and also confirm that my understanding of the distribution policy restrictions do in fact apply here.
I’ll copy and paste the statement in this page in case you missed it:
You can include the ACF PRO plugin within a premium theme/plugin as long as it is made clear in the copyright / information that the ACF PRO files are not to be used or distributed outside of the premium theme/plugin.
You can not include the ACF PRO plugin within a free theme/plugin.
You can not include a ACF PRO license key within the theme/plugin/materials.
You can include the (free) ACF plugin within a free or premium theme/plugin.
That being said, I’m afraid you need to include ACF free instead if you want to add it in your free theme. I think the reason is simple, if you include ACF PRO in your free theme, it means that your users or any other people can download your theme to get ACF PRO instead of buying it from the plugin author. That’s not what you want if you sell something, right?
Thanks James! I did see that part of the documentation, just wanted to be sure I understood the specific rules — wasn’t sure if it was some kind of licensing issue (e.g. WordPress free plugins are GNU and that license is incompatible with ACF Pro) or if it was an IP protection issue.
Mostly I was curious because by those rules there ARE situations where I could distribute the ACF Pro code (e.g. if I sold my code) without $$ going to the plugin author. I was hoping the license key covered the “you need to buy a license for this to work” use case.
It would be great if there was a way for ACF Pro to support the FOSS ecosystem without cannibalizing sales.
Anyway thank you — I’ll remove ACF Pro from my bundle and just add instructions to manually incorporate it to the INSTALL.md of the repo. Minor inconvenience but worth it for the functionality of such a great tool!
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