First the news got out that 200 themes were pulled out out of the WordPress.org Theme Directory. The action was done overnight with no prior warning to the theme authors affected, and this sparked some responses within the community, most notable from Justin Tadlock (Automattic putting the boot to premium theme developers) and Jeff Chandler (Why Were 200 WordPress Themes Removed?). Jeff also posted to the wp-hackers mailing list inquiring about this issue, which then generated some interesting discussions as well.
Then, Matt explained what had happened. On Inquisitr’s “More Hypocrisy from Mullenweg and WordPress with new themes jihad” (wow!) post, Matt also explained that there were close to 300 themes removed, most of them were actually themes that didn’t comply with the guidelines but went in anyway. Inquisitr wasn’t the only one getting unhappy about this: some others like David Peralty (WordPress’ “GPL” and Theme Mess) and that girl again (“here we go again“) weighed in their opinion as well.
Alister Cameron did a thoughtful article (“Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, GPL and why I think he really gets it.“) on the issue with another follow-up by Jeff Chandler (“More Thoughts On Premium Themes”). Another recommended reading was done by kristarella, “WordPress and the GNU General Public License”.
For those interested to know further, WP Weekly’s 2 hours of interview with Matt covered a lot about this. Also, WP Snippets did the community a great deal of service by transcribing the long interview (part one | part two | part three) with more part forthcoming as per this article.
What do you guys think? Was it smart for WordPress to do this? Sound off in the comments!