SemioLogic Theme is Illegally And Unethically Shipping Old Version of Translator Plugin

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Saturday, September 23, 2006

Semiologic Theme by Denis de Bernardy ships with several plugins including my original Translator Plugin illegally and without my permission (proof 1 & proof 2). I provide several of my plugins (which consume a significant amount of my time and resources) for free to the WordPress community. However they are copyrighted work protected by Berne convention. Semiologic and Denis is directly violating copyright laws by unethically shipping its commercial theme (which costs 295$) with my plugin. He has never bothered to even contact me!

Interestingly Denis was also recently involved in leveling baseless accusations against the product. Why am I not surprised.

If you are an user of Semiologic’s Theme and are using the old and unsupported Translator plugin, please discontinue using it. Please consider purchasing the much improved version of Translator Plugin Pro. You can read about its features here. You get 6 months of free support and unlimited upgrades and you will sleep soundly at night for supporting an honest effort, not to mention your SEO boost.

Update: When I tried to respond in his forum, I find it has been closed without providing me with a way to respond!

Anyway I too will close it for further comments as he has already responded below and promised to remove the plugin from his theme.

September 23, 2006: 3:53 pm


As you may recall from the discussion in the wp-hackers list when I initially released the Semiologic Pro Package, I checked for license issues when bundling 3rd party components.

Angsuman says> I don’t follow wp-hackers list regularly, so I will take your word for it.

Regarding your plugin in particular, and I cannot remember reading anything on your site that was a show stopper.

Angsuman says> The license was in the plugin itself and clearly visible. Secondly if you explicitly do not find any license that means it is copyrighted. You do not get any rights by default unless it is explicitly specified. You couldn’t find any license doesn’t mean it is GPL.

When I tried to contact you to make sure there were no issues, your site had no phone or email address, and your comment form was not working due to a buggy spam protection scheme on your site.

Angsuman says> My email address and other contact information was always available in my domain information and posted across the net. Yes, there were occassional problems with the comment form then, but I also received lots of comments during that time.

When I sent a message via the (at the time) form on, noone bothered answering me.

Angsuman says> I double checked all my archives including messages flagged as spam. I couldn’t find any email but then I understand email can sometimes fail.

Angsuman says> Finally if you couldn’t contact me as you said above then I would have expected that you didn’t include it in a commercial work. I was using db4o personal version for a client. When the client couldn’t agree with db4o with the price of the product and didn’t buy it, I didn’t go ahead and just include it as you did. I replaced it with my code which was hard to do as db4o is a pretty functional piece of software, but that’s what I did. No response doesn’t mean permission which I am sure a professional like you are well aware of.

Regarding the question raised in my forum about Google potentially banning sites using their transation web service to serve more pages, it was not my question but a prospect’s. In the event there was any issue at all, I figured raising it in public would make more sense than secrecy. Your initial input (i.e. translator Pro has no issue, a link to buy it) was constructive and welcome.

Angsuman says> I think it was more accusatory than mere concern. Read it again along with your followup comment. It is particularly ironic in the current context. And secondly to answer one of your later concerns, I followed your lead here.

Your plugin, which directs users to your site, will be removed per your request, since you’re making a big issue of a misunderstanding that is unnoteworthy at best.

Angsuman says> I am happy to know that. Thank you. The same goes for any of my other plugins too. They are free to use for individuals and companies but not free to distribute or modify without permission.

It will be replaced by a plugin that is free, and GPL-licensed.

Angsuman says> If you find anything comparable without ripping off my code, that would be wonderful.

Last but not least, your flaming me in public was unprofessional at best. It would have been sweet of yours to contact me and wait for an answer before posting junk like this on your web site.

Angsuman says> Frankly the idea of using other’s non-GPL work for commercial purposes without permission is what seriously bother’s me in terms of professionalism or otherwise. Is it too hard to understand that because a software is free, it is not GPL or open source? Is it too hard to understand no communication, for whatever reasons, doesn’t mean permission?

As an aside, notice that I’m answering in my forum and on your site, rather than flaming you on the front page of a blog. I’ll be looking forward to reading a follow-up or an edit to your post in the lights of the above.

Angsuman says> A blog is the best vehicle for a common man to pursue when he has been wronged. In this incident I felt doubly wronged.

Angsuman says> I think this comment should clarify the issue to all. I will also respond in your forum.

Angsuman says> At the core when I look back into the issue what bothered me most was when people started complaining about an old and unsupported version of the product, which shouldn’t even be in circulation anyway, and used it to cast aspersions about a much improved version.

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