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Modifying existing themes/open source assumptions?

  • This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 6 months, 1 week ago by .
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  • #10398
    Avatar photonymvaline

    I want to modify the built-in simple theme, because it’s almost good enough for my purposes, but I want a little more controllability, a couple other page types with different styling, a few more knobs like menu text color, etc. etc.

    I’m pretty sure I’m able to do this with the simple theme, since it’s part of Publii/in the source code which is distributed under GPLv3. Is that correct?

    If I wanted to share my modifications with friends or publicly, what would I need to include, license-wise?

    What if I wanted to do this with other themes? I’m assuming that’s on a case-by-case basis, whatever licenses the theme maker decided to use?

    (I’m not asking about the technical how – that’s easy enough, the tutorials were good, so far I’ve been able to easily modify the theme source code and I’m assuming I can do some of it with theme overrides – I’m just asking about the usage/rights/licenses how, since I’m still unsure of how FLOSS stuff works.)

    TL;DR Publii itself is FLOSS, right? but I’m not sure about whether or how that extends to themes or not and would like someone to explain it to me.

    Avatar photoitips3727


    The Simple theme is one of the free themes. The page at: seems to show under 7, point 4,

    ‘The terms of use for free themes and add-ons are described in the GPL 3.0 e-license, which you can read here:’.

    Avatar photonymvaline

    Okay! So I’m definitely allowed to modify and use it, because GPL.


    Does this also means I’m required to make the theme source code public under GPL if I publish the website, because GPL? Or is it just that I have to use GPL if I choose to share the theme? (My understanding is that I don’t have to share the theme, because the website isn’t the software under that license, it’s made using the theme which is the software under that license, but if I do share a theme based on the simple theme it’s under GPL?)

    Avatar photoitips3727


    Probably, all your answers are in the Publii usage and download licences — though I admit, sometimes legal stuff is never fun to read or make sense of. 🙂

    Beyond what they put on the website and software, perhaps the forum admins @Bob or @Tomasz Dziuda could better answer your questions.

    Avatar photoTomasz Dziuda


    In my opinion (as it is quite complicated in terms of GPL license) – if you want to use some GPL theme for your own, you can do it as you need. But if you want to share the theme – you should use the same license as it is a derivative work.

    I have found some useful summary: – please look especially for points 3-5. Maybe it will be helpful for your case

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