> Wow, dude I did not even know we were fighting.
It's not a fight; it's a dispute over licensing.
> you say we have been taking from the open source community without giving back, well, of course, that isn’t true.
No, you were accused of not following a specific license on a specific piece of code.
> Here is a list of 224 projects on our public GitHub page
Open source is not a swap meet; you can't violate a license if you voluntarily release some other code to make up for it.
> and we will release the app you saw as well.
If that means "we were inadvertently not in compliance, but we are releasing the code and will be in compliance shortly", then that needed a tweet at most, not a rambling blog post about the fact you've got 224 projects on github. So I'm guessing this does not mean they're taking steps to become compliant?
> Yes, we did use the WordPress open source library for a minor part of the application (that is the concept of open source right?)
Yes, along with following the actual terms of the actual license when you use an open source library. You weren't accused of not adhering to the spirit of open source; you were accused of not following the letter of a license (which, if true, means you aren't adhering to the spirit of open source either).
> If you need source code that we have, and we have not yet released, then, most likely we will be happy to share, you only need to ask.
That's...what they did. You need to comply with the licenses of the libraries you use, you were asked to do it. You will "most likely" be happy to do it? You were asked; you're replying to being asked, and your answer is that you don't have an answer, but the odds are good that you'll have one someday? What does this even mean?
Considering the sheer mass of words, it's amazing that the word "license" and "GPL" don't occur even once. There's no attempt to address or discuss the actual accusation being made, just vague assertions that some stuff will be released someday, maybe, if you're asked, and hey how about a coffee.
All this needed was a tweet: "Thanks for heads-up; will be compliant shortly." Or maybe: "On advice of lawyers, we believe we are in full compliance, thanks." Reminds me of an old lawyer joke: If the facts are against you, hammer the law. If the law is against you, hammer the facts. If both are against you, hammer the table." I'm going to mark this down as "table hammering", and I think it rather sugests that Wix, at least, thinks their position sucks.
>I started playing around with the editor, and felt… déjà vu. It was familiar. Like I had used it before. Turns out I had. Because it’s WordPress.
No, it's only one open source library. Claiming an app is wordpress because it uses a shared library is like claiming Postgres and Apache webserver are the same because they both use libc. There's also a subtle claim of brand infringement here.
>If I were being charitable, I’d say, “The app’s editor is based on the WordPress mobile app’s editor.” If I were being honest, I’d say that Wix copied WordPress without attribution, credit, or following the license.
Not quite. Wix has given attribution and credit on their Github page. They have only failed to comply with the license terms.
>You can see the forked repositories on GitHub complete with original commits from Alex and Maxime, two developers on Automattic’s mobile team
Yes, that's called a git submodule with proper credit and attribution. If the commits were somehow rewritten to omit the author's information, THAT would have been a grave offence. Wix' publishing of the (partial) derivative work at the very least indication this was due to ignorance and not foul play. Yet Matt follows on with:
>Wix has always borrowed liberally from WordPress — including their company name, which used to be Wixpress Ltd. — but this blatant rip-off and code theft is beyond anything I’ve seen before from a competitor
Let's bring up an unrelated matter (which is debatable at best and irrelevant to software licensing) AND imply the whole thing was intentional and with malice. Not that it stopped Matt from using the "I could have gone to legal but maybe it was an honest mistake" argument in the comments later on. Note the use of the word "competitor".
What we're seeing here is not a license dispute. It's a quarrel between rival CEOs. If Matt really cared about compliance with GPL rather than bashing Wix he could have simply published a blog post saying "Hey Wix, I think you made a licensing mistake, how about you rectify it", or perhaps send an email to that effect - that would have been the honorable thing to do.