EP476 – Free as in Piracy

February 16, 2024

On this episode of WPwatercooler Jason Tucker, Sé Reed, Jason Cosper, and guest Mika Epstein delve into the complex world of software piracy within the WordPress ecosystem. The discussion begins with an introduction of the hosts and quickly moves into the nuances of what constitutes software piracy, how it impacts the WordPress community, and the moral and legal implications of using pirated software. The hosts share personal anecdotes and insights on the prevalence of pirated plugins and themes, the risks associated with their use, including security vulnerabilities and legal repercussions, and the broader conversation about open-source ethics and the value of supporting developers and creators within the ecosystem. The episode offers a balanced perspective, highlighting both the temptations and pitfalls of piracy and encourages listeners to consider the long-term health of the WordPress community by supporting legitimate sources and practices.


00:00 Introduction
00:17 Meet the Hosts
01:00 The Definition of Software Piracy
05:30 Impacts of Piracy on WordPress
10:45 Personal Insights on Piracy
15:00 The Risks of Using Pirated Software
20:30 Legal and Ethical Considerations
25:45 Supporting the WordPress Community
30:00 Conclusion


Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Jason Tucker: This is episode number 476 of WPwatercooler free as in piracy.

[00:00:14] Sé Reed: Yo ho!

[00:00:17] Jason Tucker: I’m Jason Tucker. You can find me over at JasonTucker. blog.

[00:00:24] Sé Reed: I am Sé Reed, and I don’t know if Jason takes out the pre stuff that I do in the show anymore. Add Sé Reed Media on stuff!

[00:00:32] Jason Cosper: And y’all know who it is, it’s your boy, Jason Cosper, back at it again on the world’s most influential WordPress podcast.

[00:00:39] Jason Tucker: Speaking of those podcasts, you can go find us wherever it is. Great podcasts can be found and you can come hang out with us in our discord.

[00:00:48] Sé Reed: And I’m

[00:00:48] Jason Tucker: Links are in the description below and on the website and all those fun things.

[00:00:52] Sé Reed: I forgot to say in my intro, because I’m trying to say this, I am the 2024 California Lottery winner. Also. Just putting it out there,

[00:01:01] Mika Epstein: into being,

[00:01:02] Sé Reed: happening.

[00:01:04] Jason Cosper: when I started saying world’s most influential WordPress podcast, I didn’t mean it like this.

[00:01:11] Sé Reed: Guess what? I mean

[00:01:13] Mika Epstein: Oh, you’re, you monkey pawed it. I

[00:01:15] Jason Cosper: yes,

[00:01:17] Mika Epstein: We’ll say that this means then that you’re going to win a scratch off for like 20.

[00:01:21] Jason Tucker: right.

[00:01:23] Sé Reed: That’s not where I was going with that, but thank you.

[00:01:26] Mika Epstein: That’s how the monkey paw

[00:01:27] Sé Reed: I just was like, what should we manifest? And then I was like, oh wait, I know what we should manifest. But then Whatever, anyway, I’m sure there’s other things to manifest. Hey, speaking of money,

[00:01:39] Mika Epstein: Money.

[00:01:40] Sé Reed: that’s a good segue. Also speaking about When one loses faith in the system,

[00:01:50] Jason Cosper: Say, should we introduce our guest first? Okay.

[00:01:59] Sé Reed: it was not even, I just wasn’t even thinking about that. I apologize. I’m so sorry. Mika, I’m so glad you’re here. It’s like you never left and we just are in our long ongoing conversation. I forgot we all aren’t in that conversation. Who are you?

[00:02:16] Jason Cosper: right.

[00:02:22] Mika Epstein: plugin review team. No, like that was it. I was the team me and Otto. Basically. And I, basically I’ve reviewed, what does it say? 57, 000 plugins. Yeah, that’s the thing that was sent to me behind my head. I just leave it there for fun.

[00:02:41] Mika Epstein: So basically, if you submitted a plugin within the last decade, I probably saw it. Don’t worry, because they’ve all blurred together, and I don’t remember them, so I


[00:02:52] Mika Epstein: Not be, like, I remember some. I’ve been doing an ongoing post every other week about weird plugin drama

[00:03:01] Sé Reed: I love it. It’s like plug and play from the plug and crip or something.

[00:03:05] Mika Epstein: is. Plugins Tale from the Crypt. Yeah, Otto’s actually sending me a list of some other stories he remembered. He’s write these up, too. I’m sanitizing them, so please don’t worry, and none of these people are people that I talk to on a regular basis. Most folks

[00:03:21] Sé Reed: Names, names have been changed.

[00:03:23] Mika Epstein: Names have been changed to protest the

[00:03:24] Sé Reed: changed to protect the not so innocent.

[00:03:27] Mika Epstein: Most people know me as Ipstinu. I got started with WordPress Multisite. Did a stint support as the plugin, or excuse me, the forum team’s rep. Moved on to plugins. I worked at Dreamhouse for a long time. Now I work at XWP. building sites and having a lot of fun there. I loved working there. And now I’m just chilling and being a general troll to people.

[00:03:54] Sé Reed: I would say it’s more like a wise sage on a mountain

[00:03:58] Mika Epstein: Yeah, just sitting there drinking my whiskey going, no man, you don’t want to know.

[00:04:03] Sé Reed: mountains like have you considered not caring about that? Oh,

[00:04:09] Mika Epstein: I wish I could not care. That’d be so much easier. I still care

[00:04:12] Sé Reed: That’s like your sage advice on the mountain. Maybe the sage doesn’t always follow their sage

[00:04:17] Mika Epstein: Oh yeah, no.

[00:04:18] Sé Reed: But they know what the best advice would be. They just, following it, knowing it,

[00:04:23] Mika Epstein: That’s the best advice.

[00:04:25] Sé Reed: Hey, so can I segue that? Because I think I could segue that one. Okay. Knowing that in theory piracy hurts people who create things. Hear me out. Maybe that’s just capitalist like It’s a cog to stop us from going further.

[00:04:50] Sé Reed: No, I don’t want to get too deep into the whole we might, but back in the day, this came up was I was thinking about back in the day, how I used to buy out software, honestly. Like I would go and how I would search for it. I was like, You would like download files off the internet, And trust them, folks. Don’t

[00:05:17] Sé Reed: and trust them.

[00:05:18] Sé Reed: Yes. So well, that’s that’s actually where this went So I was thinking about that because there’s this plug in called user role editor

[00:05:27] Mika Epstein: Yeah.

[00:05:28] Sé Reed: It’s a Russian made of someone the person who makes it is Russian lives in Russia Which is a sanctioned country from the United States, where I live. And I have in the past I had User Role Editor Pro, like the paid version.

[00:05:48] Sé Reed: And then, they stopped being able to accept my cli I always have my clients by their licenses because I don’t want to deal with

[00:05:56] Mika Epstein: smart.

[00:05:57] Sé Reed: their problem. Yeah, my favorite thing. I’m like, I don’t care. The upcharge is not worth any of the pain. You pay for the license, not my problem. Then they can leave with all their stuff if they ever want to. So I they, I was using that plugin for client site. they cannot renew their license. The process is like for a while it wasn’t like you can’t accept payments and you have to go send this weird thing. It wasn’t like PayPal based. Now you can go there. I was investigating it. I figured this out.

[00:06:31] Sé Reed: Is there a payment process? You have to go and do a Stripe payment. And then a few hours later, or whatever, you will get the, do a Stripe payment to request a link, and then pay off the link. And then it says after a few hours, you’ll get sent your download. And I’m like, this is so janky. Is

[00:06:51] Mika Epstein: for them, because there are a lot of innocent people trapped in a terrible situation. Hi, we’re in the United States. We should be familiar with that.


[00:07:01] Mika Epstein: But yeah, I hadn’t even thought about, I hadn’t even thought about the folks in sanctioned countries that are like, I just want to make a cool plugin and sell it and live.

[00:07:13] Sé Reed: mean, I think that would be what a great business. It’s a good plugin. You know what I mean? Like it was really straightforward not with all everything tries to be everything else everything is like always spreading into now I’m doing like all these other things. And this was just like roles and capabilities and you’re good.

[00:07:31] Mika Epstein: I love those.

[00:07:32] Sé Reed: It’s so nice. But now so I was like, okay, do I want, I’m not doing, my client’s not doing this. I’m not like, Hey, get this link and do a payment. I already have to talk these people out of they send me emails like, is this spam? Yes, it is.

[00:07:52] Jason Tucker: Look at you working at IT. That’s awesome.

[00:07:55] Sé Reed: Yeah, it’s like part web developer, part counselor is literally my job in my part tech counselor.

[00:08:01] Sé Reed: It’s really what I should be just tech counselor. So I’m like, hold on, I’m going to write that down tech counseling. So now I’m like, okay, maybe I’ll do this all by the plugin for them, like whatever. And I was like, I don’t even want to put my freaking people want to put my freaking code in here.

[00:08:20] Sé Reed: I don’t want them to do it. But. Even though I know the developer, I’m just sending what’s happening. You could also what’s it. I

[00:08:28] Sé Reed: no idea what’s happening. What’s the link.

[00:08:30] Mika Epstein: getting scanned.

[00:08:32] Sé Reed: I was just like, I don’t know what’s going on.

[00:08:34] Mika Epstein: your information is going into a database of someone who did a workaround to pay Russia.

[00:08:39] Sé Reed: Yeah, exactly. I was like, do I really want to do like an, do I want to, I don’t even know what’s happening. Is this a shell corporation is like, it’s

[00:08:47] Mika Epstein: It basically is they basically have to make a shell corporation so that you’re not buying the software directly from them. See, I did work in a bank for IT folks. I do know how all this works. I even know how to launder money. Or rather, how to catch someone laundering

[00:08:59] Sé Reed: I was doing. I was like, I don’t know if I really,

[00:09:02] Mika Epstein: effectively what you were doing is money laundering for them, which is ridiculous because you’re not actually doing that, but that’s the methodology it becomes.

[00:09:10] Sé Reed: Yeah. So I felt really sketch, but the plugins out of date and it’s a active site with so I could do like a whole staging thing, but I was like, I really just need to get this plugin up to date so I can do a better switch over between, because I don’t even, I’d have to really like literally start to go through the files to make sure that the stuff is.

[00:09:34] Sé Reed: Gonna just, that it’s all gonna correspond. If I were to switch over to another user role thing, plus that’s really involved with a lot of users there’s like active profiles and all this stuff.

[00:09:46] Sé Reed: Really just would rather prefer to use this, just baked in. Anyway, so I was like how did I used to get files?

[00:09:54] Sé Reed: And a friend of mine had been asking me for some No, I have a lot left for my vacation. Sorry.

[00:10:04] Sé Reed: yeah, I’m busy. You can just ship it out. I. I had a friend who had been asking me do you have any licenses available I could use for whatever. So I’d been thinking about that. I was like, how do I send this file to a friend?

[00:10:21] Sé Reed: Am I sending a zip file? And then, so it’s just been on my mind. That was a really long intro to explain that. Surprise! I talked for a long time. Okay, but the point is that this was on my mind. And so I was like there are those old plugin shop came into mind. It was like thinking about it. And I went to some of the things and I’m like, and I’m just like, and that’s basically where I was like, you know what

[00:10:48] Mika Epstein: You know who has opinions on plugins and theft and things like that? Mika does.

[00:10:53] Jason Tucker: Mika, do a diff for us. Tell us what changed.

[00:10:55] Sé Reed: Yeah, I so I wanted

[00:10:58] Mika Epstein: have a plugin that, I have an app called DeltaWalker that I actually use to look at two plugins side by side and tell you exactly what changed. And I had that, I’ve had that for years because, Auto knows this one, because people would say, Oh, so and so copied my plugin, exactly, and it’s a pay for plugin.

[00:11:15] Mika Epstein: I’m like, okay, send us a copy of it, we promise we’ll not keep it. And then I would do the diff and say, okay, yep, nope, they absolutely copied your code, which is stealing when we’re back to the topic, see?


[00:11:25] Sé Reed: Look at me.

[00:11:26] Mika Epstein: I say this and people hate me. I say, yes, you can absolutely steal open source. But

[00:11:31] Sé Reed: well, isn’t that interesting? So I was. Delving into this little and I was like GPL I’ve touched on this I know so I just want to explain because I asked some friends and they’re like, I don’t know what that is And I was like, wow, we really haven’t ever like we don’t really talk about this, right?

[00:11:49] Sé Reed: We used to back in the day like share like I had a bunch of my friends Actually, I guess just one friend probably, you have always one friend and then you have your online friends, but like they would share like net.

[00:12:03] Sé Reed: What was the downloader thing where you like, you have a stack of a file for music.

[00:12:09] Mika Epstein: Oh, torrent.

[00:12:11] Sé Reed: Torrent! Yeah,

[00:12:13] Mika Epstein: did that too. Napster

[00:12:14] Jason Tucker: just gonna out ourselves with all sorts of stuff here.

[00:12:17] Sé Reed: yeah,

[00:12:17] Mika Epstein: I still use torrents. Torrents are a fantastic way to move large files in small bytes. It’s also a fantastic way to do very many illegal things. So please watch out and use a VPN.

[00:12:28] Sé Reed: but you had, so you would download from a specific user, and if they were like offline or whatever, you would

[00:12:34] Mika Epstein: Oh back online to get

[00:12:36] Mika Epstein: Napster.

[00:12:37] Sé Reed: Is that, was that early master? Is that what it was? Okay. So you’d have to wait until they got back online and then you’d get the rest of your file.

[00:12:44] Sé Reed: So you’d have these files. So I guess that’s early file sharing, not

[00:12:47] Mika Epstein: it was.

[00:12:48] Sé Reed: Then the torrent came where you just go and find the files and download zip, not from a user, but like from the, I don’t know where you’re downloading it from at that point,

[00:12:57] Jason Tucker: the

[00:12:58] Mika Epstein: You’re downloading it from many users. Torrenting works because let’s say Tucker Cosper and I have a copy of this plugin that you want, and you grab the torrent, you’ll download it from all three of us depending on which computer is faster, whose internet is fastest, and

[00:13:13] Sé Reed: I’m just

[00:13:14] Mika Epstein: But you download it

[00:13:15] Sé Reed: A little bit of bits.

[00:13:16] Mika Epstein: bits, and it’s able to reconstruct them.

[00:13:18] Mika Epstein: It’s like a transporter.

[00:13:21] Jason Cosper: right?

[00:13:21] Mika Epstein: bits and bytes. But it’s like the concept of transporters on Star Trek, where like they, they take your person, they separate you into many millions of little bits, and then they static you back together at the other end. And that’s effectively how torrenting works.

[00:13:34] Mika Epstein: It’s way high

[00:13:36] Sé Reed: You’re telling me that Torrent was transporters for Vile? That’s

[00:13:40] Mika Epstein: Yes, exactly. Star Trek transporters for files. That’s exactly what it is.

[00:13:44] Sé Reed: Oh, I love that! I love that visual. That’s so awesome. You’d be like, get all the little bits together. Anyway then, whatever, Metallica came along. It was like F you pay us.

[00:13:58] Mika Epstein: See, okay, but Metallica’s point is you’re taking money away from us By sharing things. And we’re like, dude, we used to make mixtapes. What are you talking about? And you get into the whole scale situation of Were we all breaking the law when we videotaped a movie off of the TV onto our VCR and gave the tape to somebody else who didn’t see the movie?

[00:14:19] Mika Epstein: And the answer is technically, yes, we were always breaking the law.

[00:14:23] Sé Reed: when on VHS would record and the little like thing would flush up on the recording . And then so I watched Mary Poppins that way as a kid and it always ended like right before he went to get fired by the bank people. So that was the end of the movie for me.

[00:14:38] Jason Cosper: My, my grandpa back in the day my folks had cable, my grandparents had cable, my grandpa had Showtime and we had HBO and we would take movies for the other one off of, so like I’ve been piracy is a very familiar thing to me.

[00:15:00] Sé Reed: you were a pirate as a youth.

[00:15:02] Jason Cosper: Yeah I

[00:15:03] Sé Reed: Lived the youth of piracy.

[00:15:05] Jason Cosper: I

[00:15:05] Mika Epstein: the thing is,

[00:15:06] Jason Cosper: the

[00:15:06] Sé Reed: A lot of elder millennials lived in this space, like this is an elder millennial space where we were like, it didn’t I don’t know, I didn’t think about it, I don’t think at all, and I actually covered this beat in college, I did like a tech beat, like a tech column for my school paper, I know, and I like covered Napster, it was very cutting edge but the, I didn’t, I, even then, even when Metallica came out with their stuff I didn’t, And even knowing how it works, I guess I was just like, is it really like the same?

[00:15:38] Sé Reed: And there’s like the restaurant, there’s this, there’s people restaurants play music, like stores play music. And there are these people, especially in LA, who will actually like do sweeps of areas and come into stores and listen to see if you are playing music.

[00:15:54] Mika Epstein: that you don’t have a license for, yeah,

[00:15:56] Sé Reed: Including if you are playing a subscription to like Sirius or some Spotify even because that’s a personal license that you’re not allowed to have that music be listened to commercially, which is a wild law.

[00:16:12] Sé Reed: But I literally know business owners who have been, I don’t know if it’s ticketed, not ticketed, like sighted. Find like what is the they’re like for left right for copyright.

[00:16:23] Jason Cosper: I would argue that they have just been knocked on and

[00:16:28] Sé Reed: No, this is same thing that happens with the health inspector when they’re in town. They all text each other. And it’s not it. It’s not about Narcan is literally like they will be like, Hey, the person’s coming around.

[00:16:43] Jason Cosper: But no That is literally happened or

[00:16:48] Mika Epstein: there’s piracy and there’s piracy, because downloading a piece of software for my friend, say, so that she can test it out and see if this is the plugin she wants to spend money on, is like borrowing a book from the library. In my opinion,

[00:17:02] Sé Reed: a friend

[00:17:03] Mika Epstein: Or a friend you do that all the time.

[00:17:06] Mika Epstein: Would you take a book that you didn’t pay for, read it and give it back? Yes. I do that every week from the library. I do it on my e reader now, but I can’t keep the book unless I pay a fine. And that’s valid, fine.

[00:17:19] Sé Reed: but here’s the other deal with

[00:17:20] Mika Epstein: I hear people who have no idea what Blockbuster is.

[00:17:22] Mika Epstein: Blockbuster was a place you could go to an actual store and take a video cassette, which was a pre DVD or Blu ray and put it in your television at home and watch it.

[00:17:32] Sé Reed: And you could have another VCR hooked up and

[00:17:35] Mika Epstein: And record off of

[00:17:36] Sé Reed: record the movie that you watched that had the screen up that said, This is a violation. Do not record this.

[00:17:44] Mika Epstein: And they still have that on DVDs. I have some old DVDs from the early 90s that have that and you can’t skip over that. You can’t skip over the ads for other movies in the beginning. It’s really weird. I think I have an ad for a movie called Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde. And it’s on my, it’s on my DVD for Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

[00:18:06] Sé Reed: really good example of this are interesting. Interesting facet of this conversation is I owned and actually still, I still technically own and am doing more with a used bookstore that I had for, open for nine years, where in people who were completed with their books.

[00:18:25] Sé Reed: Essentially would bring them to me and sell them for a dollar or just give them to me most of the time and then I would resell them for no, probably more than that, but otherwise not much more. Hence the reason I closed the bookstore.

[00:18:41] Mika Epstein: See, and that’s and there are arguments that like that is

[00:18:46] Sé Reed: secondary market is what it’s called

[00:18:47] Mika Epstein: yeah. Secondary market is but you’re assuming these are people who legally bought the movie. The problem with software though, is that I can do that a thousand times,

[00:18:57] Sé Reed: right? It’s not just one

[00:18:59] Jason Tucker: vintage zip files that I have? Look at these vintage zip files that I have. It’s a box of, it’s a box of books, literally.

[00:19:06] Mika Epstein: great.

[00:19:07] Sé Reed: It’s the same thing. It’s interesting, right? It’s the scale where things start to get into a real mess, because, You know at its heart taking a taking software that you have a plug in Giving it to someone else so they can use it and see if it’s what they want or even just share it because you know Your friend is broke That’s really small potatoes where you start running into trouble with piracy is when you start making these nulled sites taking plugins that are for sale and then Reselling them at a lower price because you’re completely undercutting the original creator and from a creator standpoint You know you’ve put Your money and your time into making a plugin, you’re selling it because you want to make a living and you want healthcare in America and you need money for that.

[00:19:53] Mika Epstein: Great. And here’s somebody else who, who takes it from you and then sells it lower and doesn’t kick anything back to you. If a reseller

[00:20:02] Sé Reed: Is that the key? Is that the clincher that doesn’t kick anything back? Because what if,

[00:20:06] Mika Epstein: clencher is if you’re not giving anything back, like if I had a deal to

[00:20:10] Sé Reed: null sites have an unlimited lifetime license and they’re just, I don’t

[00:20:16] Mika Epstein: an unlimited lifetime life okay. But this depends, so this is outside of the GPL and I

[00:20:22] Sé Reed: yeah, we haven’t even touched the GPL yet. We’re literally talking about buying and selling as a, the initial

[00:20:28] Mika Epstein: I say this is outside the GPL is that when you buy something, there’s usually besides the license for the software, there is a agreement, a contract that is made when you purchase something, your seller’s agreement and your purchaser’s agreement like you may not notice it on most things, but it’s you can’t use this mattress To commit genocide.

[00:20:49] Mika Epstein: They have some weird things on, on, on, weird writers on things.

[00:20:53] Sé Reed: said that, that would

[00:20:54] Mika Epstein: Ah, they should. But you know put that everywhere.

[00:20:57] Mika Epstein: say,

[00:20:58] Sé Reed: We should just start, wait, sorry, hold on. We just need to start putting that on every warning the cigarette warnings this may cause cancer. Also, don’t commit genocide. And then I just I’m gonna stop, and also stop genocide.

[00:21:11] Mika Epstein: But,

[00:21:12] Sé Reed: everywhere. We need to remind people, because apparently we haven’t remembered that, so I think we should just introduce

[00:21:19] Mika Epstein: don’t use my plugins to commit genocide. Okay, so here we go. The GPL says I can’t make that a requirement. The GPL is basically saying, you have the access, once I’ve given you access to my code, you can do whatever you want with it, as long as you credit me. Hang on to that one, folks.

[00:21:39] Sé Reed: I got it.

[00:21:40] Mika Epstein: as long as you can re release your updated code.

[00:21:44] Mika Epstein: So if you made a genocide version of my Rickroll plugin, and God help you for What a vision.

[00:21:50] Mika Epstein: That is within your legal rights. At the same time,

[00:21:55] Sé Reed: Okay, wait, I really want to make one.

[00:21:58] Mika Epstein: You want to try to figure that out? Yeah.

[00:22:00] Sé Reed: how to commit genocide with rickrolling, but how to rickroll people into awareness about genocide.

[00:22:04] Mika Epstein: the Rickroll plugin would change all of your YouTube videos to Rickroll.

[00:22:09] Sé Reed: Oh you can make it change to like other feeds in theory, right? But

[00:22:12] Mika Epstein: You could, exactly, and you

[00:22:13] Sé Reed: I’m taking your code and I’m making, then is it my code? Which part, when does it become my

[00:22:19] Mika Epstein: When does it bec that’s forking, and that’s a whole nother drama.

[00:22:22] Sé Reed: Aren’t these all just the

[00:22:24] Jason Tucker: This is a family show, folks.

[00:22:26] Sé Reed: about here?

[00:22:27] Mika Epstein: Forking is when you take someone else’s code and

[00:22:30] Sé Reed: fork that pie.

[00:22:31] Mika Epstein: significant changes to it,

[00:22:34] Sé Reed: You

[00:22:34] Mika Epstein: and re release it.

[00:22:35] Sé Reed: their bits.

[00:22:37] Mika Epstein: I always say you have to make significant changes for something to be a real fork, because And this is where I get into trouble with people and I say Yeah, so if you take my Rickroll plugin, and rename it Brickroll And that’s the only change you made you say what was the second name?

[00:22:55] Mika Epstein: Brick, B R I

[00:22:56] Sé Reed: Got it.

[00:22:58] Mika Epstein: And then you say, written by Sayreed, and Don’t mention me at all.

[00:23:02] Mika Epstein: You’ve stolen my code.

[00:23:03] Sé Reed: from

[00:23:04] Mika Epstein: However, if you make it brick roll and have the video changed to your Wow. I don’t know if I did that. God, I

[00:23:15] Sé Reed: People, I just need to tell you, I know you listen to the podcast, but sometimes you just gotta see the visuals, that’s all there is to

[00:23:21] Mika Epstein: There’s like a cloud of smoke all over us. It was

[00:23:23] Sé Reed: Yeah, and I was doing air quotes earlier, and you know you miss those if you’re not watching the visual. Anyway, sorry, I digress.

[00:23:29] Mika Epstein: If you take my rickroll plugin and you make it brick roll and you change the video to be bricks flying at your face and you say, bye, say, and Mika,

[00:23:38] Sé Reed: Or

[00:23:38] Mika Epstein: you leave my

[00:23:39] Sé Reed: based off of

[00:23:40] Mika Epstein: Based off of make a sprite you have forked my code and the reason I always say significant changes Is that basically if I can’t tell the difference between your version of the plug in and my version of the plug in other than the names?

[00:23:53] Mika Epstein: You done wrong. I should be able to look at these two and see difference.

[00:23:57] Sé Reed: a question. This is so deep. Okay if there’s an unlimited license, oh sorry, do you want to say

[00:24:04] Mika Epstein: Yeah the limited license

[00:24:05] Sé Reed: Cosmo, I want to hear what Cosmo has to say. I’ll write my notes down.

[00:24:08] Jason Cosper: I do want to, just to be clear so saying taking a plugin giving credit to the original author is like saying that the title of your plugin is precious based on a novel by a push by Sapphire. Like that whole

[00:24:30] Sé Reed: Oh, or like how they do it in the movies where they’re like based off of whatever book

[00:24:35] Mika Epstein: You do that you do that to protect yourself legally, but in the GPL, you’re actually required to do that. Copyright is a part of the GPL. You have to respect copyright, which means it being additive, you add your own on.

[00:24:52] Sé Reed: for forking

[00:24:53] Mika Epstein: No for any alterations to code.

[00:24:55] Sé Reed: Okay. Obviously the license is literally defined the copyright.

[00:25:02] Mika Epstein: No, the license, they’re separate.

[00:25:05] Sé Reed: They are separate.

[00:25:06] Mika Epstein: They are, copyright and the GPL are totally separate things, but the GPL states that in order to be compliant with the GPL, you must respect copyright law,

[00:25:16] Sé Reed: And what in the heck is, does that respect copyright law?

[00:25:22] Mika Epstein: respect

[00:25:22] Sé Reed: that’s a big

[00:25:23] Mika Epstein: means you have to honor, you have to, the GPL is saying, I don’t supersede the law.

[00:25:29] Sé Reed: Right.

[00:25:30] Mika Epstein: And the law applies to everyone equally folks.

[00:25:33] Sé Reed: Yeah,

[00:25:34] Mika Epstein: one is above the law.

[00:25:35] Sé Reed: okay alright then we’re talking about these nulled plugins, right?

[00:25:40] Mika Epstein: Yeah. Them is that, I’m going to say, I’m not like trying, everyone’s don’t know. There’s a GPL Times, that’s what I was looking at. And I think that’s a really interesting name, right? And you just join as a member of their site, and then all the members share, here’s all your fun downloads or whatever, right?

[00:25:58] Sé Reed: League,

[00:25:59] Mika Epstein: but so that’s why I mentioned the purchasing agreement. Cause by the GPL, yeah, that’s actually fair. Redistribution is perfectly legit, but if you buy it, if you buy something and not the licensing, but your purchase agreement states, I will only use this on 13 sites, and it’s now being used on 3000. You’ve broken your purchasing agreement and they can come after you.

[00:26:25] Mika Epstein: Now, it’s so much check the list on how unlimited license works

[00:26:33] Sé Reed: Is that like

[00:26:34] Mika Epstein: a lot.

[00:26:35] Sé Reed: used to be on dot com?

[00:26:37] Mika Epstein: That’s like unlimited storage. It’s like unlimited bandwidth. There is a limit and you will find it. But really,

[00:26:44] Sé Reed: How is there a

[00:26:44] Mika Epstein: says is,

[00:26:45] Sé Reed: unlimited? Let’s just talk about language for a second. It is literally,

[00:26:50] Mika Epstein: of all,

[00:26:50] Sé Reed: is limited, it’s limited. It’s not

[00:26:52] Mika Epstein: marketing BS.

[00:26:54] Sé Reed: what?

[00:26:55] Mika Epstein: It’s marketing BS.

[00:26:56] Mika Epstein: Nothing has ever been. Unlimited. We just said it because it sounded cool. I actually remember when I worked at dream host that it said unlimited and then it had the last tricks and you would read it and says, we’re not actually unlimited here’s how it works. It’s for all.

[00:27:11] Sé Reed: unlimited because mostly


[00:27:15] Sé Reed: Won’t use

[00:27:15] Mika Epstein: it’s like if you start going over, we’ll give you more is what it was at the time. And this is 10 years ago or eight years ago or something. So my memory may be off on it. But when you buy something that says unlimited usage for your plugin. It may have a little bit of a codicil in there that also says for sites you run or your clients.

[00:27:41] Sé Reed: I don’t know. I, now I’m going to, I’m like and people don’t, who reads

[00:27:45] Sé Reed: I don’t read enough of our damn terms. Is

[00:27:48] Mika Epstein: Who reads the terms? But the thing is,

[00:27:50] Sé Reed: those terms you’re saying the purchasing agreements, that’d be when you’re buying it, not necessarily the read me or the license that’s in the actual file, because I was like, how do you read the license before you have the file,

[00:28:02] Mika Epstein: those are separate, but see, those are separate things. Like the licensing

[00:28:05] Sé Reed: purchasing agreement is separate from the license,

[00:28:07] Mika Epstein: And like the terms of your purchasing agreement, every site has a privacy policy and terms and the terms are where you find out things like, Can I get a refund on this plugin if it doesn’t do what I want it to do? And some places will say, we don’t do refunds because it’s software and you can keep it even though we give you the money back.

[00:28:23] Mika Epstein: Okay, that’s, and for the record, I understand it. I hate it, but I totally understand it. I think that everybody should have,

[00:28:31] Sé Reed: Buying underwear.

[00:28:33] Mika Epstein: yeah, don’t return your underwear people, please. The things

[00:28:37] Jason Tucker: that was the whole reason why I would go to a meetup and say, Hey, does anyone have a copy of blah, blah, blah. Cause I want to play around with this for a minute. Can you send me the zip file that I can then install on my website, play around with it for a little while. I’m not going to spend 400 on this piece of software that I just want to play with for a little bit.

[00:28:56] Jason Tucker: But that was my way of learning this stuff. Just like I downloaded a pirated copy of Photoshop when I was like 12 years old or whatever, and played with it it’s the same sort of thing.

[00:29:06] Sé Reed: day when we used Google Hangouts and we could pop little pirate hats on and stuff? I really wanted you to just I wanted to pop a pirate hat on you right then while you were like saying, Oh, I just wanted to use some software for my friends because technically that is violating the purchase agreement as discussed.

[00:29:21] Sé Reed: So like minor

[00:29:24] Mika Epstein: that’s why I said there’s piracy and

[00:29:26] Jason Tucker: But I’m also going to be a potential, I’m also going to be a potential purchaser at some point, if I do like that thing.

[00:29:32] Mika Epstein: and that’s where I say it’s not really piracy. Cory Doctra, whom I adore. He’s just a fricking genius, and he writes amazing books. Gives away most, if not all, of his books for free on his website. And he asks if you like them, buy one for a library.


[00:29:52] Sé Reed: Wear your shelf. I’m a big proponent of having a book. I love having a book.

[00:29:58] Mika Epstein: I love having a book, but I’ve really fallen in love with my e reader because,

[00:30:02] Sé Reed: you

[00:30:02] Jason Cosper: Oh, yeah

[00:30:03] Sé Reed: differently, but I’m talking about if a book is something like, for example, you can’t lend a friend a book, so you can’t be like, oh, I love this Cory doctoral book. Here, you take, check it out, right? In theory, it should be like, you read the book, you like it, then you buy it because you want to

[00:30:18] Mika Epstein: Exactly. And in point of fact, that’s what I’ve done. I actually own physical copies of his books because I enjoyed them that much.

[00:30:25] Sé Reed: you going to start going through

[00:30:27] Mika Epstein: I have Little Brother somewhere over

[00:30:28] Sé Reed: What does this

[00:30:31] Jason Tucker: hold up the mp3s, but I can’t this is the kind of book I have by me right now, okay, I love that you’re just like literally, Cosper, within hand reach of you, in different places, you

[00:30:41] Mika Epstein: Oh

[00:30:42] Sé Reed: you’re like, I’m having a rough day with this, and you’re like, I need this. And you’re like, no, and over here I’ve got this one, stashed, taped under the desk.

[00:30:50] Sé Reed: It’s got Ryan Murphy’s blood in the machine.

[00:30:52] Mika Epstein: of the piracy that really is where you start drawing the line. If I’m buying, if I’m giving you a book so that I think I can make a new customer out of you. Which is effectively what I’m doing when I’m loaning somebody a copy of Good Omens, saying, you should check this book out.

[00:31:06] Mika Epstein: And when you come back, you’ll be like, I really like this book. Who are these people? And Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett are amazing. You should all read Good Omens. It’s a fantastic book. No, I did not get paid for

[00:31:17] Sé Reed: how I feel about Good Omens. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman together really brought the fun

[00:31:25] Mika Epstein: quote that book. But there’s a difference if I buy the book, make a thousand photocopies and then give it away. Now I’m on the,

[00:31:37] Sé Reed: or no, not even give it away. You make a thousand copies and sell them for two bucks each.

[00:31:42] Jason Cosper: Okay.

[00:31:42] Mika Epstein: called University because those books were way overpriced.

[00:31:46] Sé Reed: Oh

[00:31:46] Jason Cosper: Yes.

[00:31:47] Sé Reed: yet

[00:31:47] Mika Epstein: No, that wasn’t my business in

[00:31:49] Sé Reed: now we are also, that was, sorry, that was back in the day. And then now, you can’t do that either, because all of the textbooks are all DCIM’d and digital. So you, they can’t even, they have to pay the 80 bucks for their semester’s worth of the book, and they don’t even sell it back at the end.

[00:32:05] Mika Epstein: but even with that it’s the intent. If I was the person who was photocopying my Forensic Anthropology textbook and selling it for five bucks for each of my friends, was I doing it to make money? Or was I doing it to break even on the fact that book cost me 152? No, I don’t still remember the exact price.

[00:32:24] Sé Reed: So is it,

[00:32:24] Mika Epstein: I’m not still salty about that book.

[00:32:28] Sé Reed: still mad about that. The question then, is that sort of a protest against the possibly artificially high prices that have been injected into the university market, let’s say?

[00:32:44] Mika Epstein: I would say yes, but it’s a very contextual argument.

[00:32:47] Sé Reed: market. What? It’s a very contextual argument, but that was my point at the time was that this is ridiculous. Why are you charging me 152 dollars for a book that was only this thick just for the record inch. One

[00:33:03] Mika Epstein: was required for our class. And we all chipped in to buy the book and I made the copies.

[00:33:10] Mika Epstein: Effectively, I was paid in advance. But,

[00:33:12] Sé Reed: like a what’s that called? Like a rent share, house share? When you do a,

[00:33:18] Mika Epstein: rent shared the book.

[00:33:19] Sé Reed: yeah, it’s

[00:33:19] Mika Epstein: But then, let’s see, after a while it got really hectic to share the book among six of us, so we made the copies.

[00:33:25] Sé Reed: right.

[00:33:25] Mika Epstein: one of us worked in the print shop. And it was easy to do that. But, at the heart, we were just struggling college students trying to eat dinner and pass a class.

[00:33:34] Sé Reed: Okay, so where’s the line between struggling developer just trying to upgrade a plug in that cannot be gotten in some other ways to fix a problem as a let’s call it a jump fix. I don’t know what he has like upgrades and stuff to fix the thing. Where’s that line, right?

[00:33:55] Mika Epstein: this whole situation, I would say

[00:33:58] Sé Reed: Yeah. Say what it should

[00:34:00] Mika Epstein: you have the best intentions, but

[00:34:03] Sé Reed: I’ve already paid this person in the past.

[00:34:05] Mika Epstein: I know, but the source that you are acquiring the nulled files from is the problem.

[00:34:12] Sé Reed: Let’s talk about


[00:34:13] Sé Reed: That for a second. If you asked me, Hey, Mika, do you have a copy of this plug in the updated version? I can’t download it and my clients out of date and I want to migrate them over.

[00:34:21] Mika Epstein: I would say absolutely have a copy because we both paid for it.

[00:34:25] Sé Reed: hold on. If anyone does just please send me a message. Thank you.

[00:34:29] Mika Epstein: I sadly don’t have a copy of

[00:34:30] Sé Reed: No one does cause no one’s buying it for specifically this reason.

[00:34:35] Jason Tucker: I have a copy of it.

[00:34:36] Sé Reed: proceed, please.

[00:34:37] Mika Epstein: but

[00:34:39] Sé Reed: You do. Oh,

[00:34:41] Mika Epstein: will be after Cooler Talk, I imagine.

[00:34:43] Sé Reed: Yeah, live piracy. We just demonstrated it to you. This

[00:34:48] Mika Epstein: Hi NSA people watching the show, we’re not really

[00:34:51] Jason Tucker: Look, I’ll drive the truck by, and it may fall out of the back, alright?

[00:34:54] Sé Reed: Yeah, next time you’re down here for your tattoos,

[00:34:58] Mika Epstein: that was worth it. Whoever did that, I love you.

[00:35:01] Sé Reed: let’s cosplay because he’s the best. Yes,

[00:35:09] Mika Epstein: that we watched on VHS and DVD, and it’s hilarious.

[00:35:14] Jason Cosper: I, I will say yes the people doing this this node plugin business, it is dubious, it is crappy, you’re still paying somebody Money it’s, you’re just paying the wrong person. Of course, I understand like this person is the person you’re trying to buy the plugin from you don’t want to like move past sanctions and go on a list and everything else.

[00:35:44] Jason Cosper: What I will argue for instead of paying an old plugin firm is you already have this plugin, right? Say like the old version. What are you gonna tell me to do here? Is it going, does it involve chat GPT?

[00:36:06] Jason Cosper: it involves searching for the plugin slug on GitHub to see who has accidentally uploaded it to one of their GitHub repositories.

[00:36:18] Jason Cosper: Because yo ho!

[00:36:22] Jason Cosper: I have technically trialed a plugin this way and Yeah, that one’s, oh wow, that’s I would argue that taking advantage of someone else’s mistake is a different moral issue than piracy.

[00:36:40] Jason Cosper: sure.

[00:36:41] Mika Epstein: And piracy

[00:36:42] Sé Reed: like uploaded it and all

[00:36:43] Jason Tucker: the truck was just parked in the middle of the road.

[00:36:46] Sé Reed: Yeah, it

[00:36:48] Mika Epstein: is really a moral issue on a lot of levels,

[00:36:51] Sé Reed: was

[00:36:51] Mika Epstein: And I’m, I readily agree that.

[00:36:53] Sé Reed: I just found a stack.

[00:36:54] Jason Tucker: There were zip files flying out of the back of it as I was driving down the freeway, yeah.

[00:36:58] Mika Epstein: that I haven’t done the same thing, Kasper to see, oh, hey, this is how this code works. There was a company I looked at that they have these, the coding tests you’re supposed to take, only everybody who did the coding test, they fork it from GitHub, and all of their work is public.

[00:37:16] Jason Tucker: Could we talk a little bit about the difference?

[00:37:19] Mika Epstein: Oh, I totally thought this up on my

[00:37:21] Sé Reed: Actually, that is way actually more of a real life test than the isolated do it on your own test, incidentally. The go find the other versions

[00:37:30] Mika Epstein: Googles, folks. Everybody uses search to find your answers.

[00:37:33] Jason Tucker: could we talk a little bit about the difference between like the zip file that you’re downloading, the the license key that you’re putting in and then the subsequent support contract that you’re getting because of all of this. Cause I think one of the things we’re missing in this whole thing is the fact that.

[00:37:52] Jason Tucker: When you’re getting that license is essentially allowing you to bother this one person who wrote this plugin about the problems that you’re having with it. When you’re someone who maybe never emails anyone about problems and you just figure them out yourself. What’s the difference there?

[00:38:10] Jason Tucker: If you’re trying to figure out how to morally navigate this whole thing, are you actually using the services that are being provided because of that? That license key.

[00:38:21] Sé Reed: Yeah, they’re all about updates. All the licenses are focused on updates and

[00:38:25] Jason Tucker: Yeah

[00:38:26] Mika Epstein: I

[00:38:27] Sé Reed: I like this.

[00:38:28] Mika Epstein: have a

[00:38:29] Jason Tucker: I know. I for some

[00:38:31] Jason Tucker: devil’s advocates. Fun.

[00:38:33] Sé Reed: We don’t let, sorry what?

[00:38:34] Mika Epstein: I have lifetime I buy software. I pay for specific WordPress plugins that, and themes even, that do what I want them to do and what I need them to do. I’ve purchased lifetime licenses for some, even one that I don’t use anymore.

[00:38:49] Mika Epstein: Genesis themes. I had a lifetime license that I got. I don’t know, I was living in Chicago, so however long ago that was. Wow.

[00:38:57] Mika Epstein: but I’m of the pro I’m of the mentality of this. The people that are writing this code that I’m going to use have every right to make a living. And they’ve chosen to make a living off of spending their time and energy writing a theme or a plugin that I desperately need.

[00:39:15] Mika Epstein: I could write it myself, or I could pay someone else. This is my thought of FacetWP. I could write that code. I don’t

[00:39:21] Sé Reed: love

[00:39:21] Mika Epstein: code. I love FacetWP because It works, and I don’t have to write it,

[00:39:28] Sé Reed: And it’s gotten so much better even in the

[00:39:30] Mika Epstein: I care about the people that wrote the code. And while I have only emailed them for help twice in years, something along those


[00:39:40] Mika Epstein: I’ve read their documentation a bunch of times, and I’ve looked at their add ons on GitHub that

[00:39:47] Sé Reed: their documentation is true love.

[00:39:49] Mika Epstein: I always read documentation

[00:39:51] Sé Reed: That’s what’s on my Valentine’s

[00:39:52] Mika Epstein: recommend everyone.

[00:39:54] Sé Reed: I’ve read your documentation.

[00:39:55] Mika Epstein: I make use of their resources. In return, I pay them every year. They give me multiple updates. The only time I start getting cagey about updates is when people are like, you have to pay for security updates. And I’m of the opinion that if you’re releasing a security patch for your plugin. Just make it free for everybody who’s using it because otherwise it’s your name that gets smeared as the insecure plugin

[00:40:17] Sé Reed: Or how would you do that, say someone has an older version, and

[00:40:21] Mika Epstein: WordPress can do it.

[00:40:22] Sé Reed: oh, you

[00:40:22] Mika Epstein: I know I just said that wordpress. org can do this. They can release different

[00:40:27] Sé Reed: retroactive security version for

[00:40:29] Mika Epstein: they yeah, they apply the patch retroactively and release versions So if you’re on version 3. 5, you can get 3. 5. 1 If you’re on 12 or whatever the last one is and it

[00:40:40] Sé Reed: it.

[00:40:43] Mika Epstein: would say make each major release, let it keep updating.

[00:40:49] Mika Epstein: Don’t add new features, dear God, but if you’re applying security patches or little errors that you’re fixing, imagine if you were giving all those away for free, people would start looking at you as this person’s reliable. This person cares about my

[00:41:02] Sé Reed: Cares about me and my site. Yes.

[00:41:05] Mika Epstein: encourages.

[00:41:06] Mika Epstein: a good relationship because we don’t have good relationships with developers. Developers and users are constantly at war. It’s like D and D game master versus player. They see themselves as antagonists when the truth is that’s a symbiotic relationship. It is a lot of work.

[00:41:21] Jason Tucker: Yeah.

[00:41:23] Mika Epstein: It’s a lot of work that major companies do.

[00:41:25] Mika Epstein: It’s a lot of work. Microsoft does this and has done this since I was supporting desktop. Yeah, I was supporting Microsoft word desktop updates for a bank pre Y2K. I know. I’m old, folks. And,

[00:41:40] Sé Reed: Doesn’t look it. Even though if you did it would be okay too.

[00:41:44] Mika Epstein: I look my age. This is what 46 looks like, folks. And

[00:41:49] Jason Tucker: to think of like another way that this would be where, for instance, like you download a free plugin and then the free plugin comes with add ons that are paid


[00:42:00] Mika Epstein: Oh, that’s like the WooCommerce model.

[00:42:02] Jason Tucker: yeah.

[00:42:03] Sé Reed: Everybody.

[00:42:04] Mika Epstein: And I support that model, by the way. Having your main plugin be free and all the cool features be pay add ons allows you to do the security updates, because nine times out of ten they’re going to be on the main plugin, folks. And, For a long time Yoast used to have two plugins, that you either had premium or you had free.

[00:42:22] Mika Epstein: And I was always telling Yoast, I was like, Dude, you gotta combine them and just have an add on for the pro stuff.

[00:42:28] Sé Reed: would never understand.

[00:42:30] Mika Epstein: of work.

[00:42:30] Sé Reed: I do not understand the two separate plugins

[00:42:33] Mika Epstein: It started wrong.

[00:42:35] Sé Reed: other one and I’m like, so I just get rid of this one now

[00:42:38] Mika Epstein: It’s one of those things that it was a bad decision in the start, and it took, and because it had gotten so big by the time they realized they needed to fix it, it took forever to fix it, and I totally understand that. And thankfully but it took time. But, it’s not an easy answer, because it really all is contextual.

[00:42:56] Mika Epstein: Was Say doing anything wrong trying to find a free version of the plugin that she cannot technically legally buy? Without skirting around sanctions.

[00:43:05] Sé Reed: I’m in Catch 22 land. I can’t legally buy it, can’t legally download it, but Tucker’s got me. However,

[00:43:12] Mika Epstein: but, if, now if Tucker started reselling it for the exact same price that you could buy it from the original purchasers, and kept doing that and charged you a fee every year for the upgrade, I have a problem with you, Tucker.

[00:43:24] Sé Reed: So this is exactly it. We get, we totally get into moral ambiguity land,

[00:43:29] Jason Tucker: We’ll sublet. We’ll sublet.

[00:43:31] Mika Epstein: Sublet.

[00:43:32] Sé Reed: this is, yeah, subletting. This is, you’re like, I’m not using this plugin. You can use this plugin. You just pay me and I’ll keep the license I’ve got. Cause it’s cheaper, but you can go ahead and pay I’ll

[00:43:42] Mika Epstein: Some places let you transfer license. But,

[00:43:45] Sé Reed: interesting.

[00:43:45] Sé Reed: Okay. But I want to talk about

[00:43:47] Mika Epstein: license, that’s good.

[00:43:48] Sé Reed: fact that this is not a clear cut. The GPL itself is not clear cut. Because you even

[00:43:55] Mika Epstein: GPL is perfectly clear on this. According to the GPL, Tucker can do whatever he wants.

[00:44:01] Sé Reed: The nulled sites, completely GPL compliant. It is literally a moral and ethical dilemma, not a

[00:44:10] Mika Epstein: a purchasing terms issue, which is a different legal issue. It is a legal issue, though. Copyright is a separate legal issue to the GPL. Purchasing terms are a separate legal issue. And while the GPL states, I can’t put restrictions on how you use

[00:44:28] Sé Reed: Huh.

[00:44:29] Mika Epstein: It certainly means I can sever our relationship.

[00:44:32] Mika Epstein: And if you think about it, the guys that are running these null sites, there are two reasons why they’re really sketchy. First of all, once they get caught, the license gets canceled, they have to buy another one with a burner credit card, and this just goes on and on. That’s a lot of work, man.


[00:44:46] Mika Epstein: And the other thing

[00:44:48] Sé Reed: do buy licenses, because I guess that’s how they download it. That I trust Tucker. emailed me a copy of a plugin and said, Hey, this is the plugin, and I promise it’s the real plugin, I trust him. I don’t trust any, a lot of people.


[00:45:04] Jason Tucker: Yeah, that MD five hash better be solid.

[00:45:07] Sé Reed: This is where my, my, oh, I was really trusting back then yeah, we all were.

[00:45:14] Sé Reed: because I was like, you download this file, and then I’m like, how do I check?

[00:45:18] Mika Epstein: spokes.

[00:45:18] Sé Reed: If I don’t have the version of the file to check, that’s the whole problem. I don’t have that version of the file, then how would I

[00:45:26] Mika Epstein: it’s the hashes.

[00:45:27] Sé Reed: for error?

[00:45:28] Sé Reed: And I was like, would I run it through a virus scanner? What? I don’t even know what I would

[00:45:34] Mika Epstein: hash on the plugin zip on your website, then people could check it.

[00:45:39] Jason Tucker: I made the zip with the Mac, so it added

[00:45:43] Mika Epstein: I can’t upload it now. No,

[00:45:46] Sé Reed: website for Mika to check. Is that what I heard? Oh, okay.

[00:45:50] Mika Epstein: 500 per plug in to review.

[00:45:52] Sé Reed: Oh. Okay.

[00:45:54] Mika Epstein: price.

[00:45:55] Sé Reed: And it doesn’t matter whose plugin it is. Can I have you review other people’s plugins and be like, what would I have to change within this plugin for it to be a significant change?

[00:46:04] Mika Epstein: You mean my actual job? No no, I actually, sometimes clients have weird requests, and we’re like, how much of this do we actually change? Does it become a fork, or should we make it? Is this plug in safe to use? And I get pinged a lot with a huge dilemma, especially when you have in the repo, right? So many plugins, so many versions

[00:46:27] Mika Epstein: And they’re only re reviewed on demand. You don’t do them manually. But,

[00:46:33] Sé Reed: and though with those plugins they are, especially because they’re free, if they don’t have the whole business mechanism, pro version attached to them, a lot of the times they become abandonware, right?

[00:46:45] Sé Reed: We’ve talked about that a lot on this show, so it’s Even if

[00:46:49] Mika Epstein: I’ve, you’ve met users, there are reasons they get abandoned.

[00:46:54] Sé Reed: get these clean files, right? And then it’s abandoned. And then we have these, we built off, built sites out of a plugin. That’s not no longer being updated and security concerns are there, but also just code modernity, right?

[00:47:12] Sé Reed: It can’t do as much. And then. To a certain degree, I have with my clients, really, I really don’t use that, I only use free plugins mostly for utility things, like if I’m doing some sort of, I don’t know, something that’s really a technical level thing, not something that I’m building out their workflow around, or that I’m building out their site content around, so those, I basically at this point, and it’s it’s in the thousands of dollars for all of these clients for their licenses individually, right?

[00:47:44] Sé Reed: They’re, in theory, I would save them and me not me, money, but I would save them a lot of money if I had an unlimited license. And then just I, most, what most people do is they just stick their license in, did I just have a

[00:47:59] Mika Epstein: did, you had a little thumbs up pop up.

[00:48:01] Sé Reed: What like they stick their license into their, all their clients portals or whatever.

[00:48:10] Sé Reed: I can’t think of their admins. And then, They charge them for their updates, or they charge, that’s part of their maintenance contract, where they say you’ve got this license for me, so it’s you’ve got Events Calendar Pro, so it’s 100 a month, or it’s 50 a month, right? Is that different?


[00:48:28] Mika Epstein: If they gave you an unlimited license and said it’s fine to use it on all your clients, then, yeah, that is different that’s the purchasing agreement that you’ve made with them. If they say, this can only be used on five sites and you use it on ten,

[00:48:42] Sé Reed: no, it’s still using it on five. It’s more like charging them for their

[00:48:46] Mika Epstein: You’re not charging, you’re not technically charging them, okay. If you’re, if you say you’re charging them for your license, it gets sketchy, but if you say that you’re charging them for the work that you’re doing of installing and maintaining the plugin and their website for them, then, yeah, that’s

[00:49:00] Sé Reed: I’m charging you 100 a month because I, for the me to click the enable auto updates button and

[00:49:06] Mika Epstein: I’m charging 100 a month for plugin maintenance and security.

[00:49:11] Sé Reed: But even if you don’t have to do anything right, you literally.

[00:49:15] Mika Epstein: don’t. Hopefully you’re pre testing for them, but I get why we don’t.

[00:49:20] Sé Reed: we don’t.

[00:49:20] Mika Epstein: Staging sites are great, folks.

[00:49:22] Sé Reed: I don’t do anything anymore. I’m just like, whatever. I’ve gone full circle from cowboy coding back Friday.

[00:49:30] Mika Epstein: honestly,

[00:49:31] Sé Reed: on the corral here. What

[00:49:40] Mika Epstein: said why didn’t are you going to ban this person for putting in a backdoor in their plugin? And I said, I’m going to look and see if they put in the backdoor on purpose, if there’s someone who has a history of doing this, if there’s someone who has a history of doing other naughty things.

[00:49:56] Mika Epstein: Everything has to be taken contextually and while the law is the law for everybody, piracy isn’t the same for everybody, and it can’t Pirates gonna pirate? Pirates gonna,

[00:50:12] Sé Reed: gonna pirate accidentally? I

[00:50:15] Mika Epstein: to define it’s piracy is the

[00:50:16] Sé Reed: don’t know.

[00:50:17] Mika Epstein: Metallica gets to decide it’s piracy because people were using their music in ways that they didn’t they were giving music away for free.

[00:50:26] Mika Epstein: And the argument was that While individual piracy is in fact piracy, it’s so low scale that giving Tucker my mixtape of my favorite Metallica songs, that’s not a really big deal. But selling it to people starts becoming a deal because now I’m not doing it just to give it away and share with people, but I’m doing it to make a profit off of somebody else’s hard work.


[00:50:49] Mika Epstein: And that’s where my moral ambiguity starts piling

[00:50:52] Sé Reed: on that. One, somehow Cosper’s computer is reading his mind and giving him thumbs up, huh?

[00:50:57] Mika Epstein: think he’s doing them below the camera.

[00:50:59] Sé Reed: Are you? Is that what you’re doing? I’m like, why do you, he’s just agreeing with you and his computer is sentient and knows that. So that’s cool. Yeah. And then, also I was so distracted by that I forgot the other point, damn it.

[00:51:13] Sé Reed: Oh, that’s not what, Napster didn’t Charged people. It was sharing. It was file sharing. File sharing, and it was the scale of the file sharing that Metallica took umbrage with.

[00:51:22] Sé Reed: right, because that was the whole argument, right? Like we’re not charging people for this or whatever, right? That’s the whole They’re just sharing their files.

[00:51:31] Mika Epstein: with digital files, with physical files it’s, unless I go to the effort of making 150 photocopies and selling them for two bucks, I’m not going to make my 152 back. And some, and dinner.


[00:51:45] Sé Reed: Is it then profit? Is that the line?

[00:51:49] Mika Epstein: line is intent.

[00:51:51] Sé Reed: Yeah, but intent is not intent is subjective. I’m looking for unsubjective here. I’m looking for objective. I’m looking for, is there a framework where we’re not like I have a I here’s let me just tell you why. I’d really like to get to that. Because, I have what I like to think of as a fairly strong moral quote, right?

[00:52:16] Sé Reed: I have a fairly intense ethical principles structure. And other people have less of a one, right? I’m not judging them for that. But, those people get to take advantage of a lot of things that my lovely moral principles do not allow me to take part in. Like sometimes people offer you money and you say, sorry, I can’t accept that money because it would be morally compromising.

[00:52:44] Sé Reed: And other people would be like,

[00:52:47] Mika Epstein: your plugins while I was the plugin rep. That was not okay.

[00:52:50] Sé Reed: Exactly. You’re like, I just want to send you this gift card to Amazon just because you’re nice.

[00:52:56] Mika Epstein: Returned every single one for 10 years.

[00:52:58] Sé Reed: And let me tell you, that was a choice that you made. That was not a decision that you, I’m assuming that was not any conversation you had with people. That was not a policy that was written up.

[00:53:10] Sé Reed: That was Mika being like, I don’t want to accept bribes for my work. I’m not doing that. I have a moral code. I took my. Job responsibly and it’s not for sale. Okay. So there are people and including, and this is part of why you didn’t leave for so long, because there’s a lot of people who would take happy advantage of that situation.

[00:53:32] Sé Reed: Now in the world of we’re not, obviously it’s not a limited pie, but in the world of these people and they’re more relaxed moral code. Like I said, it, a lot of advantages and I am literally disadvantaging myself. By having a stronger moral code about something that is highly ambiguous and arguments legally, fine so many things that are legal are wrong obviously that’s not even a line, but that’s the problem, because at a certain point, the frustration of it.

[00:54:12] Sé Reed: Doing it to yourself, right? Being like, Oh, wow, maybe I should just play this game in this world because otherwise I am ostracizing myself from this disadvantaging myself, what I’m bringing to the table and without it’s just this lost space where you’re just like, it’s literally moral code.

[00:54:35] Sé Reed: That’s this code. Funny.


[00:54:38] Sé Reed: Tell me what to do, Mika. I can tell you, I can tell you what to do. If you are concerned about possibility of being on the NSA’s watch list because you bought software from a sanctioned country, don’t buy it nulled either because you are still encouraging that behavior which is sanctioned in the United States.

[00:54:57] Sé Reed: Oh, I like that you just told me that it’s both gonna get me on the list. I don’t

[00:55:01] Mika Epstein: They’re both, they absolutely both can get you on the list.

[00:55:04] Sé Reed: I don’t want to sell

[00:55:05] Mika Epstein: yeah, Tucker’s rethinking his offer.

[00:55:09] Sé Reed: I love Russian

[00:55:10] Jason Tucker: just putting it on GitHub. She downloads it however she feels like it.

[00:55:13] Mika Epstein: now and my moral compass says I would give someone personally and say, please don’t share this and ask them. And I would only give it to people that I felt shared my same relative moral compass about these things.

[00:55:30] Mika Epstein: If someone I barely know pings me and said, Hey, I know this. I know you have a copy of this. Could you give it to me? And I’d really have to think about it hard. How much do I trust them? I have another

[00:55:42] Mika Epstein: but,

[00:55:43] Jason Tucker: the two versions and give her the deltas.

[00:55:45] Mika Epstein: oh see that’s actually pretty cool. But,

[00:55:50] Sé Reed: if I

[00:55:50] Jason Tucker: you a patch file. You have to figure out how

[00:55:52] Mika Epstein: problem with annulled sites is that they’re acting as an intermediary where there is no license agreement to act as such.

[00:55:58] Mika Epstein: And I don’t mean GPL license, purchase license. And the other problem is that because they’ve already demonstrated that they have fewer morals and a different ethical stance than I do, I cannot reliably trust that they haven’t messed with the zips.

[00:56:12] Sé Reed: That’s actually the, that, that’s the thing, right? Is it even safe? Are you just giving your money to somebody for

[00:56:19] Mika Epstein: Null, nulled plugins are never safe. They,

[00:56:21] Jason Tucker: backdoor maker

[00:56:23] Mika Epstein: They just aren’t. There, there’s no other answer to this. They cannot

[00:56:26] Jason Tucker: could be a backdoor.

[00:56:27] Mika Epstein: be proven that they haven’t been tampered with.

[00:56:30] Jason Tucker: Yeah.

[00:56:31] Mika Epstein: It’s don’t return a bottle of Tylenol that’s been opened.


[00:56:35] Mika Epstein: I can’t tell that you didn’t lick the ice cream.

[00:56:38] Mika Epstein: That’s why we have to have seals on our ice cream now, because people would open them up and lick them and put it

[00:56:42] Sé Reed: that’s why they have that line in the gusset of the underwear.

[00:56:46] Mika Epstein: Exactly. That’s why they have those things.

[00:56:48] Sé Reed: Don’t return your underwear, people!

[00:56:51] Jason Tucker: that is the MD five hash right there is you look at it and you say, all right these two are the same. I’m good.

[00:56:58] Sé Reed: So is it

[00:56:58] Mika Epstein: publicizing your MD5 hashes would do a wonder for people if there was also a way that you could verify. Hey, did you possibly buy this from a nulled site? Here’s the little checker you can run to see if it’s valid or not. Somebody should make that website, please. Someone, yeah, someone do that.

[00:57:15] Sé Reed: Can you make it?

[00:57:16] Mika Epstein: But, at the end of the day, there is not. An answer,

[00:57:21] Sé Reed: all my anarchist friends, by the way, with that idea. There’s a whole subset of them.

[00:57:28] Mika Epstein: I’m a socialist anarchist, folks.

[00:57:29] Sé Reed: Okay. You’re here. Wait. I know we’re going into like way time, but this is just such a deep conversation that we haven’t had in like ever that we should, that’s way

[00:57:37] Mika Epstein: I can always come back.

[00:57:39] Sé Reed: How are you an anarchist socialist? And you’re all over here telling me, you’re like, it’s not, so it’s not about copyright law.

[00:57:44] Sé Reed: It’s not even about that. It’s literally about moral code, which is different than believing

[00:57:49] Mika Epstein: have moral codes. What on earth makes people think they don’t?

[00:57:53] Sé Reed: That’s exactly what I’m saying. That’s exactly what I’m saying. It’s not the same thing. This is about, not about capitalism, so it isn’t, in your mind, about profit. Because I was asking, Oh, yeah, okay all right okay my, my stance on profit is this, is that prices are inflated irrespective of cost these days. CEOs are making billions and that money is not being passed on down to the people that are actually doing the work. When we’re talking a large,

[00:58:23] Sé Reed: tips sometimes for their waitresses When we’re talking about large corporations, by which I would mean Microsoft, Apple, those things.

[00:58:35] Mika Epstein: That’s a very different,

[00:58:38] Sé Reed: Engine?

[00:58:39] Mika Epstein: WP engine automatic actually would fall under that as well.

[00:58:42] Sé Reed: just don’t say that one.

[00:58:44] Mika Epstein: my moral compunction To not there’s a whole Jewish thing about your moral compunction your inclination to evil and your inclination to good and your entire life is spent fighting the two of them and trying to force yourself to the inclination to good because it’s for the betterment of the world, as yourself.

[00:59:02] Mika Epstein: We don’t think about it as going to heaven. We don’t have that whole shtick. It’s literally just be a better person to make this world a better place. From that standpoint, I don’t really have a problem with stealing Adobe Photoshop. They charge out the wazoo way more than they should. On the other hand, if I was stealing from, say, who made a plugin on her own, or a Photoshop app on her own, and I was stealing from her, I’m a great big jerk. And that’s where my breakpoint is that I, if you steal from a capitalist, I’m going to turn you up. Yeah I didn’t see anything. I didn’t see that person sleeping in their car. Even though sleeping in cars is illegal in California, I know the guy who sleeps at the exact same spot near my place every day, and I drop him off food cards because I feel awful for him.

[00:59:49] Mika Epstein: He just can’t afford a place to live.

[00:59:52] Jason Cosper: If you see somebody, if you see somebody stealing food from the supermarket, no, you didn’t.

[01:00:00] Mika Epstein: If you see somebody stealing diapers, no, you didn’t. On the other

[01:00:04] Sé Reed: me when I walk by the

[01:00:05] Mika Epstein: cutting off the catalytic converter for a car, yes, you did see that.

[01:00:09] Jason Tucker: That guy’s

[01:00:10] Sé Reed: Exactly! This is that same

[01:00:14] Mika Epstein: it’s intent. Is it intent to harm

[01:00:18] Sé Reed: Or exploit?

[01:00:19] Mika Epstein: or exploit, or is it an intent to, look man, you guys charged 400 for this plugin. By the way, that is not the largest plugin cost I’ve ever seen, and no, it wasn’t worth it. There’s

[01:00:30] Sé Reed: No, I got accidentally,

[01:00:31] Mika Epstein: about that guy, I’ve got it somewhere in

[01:00:33] Sé Reed: had a demo version of the events calendar suite

[01:00:37] Mika Epstein: Oh

[01:00:38] Sé Reed: that I got a code for as a demo version, and then I had to put my card in, but it wasn’t supposed to recharge, and I was like, Ooh, that’s a big amount of money that just charged me for all of that. They put it back. It was terrified.

[01:00:53] Mika Epstein: Would I advocate stealing plugins? No, I would advocate talking to them going, look, man, this price is crazy. Do you have any sort of deals for people that are buying it for use in? Teaching or people that are buying it for use in nonprofits and having deals for people like that is a fantastic way to give, to ensure people don’t do piracy because people do piracy for three reasons.

[01:01:19] Mika Epstein: One, you charge too much. Two, there’s no way to get it. That’s what’s going on with movies right now is that literally TV shows and movies are being taken off of streaming and you cannot find them. And. The third reason is that they’re just evil people. You can’t do anything about the third one, but the first two you can. If your company’s going out of business, and you’re never going to work on this plugin again, put it up on GitHub. Be the mensch. Because you’re not making money from it anymore, right? Put it up there, let somebody else take over. If you see a plugin that’s closed on WordPress. org and you think, ah, I really love this specific plugin, fork it!

[01:01:57] Mika Epstein: It’s perfectly legal, and it’s encouraged.

[01:02:00] Sé Reed: have any forks left.

[01:02:02] Mika Epstein: what, I’m out of spoons, man.

[01:02:03] Sé Reed: I’m out of spoons and forks at this point.

[01:02:06] Mika Epstein: But, do them for

[01:02:08] Sé Reed: I only have knives left, which is dangerous. I’m a little scared.

[01:02:12] Mika Epstein: Oh boy, that went to a place.

[01:02:14] Sé Reed: I’m sorry. It’s just, it’s a really accurate metaphor.

[01:02:18] Mika Epstein: Oh, Courtney. Can I shed light on force deploying updates to premium plugins and customer support and how to acquire them? That’s a whole nother

[01:02:27] Jason Tucker: Hey, look, we have a whole nother episode to talk about.

[01:02:30] Sé Reed: Yeah. We literally turned this into two episodes because this is like a two parter. And,

[01:02:35] Mika Epstein: because you really can’t untangle the two. It, everything is quantum entangled when you talk about piracy and licenses and trademarks and copyright and how far do you go down the rabbit hole. And I spent ten years in the

[01:02:49] Sé Reed: also though if the industry is like turning into a, Little cesspool and it’s oh, and maybe we want all of this stuff to collapse. There is a disruptor side of me that has been giving, get, been fed a lot lately. So that part of me is that little anarchist inside me is

[01:03:09] Jason Tucker: Join our discord.

[01:03:10] Sé Reed: like growing.

[01:03:11] Mika Epstein: It’s good disruption versus bad disruption. If you’re disrupting the status quo in order to enact a change for the good of the many like

[01:03:20] Sé Reed: But wait.

[01:03:21] Mika Epstein: on a bus. But if you’re disrupting to make a profit, like Lyft instead of public transportation, those are the differences. Public transportation is inexpensive and anyone can use it.

[01:03:33] Mika Epstein: Lyft requires a credit card and money.

[01:03:36] Sé Reed: I would also like to say, though, for that first one I like your distinction, but on that first bit there is that new, lovely little philosophy called effective altruism, where it’s the world that I want, yeah, I just thought I’d whip that out at the end the world that I want is, it’s for the good of that world. Screw the good of your world.

[01:03:59] Mika Epstein: Now that, okay, so I come from this from a Jewish standpoint. And I mentioned it earlier that there’s your inclination to good and your inclination to evil. Your inclination to good must be for making the world a better place for everyone. Not you. Everyone.

[01:04:13] Sé Reed: also that philosophy, followed by the head of Twitter X thing, whatever, that, that guy who I don’t like to

[01:04:22] Mika Epstein: There’s a reason I don’t use it.

[01:04:24] Sé Reed: Yeah, exactly that philosophy is, here’s what I believe is the best for everyone, aka Mars and self driving cars and whatever and because I believe this, I am doing it for the good, and then therefore my insane narcissism is allowing me to use that

[01:04:46] Mika Epstein: Oh, yeah, his justification for narcissism is Incredible. No, that’s evil. Sorry have no qualms in saying if you think that your version of the world is the only version that has to exist and everybody else is wrong your inclination to evil is winning folks because there’s no One true God for everyone.

[01:05:08] Mika Epstein: There can’t be. The Torah actually says that there are multiple gods. It just says that ours, as it were, is better. And that’s the argument to be made. But, no, seriously, that’s what it says. But,

[01:05:22] Sé Reed: talking about God and philosophy at the end

[01:05:24] Mika Epstein: no one answer for is this piracy bad piracy or is this necessary piracy?

[01:05:32] Sé Reed: Yeah, that’s exactly, I think that’s the distinction,

[01:05:34] Mika Epstein: And in Say’s case, Her original example of a country that’s being sanctioned against and a company that is doing effectively money laundering workarounds in order to get paid. While my heart breaks for the people that are in those situations, no matter what country they be in, no matter what situation, because I know the average Joe has no control over their government. We just don’t. It is not worth risking my own personal safety to aid them in that endeavor. And risk being audited, which is a terrible thing. Risk being investigated by the FBI. I’ve worked with an FBI investigation. It’s a weird thing to do. I worked at a bank for 14 years, folks. I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff.

[01:06:21] Sé Reed: They don’t seem super trusting. It

[01:06:24] Mika Epstein: They’re really not. And they have no senses of humor.

[01:06:27] Sé Reed: it would go over

[01:06:28] Mika Epstein: a joke near the FBI.

[01:06:29] Sé Reed: They’re like, I don’t think you’re taking this seriously. And I’m like, I’m sorry, I can’t. It’s chronic. It’s a problem.

[01:06:35] Mika Epstein: But,

[01:06:36] Sé Reed: coping mechanism from childhood.

[01:06:37] Mika Epstein: there can’t be one answer because no two situations are the same. And in Say’s case, I would say that you are stealing diapers.

[01:06:45] Sé Reed: I’m stealing diapers. I

[01:06:47] Mika Epstein: I’m gonna turn the other cheek and look the other way because I didn’t see someone stealing diapers.

[01:06:51] Sé Reed: Yep, no one’s stealing any diapers here.

[01:06:54] Mika Epstein: That was my wrap up! I had it! Ha!

[01:06:57] Sé Reed: for bringing us to that beautiful conclusion and for this amazing extended episode because you have so much wisdom to bring to this and to the community in general. So good. Thank you.

[01:07:09] Mika Epstein: miss getting to chat with you guys.

[01:07:11] Jason Tucker: Yeah, it was good hanging out,

[01:07:13] Sé Reed: will be back.


[01:07:16] Jason Cosper: Take us home.

[01:07:17] Jason Tucker: go join us in our discord. We’d really appreciate it. And come hang out with us. You can go to WPwatercooler. com slash discord and you can go find us over there. Here’s our outro. See y’all later. Go over to our website at debut water core. com slash subscribe to this content in any way that you want to subscribe it, subscribe, subscribe to it. You can also hang out with us in our live chat. You can do that over on our website as well as on YouTube. Talk to y’all later. You have a good one.

[01:07:47] Jason Tucker: Bye bye.

Show More Show Less

Likes, Bookmarks, and Reposts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.