Licensing best practice, in the context of an existing project

Okay, bear with me for a moment, gotta set this up…

I am about to “release” a theme for Hugo. That is in quotes because I am publishing it in a public repo, but I don’t expect anyone to notice as it is a practice run (and also, who am I?).

Hugo comes with a theme quick start when using hugo new theme, and creates the following tree:

├── archetypes
│   └──
├── layouts
│   ├── 404.html
│   ├── _default
│   │   ├── list.html
│   │   └── single.html
│   ├── index.html
│   └── partials
│       ├── footer.html
│       └── header.html
├── static
│   ├── css
│   └── js
└── theme.toml

Most of those are empty, except for, which contains the MIT license text and a theme.toml skeleton file:

# theme.toml template for a Hugo theme
# See for an example

name = "Name"
license = "MIT"
licenselink = ""
description = ""
homepage = ""
tags = []
features = []
min_version = "0.20"

  name = ""
  homepage = ""

# If porting an existing theme
  name = ""
  homepage = ""
  repo = ""

Alright, now my questions: given that Hugo is released under the Apache license, and all the Hugo themes I’ve come upon are licensed as MIT, would it be weird to license mine under the GPL? If someone decided to use parts of mine, would they have reason to pause upon seeing the license?

I should say that I understand (as much as a non-paralegal can) the GPL, and I support its use, but I haven’t encountered a project I wanted to contribute to that doesn’t use the GPL (gooooooo WordPress!).

Are there recent examples of this going badly? I am open to balancing principle with getting along with people… to a point. :slight_smile:

1 Like

0? awesome, …
1? without knowing how Hugo themes work, my guess is it must be OK in terms of license compliance for your theme to be GPL-3.0+ as MIT and Apache-2.0 are both compatible with that, only question is whether there are any of their notices that need to be kept with themes even if they aren’t MIT, as to whether it would be “weird” in any other way…
2? …whether they have reason to or not, some probably would pause as copyright and licenses are brain toxins; surely their themes would just need to also be GPL-3.0[+]
3? don’t know of any theme licensing disputes outside of WordPress, but curious if you hear of any