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As you may or may not have noticed the folks from have removed the iQ Block Country plugin from their plugin directory.

Here is the explanation why:

The iQ Block Country plugin relies heavily o: ย the MaxMind databases. These databases are distributed under the Creative Commons Atribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license while WordPress itself is licensed under the GPL license.

And these 2 licenses conflict with each other. Therefor WordPress requires the iQ Block Country plugin to not automatically download the Maxmind databases or allow users to do so with for instance a download button. You as the end user should download the Maxmind databases manually and upload this file to the WordPress directory via FTP or similar ways.

But there is a catch to this. The iQ Block Country plugin should work even without you uploading the necessary databases the plugin needs. So even if I build a version that does not download the databases there is a good chance the plugin will be removed again as it requires the same databases that I am not allowed to require.

So despite it is logical that the two licenses conflict I am now at contemplating what I should do with the development of this plugin.

There are a couple of options that I can think of now:

  • Remove the automatic download from the plugin and put it back up with good instructions on how you can upload the databases. But this includes the risk the plugin may be removed again due to requiring things it is not allowed to require.
  • Add another GPL compatible database (if any exist) next to the one that Maxmind provides making it so that the plugin does not rely on the Maxmind database.
  • Create an API that checks the IP to a central server if the Maxmind database does not exist. This however relies on me having server capacity to run the API that I currently do not have (I would require a sponsor to donate such resources)
  • Stop with the development.

The latest version can still be downloaded here.

Whatย are your thoughts on this matter? Please leave a comment!

Update 06 March: The plugin is available on the WordPress plugin website again.