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WP and Legal Stuff

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A blog about WordPress and legal issues.

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The legal risk of continuing to email someone who unsubscribes from your email list - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

Let’s set the scene In all likelihood, and for good reason, WordPress is the most popular blogging tool/CMS for those who wish to engage in online content marketing with a view to building an email subscriber list and sharing valuable content with those who have subscribed. These days, there are countless integrations between WordPress and email campaign providers like MailChimp and Aweber, it’s easy to enable social sharing, membership sites can be built with WordPress fairly easily, it’s…

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Using the WordPress trademarks for your business, product or service - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

Introduction If you’re a budding WordPress developer, designer or entrepreneur, you may be whipping up a creative storm and readying it for release. It might be a theme shop, a Gravity Forms-quality plugin, a WordPress-tailored hosting environment, a WordPress support agency or an app-making platform. The product or service is nearing release and you’re amping to “get it out there”. You love WordPress and you want to sing its praises from the rooftops, including in some way in the naming…

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Would you like a privacy policy like mine? - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

When I was getting WP and Legal Stuff ready for release, I drafted the privacy policy that is linked to in the site footer. I did this because I would probably be collecting personal information (e.g., names of commenters and email addresses) and it was appropriate, therefore, that I let people know what I’m collecting, who can see it, what I’ll do with it, and so on. When drafting the policy, it struck me that this is something that other bloggers and site operators – whose structural set…

"Template terms and policies for WordPress multisite businesses" at WP and Legal Stuff (wpandlegalstuff.com) #WordPress Creating A Blog, Wordpress, Templates, Business, Stencils, Vorlage, Store, Business Illustration, Models

Template terms and policies for WordPress multisite businesses - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

Introduction As many if not most readers will know, with WordPress’ multisite feature, you can set up your own network of sites, whether for yourself, friends, clients or customers. The WordPress Codex puts it in these terms: “As of WordPress 3.0, you have the ability to create a network of sites by using the multisite feature. … A multisite network can be very similar to your own personal version of WordPress.com. End users of your network can create their own sites on demand, just like end…

"Protecting WordPress consultancies with terms of business" at WP and Legal Stuff (wpandlegalstuff.com) #WordPress Training Materials, Design Agency, To Focus, Service Design, Coaching, How To Become, Wordpress, Advice, Education

Protecting WordPress consultancies with terms of business - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

Let’s take a look at WordPress consultancies As readers will know, the WordPress marketplace comprises a wide range of business types, including: development and design agencies; theme and plugin shops; website generation platforms; app platforms; and consultancy businesses. For this post I want to focus on the last of these: WordPress consultancy businesses. These are the sorts of businesses that provide the likes of: commercial advice and coaching in relation to WordPress-related…

"Readers ask: About reselling commercial plugins" at WP and Legal Stuff (wpandlegalstuff.com) #WordPress Html Javascript, Wordpress, Commercial, Coding, This Or That Questions, Things To Sell, Programming

Readers ask: About reselling commercial plugins (updated) - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

The questions Following the posts on WordPress themes, the GPL and the conundrum of derivative works and A reader asks: Selling ThemeForest themes outside of ThemeForest, two people from countries far apart have asked me similar questions (albeit possibly from opposite perspectives) regarding the reselling of GPL’d plugins. The first person asked this (I’m paraphrasing): ‘If someone purchases a plugin (or theme) from a commercial plugin (or theme) provider, and then translates it, changes…

"Fake reviewer goes down for defamation" at WP and Legal Stuff (wpandlegalstuff.com) #WordPress #NegativeSEO Logos, Thoughts, Logo, Ideas

Fake reviewer goes down for defamation - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

In Negative SEO and legal remedies I noted that one form of negative SEO is “where an unscrupulous person posts fake and negative reviews about a competitor’s goods or services with a view to lowering the competitor’s average popularity ranking and therefore reducing its page rank, e.g., in particular commercial services, for popularity-based searches.” When discussing various potential remedies for negative SEO, I noted that one potential remedy for fake reviews is a civil action for…

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How lawyers' terms for your WordPress business can affect your revenue - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

So you’re starting an online business You’re starting a WordPress-related business of some sort. You need website terms of use or a privacy policy or software-as-a-service terms for the site. You ask your lawyer to whip something up so that that particular box can be ticked off: “Terms of use, done”. You might be someone who works closely with your lawyer on such issues or you may give your lawyer comparatively free reign. Does it matter? I suggest it does, as I’ll try to show in this post…

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Taking care with the IP terms of WordPress development services - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

Setting the scene Does this sound like you? You need to have a custom theme or plugin developed. Or you need help modifying an existing theme or plugin. You need someone to build a WordPress platform of some sort. Or you otherwise need help doing X, Y or Z with your WordPress site or business that, like the other tasks just mentioned, will involve the creation of new software code. You need the work done yesterday, you’re happy to pay a reasonable amount for it and you just want to get on…

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A reader asks: Selling ThemeForest themes outside of ThemeForest - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

Questions Alex asks these questions (I’ve amended them slightly): “I have come across sites that are charging to download ThemeForest WordPress themes and are adding a note stating they are licensed under the GPL. I looked a number of those themes up on ThemeForest and they were not licensed under the GPL or were only partially licensed under the GPL. I am planning to sell WordPress themes and would appreciate a clarification as to the licensing that ThemeForest is purporting to use. (As of…

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Press This and copyright infringement - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

Press This and what’s up A helpful reader mentioned to me the other day that an interesting issue has cropped up in discussions within Github on the WordPress “Press This” tool. For those not familiar with this tool, go to “Tools” > “Available Tools” within your WordPress installation, where you’ll find a bookmarklet that you can add to your browser’s bookmarks bar. As explained in your WordPress installation: “Press This is a bookmarklet: a little app that runs in your browser and lets you…

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A reader asks: Theme reviews, CC0, model releases and GPL-compatibility - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

Question Ulrich asks: “I do theme reviews for the theme repository on WordPress.org. All the code and assets in the theme need to be GPL compatible. I have a few questions about how GPL compatible images work with model releases. The popular GPL compatible image licence is CC0. Can an image be released under CC0 even if there is no model release? Is a CC0 image without a model release GPL compatible? Who is responsible for getting the model release? The photographer, theme author, website…

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Beware of shared hosting and the storage of backups - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

Backups of your WordPress site or at least your database are essential right? Yes, absolutely, but sometimes you need to be careful where you put them, as I seek to show in this true story. A good number of years ago I assumed responsibility for a non-profit, private sector organisation’s WordPress site and, because money was an issue, a well-known shared hosting provider was used to host the site. We were mindful of the importance of backup so installed iThemes’ excellent BackupBuddy…

"WordPress-related business brands: protect and do no harm" at WP and Legal Stuff (wpandlegalstuff.com) #WordPress Business Branding, Lululemon Logo, Wordpress, Neon Signs, Logos, First Grade, Character, Vulnerability, Branding

WordPress-related business brands: protect and do no harm - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

The significance of WordPress-related brands As I’ve noted in an earlier post, as WordPress has evolved and become more popular, more and more businesses have sprung up in what someone referred to the other day as “the WordPress marketplace”. In addition to Automattic, there are: theme shops: think Array, Elegant Themes, StudioPress, WooThemes, ThemeForest, Themezilla and (one of my minimalist favourites) Elmastudio, among countless others; plugin and app shops: think Rocketgenius’ Gravity…

"A reader asks: About populating one’s site with third party content" at WP and Legal Stuff (wpandlegalstuff.com) #WordPress First Site, Third Party, Turning, Wordpress, About Me Blog, How To Apply, This Or That Questions, Content, Wood Turning

A reader asks: About populating one's site with third party content - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

The question John asks: “My question is about using third party content in my blog. I see a lot of sites using third party content, such as news, at their own site, by simply adding the source reference and link. What are the conventions in that sense? Are we allowed to use an article from another blog/news site as long as we reference the source of the article? Most news sites don’t seem to have any warning about that while others clearly state that this practice is forbidden at their site…

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Negative SEO and legal remedies - WP AND LEGAL STUFF

The negative SEO campaign against WP Site Care By now, many in the WordPress community will have heard of the negative SEO campaign against WP Site Care that Ryan Sullivan, its founder, described in Negative SEO: Destroying Businesses One Spammy Backlink at a Time. On this occasion, the negative SEO attack appears to have been caused by voluminous backlinks, including a “spike in unnatural links from lots of unsavory sources over the course of a few days” which, in turn, appears to have…