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Call now! You can be “licensed” too! While supplies last!

I like the WP Tavern and the people who run it. Recently they did something very cool and implemented a comment policy. I had gotten into a small debate there and do not want to use those comments as my own personal soapbox.

No one should abuse the comments on someone else’s site to take over a post like that. That’s just rude and more than a little inappropriate.

*Pulls out and gets on top of my own personal soapbox*

The following words are defined by me as terms of endearment like so:

  1. Boneheaded – adjective: describing an action that is not smart, possibly foolish.
  2. Boneheadee – noun: someone who does something boneheaded.

I’m writing these things on the off chance someone claims I am besmirching their character. I’m not, I think they went about something in a foolish way.

What is this post about?

Over at The WP Tavern there was a couple of posts about this “thing” where someone did something (really boneheaded) and the expected outcome of settling out of court (remarkably, not so boneheaded) was arrived at.

But one of the points from the boneheadee was that he now has a “license” from the WordPress Foundation to use the word “WordPress” in a subdomain. Yes, I am cherry picking here as I don’t really want to link to a bonehead site. 😉

I now have a license from WordPress to use, even after they stop allowing the use of w-o-r-d-p-r-e-s-s in subdomains .

I get his “I did something amazingly foolish and I now want to save some face” but that statement is just incorrect. The section of that posted online agreement says the following.

c. Consistent with the WPF policy regarding doman names and notwithstanding any other provision in this Agreement, WPF shall not object to Yablon’s use of the WordPress Marks as part of any subdomains or subdirectories associated with any second level domain name registered to and controlled exclusively by Yablon, including for example, wordrpess.answerguy.com or answerguy.com/wordpress, in connection with services that involve use of the WordPress platform and support the WordPress brand services that do not otherwise violate the rights of WPF.

This isn’t new and has been published for years on the WordPress Foundation’s page about trademarks. Anyone can do that without getting sued. Besides, the verbiage above has some conditions. It’s not a statement for that person to do as he sees fit.

Words matter and to say a paragraph that just reaffirms their existing policy isn’t a license. It says that the boneheadee can do what the policy has said for years.

Now IANAL but that doesn’t look like a license to me as much as a statement of “Hey, if you play nice and do as we’ve been saying for a while now, then we’re cool.” The point is that this person feels that the trademark policy will have to be changed in the future.

I don’t think he’s a lawyer either or if he is not a very good one. If a trademark holder can permit use of by someone, why couldn’t they do so to a community? You know, via some policy statement?

The Footer Statement!

When you visit the supposed “licensed” site you’ll see this around the bottom.

We use “wordpress” as a subdomain of Answer Guy Central under license from The WordPress Foundation.

Hey, it’s his site and he can put whatever he likes, even if it’s loose with the facts.

The Plugin!

But this did get me thinking.

Why not come up with a plugin that will check your host name in your site URL settings contains “wordpress” and if so, is it as a subdomain or directory?

If your site was using WordPress (case insensitive) in your home_url() then add to the loop_end() action a nice statement about that.

Yes, using wp_footer() is safer. But when I use that and tested on many themes, including the Twenty Ten through Twenty Sixteen themes, the output was either obscured by a (stage) left sidebar or it put the HTML in places I didn’t really want.

By using this simple code I can put the notice at the end of the main loop.

add_action( 'loop_end' , 'mh_licensed' );
function mh_licensed( $query ) {
   if( $query->is_main_query() ) {
      // Stuff is echo'ed here
   }
}

This introduces HTML where the theme designer didn’t intend but for most themes it works out. It puts right after the end of the loop the text I want.

If you use “WordPress” (it’s case insensitive) in your sub-domain then you’ll get this text and link at the end.

We use “wordpress” in our subdomain in compliance with The WordPress Foundation Trademark Policy.

If your site is using /wordpress/ or some combination in the URL settings then add these words.

We use “wordpress” in our subdirectory name in compliance with The WordPress Foundation Trademark Policy.

But if your site contains WordPress in the domain name such as wordpressneedsme.com or themisguidedwordpresspeople.com then the output this.

We use WordPress as part of out second level domain in direct violation of The WordPress Foundation Trademark Policy. We are horrible people and you only hate us because you do not understand that we are trying to save WordPress. From itself. And people like YOU. We are smarter than you and you do not understand the intricacies of business and trademarks. It is not your fault and we do not want to reveal the details of our Grand and Glorious Scheme™.

*Drinks more coffee*

I may change that last text. I think it comes off as being too humble.

If you’re not using Those Nine Letters™ in your home_url() then nothing will be outputted.

I’ve posted a gist of my plugin code and if you want, download a copy of that code using the “Download ZIP” button.

download-gist-zip

The ZIP name and directory will be goofy but you can install that plugin using your WordPress dashboard.

The code is ugly but it should work for you. And with this plugin you’ll be telling all of your visitors that you’re a good WordPress community member. 😉

Note: The soapbox featured image is by Mark Longair and is being used courtesy of the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license. Why not visit Mark’s Flickr page and admire his images?

Categories: Geek Humor

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Jan Dembowski