All posts filed under: Consumer protection

District-Court-California

WordPress Foundation v Yablon and PC-VIP, Inc

Introduction As many will know, the WordPress Foundation has commenced court proceedings against Mr Yablon and PC-VIP, Inc in relation to the use of “WordPress” in “The WordPress Helpers” website and multiple domain names: thewordpresshelpers.com, thewordpresshelpdesk.com, thewordpresstrainers.com, thewordpressteachers.com, thewordpressdoctors.com, wordpresstraffic.com and thewordpresstutors.com. Attempts to resolve the matter without resorting to court proceedings have, it seems, been unsuccessful. The WordPress Foundation’s complaint against Mr Yablon and PC-VIP, Inc, filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, contains five claims for relief. It also seeks a jury trial. The complaint is available online if you’d like to read it. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread I don’t propose to express an opinion on whether and if so how many of the claims may succeed. Not only is it more appropriate to leave that to US trademark and cybersquatting attorneys but we are yet to see a statement of defence from the defendants and we are probably not fully aware of the full range of facts (other than the obvious ones) …

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WordPress-related business brands: protect and do no harm

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 Forms, Yoast’s WordPress SEO Premium, the impressive array of WPMU DEV plugins, iThemes’ BackupBuddy, Gravity Wiz, CodeCanyon, Conductor, Reactor by AppPresser, VelocityPage and Pippins Plugins (whose site, I’ve just noticed, has had a super redesign), again among many others; WordPress designers (too many to even start naming); WordPress coding shops: think WerkPress and Envato Studio; WordPress news sites: think WPTavern, again among others; WordPress business consultancy, support services and fora: think Chris Lema, Matt Report Pro, WP Elevation, Post Status Membership Club, WP Site Care and WP Curve; and WordPress security services (like Sucuri). All of these businesses have distinctive brands, the importance …

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The legal risk of continuing to email someone who unsubscribes from your email list

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 easy to enable digital downloads, the list goes on. For this reason, many WordPress users will be collecting email addresses, sending email newsletters and campaigns, and so on. I turn now to Pat Flynn’s superb Ask Pat podcast, a spin-off of his Smart Passive Income blog and podcast. I do that because it was an episode of his podcast that gave me the idea for this post (thanks Pat). For those who don’t know, in his Ask Pat podcast, Pat takes recorded questions from members of his audience and answers them in the podcast. In episode #212, …

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Why legal stuff matters

For some people, thinking about legal stuff may not be at the forefront of their minds when they’re developing, designing, launching or adding content to a WordPress website or developing and releasing a theme or plugin. I suspect it’s also not at the forefront of the minds of some people who launch commercial theme and plugin shops, release WordPress ebooks, produce WordPress podcasts, and so on. It’s easy to get caught in the moment and the excitement of developing, writing or releasing something new. I know what that’s like. Just as a lawyer building a website may pay little attention to something that a developer would consider crucial, so too can developers, designers, bloggers and entrepreneurs pay little attention to things that lawyers consider important if not crucial.  And, of course, in some cases people want to do what’s right or in their commercial interests but just don’t know what the relevant laws are or how they apply. The legal stuff does matter There are various reasons for sticking to the right side of the …