All posts filed under: Terms of use

Theme and plugin shops – Discouraging public redistribution – User poll

Context Last week I sent an email to subscribers on my email list. I hadn’t proposed to publish the content of that email but, given some questions I’ve received in response, I thought it might help to publish it. I also thought it would be helpful and interesting to take a quick poll of people’s views on the reselling of commercial themes and plugins because people’s views on this issue are relevant to the inclusion of the contractual mechanism in theme/plugin shop terms of use that I discuss below. I’ll set out the email then take the poll. (Please retweet as the more that take this super quick poll the better.) So, the email This is what I said: “I’m in the process of finalising my 10 chapter ebook called A Practical Guide to WordPress and the GPL. The ebook will be offered in a range of packages, from just the ebook through to a package that will offer the ebook, an audio book and a terms of use builder for WordPress theme and plugin …

Using stock imagery in your or a client’s WordPress site – beware of the terms of use

Introduction A designer friend once let me in on a secret, a secret she described as “the designer’s little secret”. She was referring to istockphoto.com as a preferred source of reasonably priced images for commercial and other use. That was many years ago now. Since that time istockphoto has become a part of Getty Images (and is now known as iStock) and we’ve seen a proliferation of competing stock imagery sites such as shutterstock.com, graphicriver.net, mychillybin.co.nz, dollarphotoclub.com, dreamstime.com, bigstockphoto.com and fotolia.com among many others. Stock images are everywhere these days, including on the pages of WordPress-driven websites the world over. I’ve used them, for both myself and clients, and I’ve reviewed the terms of use of multiple stock imagery sites that clients have been thinking of using, with a view to alerting them to risks of which they may need to be aware. Now here’s the thing: not all stock imagery websites are made equal. I’m not talking about the range, quality or cost of their images, but of the terms of use that govern …

When changing your terms of use, do you respect your customers?

Recently I received an email from a WordPress-related business telling me its terms of use had been updated. The email didn’t specify what had changed so, for some strange reason (a lawyer’s idle curiosity perhaps), I clicked through to see the latest terms, half hoping to see a change log or a blog post summarising what had changed. Did I find any such thing? No. The terms themselves only had a “Last modified on X date” entry. No change log. No explanatory blog post. And the site contained no archive of previous versions that would enable me to do an automated comparison, assuming I’d be motivated enough to do that. (I suppose one could try the Wayback Machine but a paying customer shouldn’t need to resort to that.) These terms were over 4,500 words long. I’m not sure how any user is supposed to understand what has changed in these circumstances. In many if not most countries, users will bound by the changes, thanks to what’s called a unilateral variation clause (a clause that allows …

Click to accept processes: a closer look at Gravity Perks

Context As you might have gathered from some of my earlier posts, I’m a big fan of Gravity Forms, a fantastic plugin that just gets better and better with the passage of time. I’ve used Gravity Forms in the past to create ‘click to accept’ mechanisms but, at least as I’ve deployed them, they required inclusion of a link to terms of use which would then open up in a new window or tab (for anyone who bothered to read them). With this approach the terms themselves weren’t visible on the same page as the click to accept box. Legally this wasn’t a problem but perhaps it wasn’t the most user-friendly approach. In Legal checks when building a content-driven WordPress website I mentioned that you could go one step further by purchasing and installing the Gravity Perks plugin which includes a GP Terms of Service Perk. I noticed that this add-on for Gravity Forms helpfully adds a Terms of Service field to the available Advanced Fields and can produce something like this: At that point …

How lawyers’ terms for your WordPress business can affect your revenue

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. Three “stories”, if you like, have prompted me to write this post: a story about Pinterest and its early terms of use; a story about some client feedback I had a while ago; and a story about the Envato Studio terms of use as described in Taking care with the IP terms of WordPress development services. I’ll tell the three stories shortly but the point of this post is that the the manner in which lawyers (or others) draft terms of use and other legal terms for …