WordPress is a fantastic content management system. In the some 18 years that I’ve been using it, I’ve seen it go from a glorified blogging engine to a fully fledged content management system. I’ve seen the development and growth of theme and plugin businesses, and I’ve witnessed and contributed to the often arcane debates about the GPL. Through this site, I’ve also tried to help WordPress theme and plugin businesses with the various legal issues that can crop up in the use of WordPress and the running of their businesses.
I will soon be launching my own plugin business. The plugins that will be available for purchase all revolve around Gravity Forms (an awesome plugin that I’ve been using since 2010). If you’d like to be told when I launch, feel free to sign up here:
- you may not be dealing properly (or at all) with copyright and licensing (not only of the plugins, but of other content on your site);
- you will not be creating a right for yourself to discontinue a customer’s access to support and updates if that customer decides to make your products available on another website for others to download;
- you will not be specifying the customer’s loss of a right to withdraw from the contract upon download or use of a plugin (relevant in some countries, such as EU member states, but not others);
- you will not be putting any limits on the volume of support you may be asked to provide;
- you won’t be putting contractual controls in place regarding access keys and access credentials;
- you won’t be setting out clear contractual provisions relating to fees, renewals, refunds, price changes and the like;
- you won’t be dealing with account termination if a customer uses your products unlawfully or for an unlawful purpose or if they are abusive to you or your staff;
- you won’t be limiting your liability and warranties and you won’t be obtaining any indemnities from your customers for losses you may incur through their breaching your rights;
- you won’t be dealing with termination of the arrangements in place with your customers;
- you won’t be securing a right to unilaterally amend terms in place with your customers; and
- you won’t be specifying governing law and the country or state whose courts will hear disputes.
You also run the risk of an implied contract coming into existence when people purchase your plugins, or the prospect of people making arguments about what you’re obliged to do based on what they say are implied contractual terms.