WP and Legal Stuff

So I just came across a site called WP and Legal Stuff that is dedicated to, as you might’ve guessed, helping people understand legal stuff related to WordPress.

The website was created by Richard Best, a lawyer specializing in IP/IT/technology law and public law. All things that could cover WordPress-related stuff.

As you might imagine, it covers stuff like the GPL, trademarks, and the like. It also covers some not necessarily WordPress related things like continuing to email people who unsubscribe from your mailing list

Although I like to think I have a pretty good understanding of all the legalities related to WordPress licensing, trademarks, and the like, many people still don’t get even the basics.

This is evidenced by people straight up ignoring the WordPress domain policy or advertising their products as “100% GPL” to get in the good graces of WordPress.org, but then forbidding their customers from redistributing code.

Just skimming through a few articles, it’s clear Richard knows what he’s talking about. Positioning himself as the go-to lawyer for WordPress-related issues could end up being quite lucrative, as there really isn’t another “go to” WordPress-focued lawyer that I can think of…yet.

And just realized @Jeffro already posted about this on WP Tavern. Worth a read for some additional insight: http://wptavern.com/richard-best-launches-new-website-devoted-to-wordpress-legal-topics

I’ve already referenced or linked a couple of his articles in my own blog. He’s kicking butt. A great resource, though definitely a micro-niche :slight_smile:

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Fantastic reading. One of those stories that makes you click through related articles and before you know it, you’ve spent 2-3 hours reading about the drama that can surround WordPress.

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It’s a great blog, great subject and very well done. I’m surprised someone hasn’t done it earlier – I haven’t even run across a good general open source or internet law blogger, but there must be some. It’s a subject and way of thinking that’s good to know on a general level and internalize – it impacts design and a lot of client issues, especially “what not to do” or “you should consult an attorney” advice for certain people who aren’t thinking about others’ rights or legal compliance issues. Legal developments in privacy and intellectual property are just plain interesting too, aside from being practical knowledge.

The best intro to “internet law” I’ve seen is Jonathan D. Hart’s big fat Internet Law: A Field Guide, which I think is most current in the 6th edition. Costs $200 new in paperback but as low as $5 used, and there are plenty of cheap as good as new/used copies out there. The chapter summaries are fantastic; the rest is details details details. The case law can be really interesting reading – specific cases and their decisions. Anyone dealing with sensitive data (personal, medical, financial) should keep a current copy.


Yes, that’s how I feel about the site. I’ve been reading everything on the site since I discovered it. It’s my favorite site about WordPress right now.