Joe Youngblood, a digital marketer from Dallas, TX, had an disagreeable shock on Friday the thirteenth. He was horrified after submitting a brand new WordPress plugin to the WordPress Plugin Directory and it was auto-rejected. The rejection message acknowledged that the plugin couldn’t embrace WP within the plugin identify.
In correspondence with the WordPress Plugin Assessment Group, a workforce member informed Youngblood that they have been explicitly instructed to ban the usage of WP in plugin names.
Beard discovered that roughly three months in the past, a WordPress contributor added
wp- to their automated trademark checking code. The code specifies that WP is a trademark of Automattic and might’t be prepended to a plugin’s slug identify.
After additional investigation, Youngblood posted a tweet thread about every little thing he had realized about WordPress blocking plugins from utilizing WP.
Right here’s every little thing I do know up to now about this “WP” difficulty with WordPress
- Roughly 3 months in the past The WordPress Basis requested that the volunteer workforce block any plugins from utilizing the time period “WP” at the beginning of their identify.
- The WordPress Basis doesn’t personal any authorized rights to the time period “WP” solely “WordPress”. WP is owned as a trademark in a couple of industries by @WhistlePigRye and Donegal Insurance coverage for his or her inner software program “Write Professional”
- WordPress plugin assist informed me that it was a great factor I couldn’t use the plugin identify I had invested numerous money and time into as a result of it was unhealthy for search engine optimisation anyhow.
- The block checklist as uncovered by @AndyBeard features a few well-known WordPress plugin names together with WP Mail SMTP, which satirically begins with “WP”.
- Whoever is at plugin assist informed me that “there are numerous authorized groups hashing it out”, however there isn’t a lot to hashout since neither The WordPress Basis nor Automattic personal the trademark to “WP”.
- For these unaware, in 2010 the founding father of WordPress Matt Mullenweg established The WordPress Basis which took possession of the trademark “WordPress” and declared that any developer may use “WP” in any approach they wished. Many gave up domains with “wordpress” in them.
- It has been commonplace for over a decade that WordPress builders making a plugin begin with the time period “WP” to indicate that it’s a WordPress plugin. This conference can be utilized by internet hosting firms like WP Engine and theme builders.
- There not less than a couple of plugins for WordPress with a USPTO registered trademark that begin with “WP” which means at the moment in the event that they launched, @WordPress could be violating their authorized rights to their identify by attempting to pressure them to not use it.
The information of Youngblood’s expertise sparked a number of threads on Twitter debating whether or not or not Automattic was claiming WP as its trademark. It was decided that it wasn’t a trademark dispute. As an alternative, the confusion was attributable to the language used within the plugin listing code.
Mika Epstein, a daily contributor to WordPress, created a ticket to improve checks on non-viable plugin names to prevent abuse. Within the ticket, she acknowledged:
At the moment the plugin listing code has a really fundamental examine for disallowed phrases in plugin names, together with plenty of restricted phrases as decided by trademark homeowners. This has the flaw of ‘lumping collectively’ the reason why a plugin identify isn’t permitted, inflicting confusion to the group.
Mika Epstein by way of WordPress ticket #5868
Epstein went on to clarify the explanation for the checks, that are to cease plugin makers from exploiting the submission course of and later including the identify WordPress to their plugin identify.
Shortly after Epstein created the ticket, a WordPress spokesperson responded to our request to touch upon this story. They informed Coywolf Information that “
wp- just lately obtained added to automated checks reasonably than guide checks and that
wp- is monitored in plugin names to assist stop the usage of a typical loophole.” In addition they reiterated what Epstein acknowledged in her ticket: “It’s not unusual for a plugin developer to make use of
wp- to get plugin approval, solely to later change the show identify to WordPress.”
Moreover, the spokesperson clarified their place on “WP” as a trademark, which echoed what’s revealed on the WordPress Foundation Trademark Policy web page.
WordPress Basis holds the WordPress trademark, not Automattic. The trademark coverage grants use of the ‘WordPress’ identify and emblem in particular instances, however not as a part of a product, mission, service, area identify, or firm identify. The WordPress trademark doesn’t cowl the abbreviation “WP,” and you’re free to make use of it in any approach you see match.
- August 17, 2021: A screenshot of an e-mail reply from the WordPress Plugin Assessment Group to Joe Youngblood was added to the article.
- August 17, 2021: Revised the article title, excerpt, and story to report on the explanation for confusion and the try to repair the difficulty.
- August 17, 2021: Added the official response to Coywolf Information from a WordPress spokesperson.