WordPress and domains

After my posting on WordPress for Good, this page was brought to my attention. It states that:

For various reasons related to our WordPress trademark, we ask if you’re going to start a site about WordPress or related to it that you not use "WordPress" in the domain name. Try using "wp" instead, or another variation. We’re not lawyers, but very good ones tell us we have to do this to preserve our trademark. Also many users have told us they find it confusing.

How utterly lame, and also inconsistent for an open source project. This is one of the few times I feel a bit let down by WordPress.

This reminds me a little of the Firefox logo and name copyright farrago. In my view, you should be open or not. An open source project setting rules on what people can and can’t do with a bunch of letters in a certain order is plain daft, in my view.

I’m leaving WordPress for Good where it is for now.

4 thoughts on “WordPress and domains”

  1. It's been our policy for I think close to 3 years now. We did it because people get confused and assume anything with "wordpress" in the domain is officially associated, see the fiasco with the wordpress direct guys recently for a good example. It actually has no overlap with the Firefox/Debian issues, and WordPress is in Debian with no problems. Would the website be any less effective if it was wpforgood?

  2. With utmost respect to Matt and big love for WordPress, I just don't think protectionism makes sense here. WordPress.org and .com will surely have unbeatable search rankings and a solid enough SEM campaigns to remove any doubts about what is and is not official WordPress content? And the "Would the website be any less effective if it was wpforgood" question applies in reverse, does it not? People don't pay that much attention to domain names and could still be hoodwinked by a well put together site.

  3. “because people get confused and assume anything with “wordpress” in the domain is officially associated” – links, numbers and percentages, please?

  4. Imagine a year from now. Mr.Nasty launches a CMS called WordPress. It's a pile of rubbish full of security holes. Automattic quite rightly go to court to try to stop Mr.Nasty. Mr Nasty's lawyer's argue that there is no trademark attached to WordPress because everyone uses it. IIRC from my publishing days Mr Nasty would win and continue to ship his software under the WordPress name.

    That's why Hoover protect their name (even though it is thought of and used as a generic), it's why Steliios overprotects Easy. Just because it is an open source project doesn't mean we should be happy with anyone using the name.

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