Tag Archives: legal

GPL: Share and Share Alike

The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or GPL) is the most widely used free software license, which guarantees end users (individuals, organizations, companies) the freedoms to run, study, share (copy), and modify the software.
Wikipedia – GNU General Public License

The usage of a GPL can actually be beneficial to both the developer and the client, as Josh Pollock outlines in his article published in Torque Magazine. Josh explains that as you develop a library, after creating numerous software solutions for various clients, it will become extremely beneficial for you to reuse some of that code. This is how the GPL can help the developer, and especially a WordPress developer who is making either a theme or Plugin that they hope multiple clients will use in the future. However, the client will also be concerned about liability, in the usage of the code you have written for them, as well as their ability to hire another developer, should they want to expand the software later. This is how GPL can benefit the client.

Sounds like Socialism

While it may sound like a “hippie-commune” mentality when you say that you want to open your work so that it may be taken and used by others, but as the statistics show, most developers prefer the GNU GPL license. Just look at the rankings for the license market share for the SAAS community:

Statistics of license market shar among the SAAS communnity

So why are developers okay with their work being open to be used by others? Well, the simplest way to say it is that coding is an impossible feat for any one person, regardless of the time invested. In a way, coding anything requires that you have a large amount of work already completed that gives you a framework to build around. And this required framework is enormous. If coders didn’t share their work, we wouldn’t have the majority of the code-dependent technologies that we enjoy today. It would be like a car-manufacturer having their cars built one at a time, with only one person working on each car. Making the paint from base-materials, smelting the metals, hand-tooling the custom parts. It would be an unsustainable system.

The Better Road

So in the end, the GPL not only provides peace-of-mind and freedom for the client, but it also protects the developer and ensures that they can focus on the client’s specific needs, instead of reinventing the wheel every time. And when a developer solves a problem for a client and licenses it under the GPL, they are in a sense, solving the problem for everyone in the future that requires that particular solution.

The web has an immense amount of work to accomplish in it’s future, and The GPL is just one facet that we as society need to utilize, if we are to get it all done in a timely manner. If you’d like some more information about the GPL and what is involved in its rules, head over the official GNU GPL page to read the actual license for yourself. Over there they will go into more detail about the limits and rulings of the license.

Additional Information

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How to Write a Comment Policy

When creating a business or commercial site/blog, you’ll want to hash out your policies, especially your comment policy if you are going to allow comments anywhere on your site.

A Comments Policy is a statement defining your policy regarding comments on your blog. It is also a “responsibility statement”. It informs the reader of what you will allow on your blog, what you will not allow, and what they are allowed to do. It establishes publicly the responsibilities of each party involved.

Lorelle VanFossen

These days, a Comment Policy have become a web standard to help your readers better understand the rules when visiting.

As you decide how your comment policy is going to be laid out, consider the following: Continue reading How to Write a Comment Policy

WordPress Accessibility: How to Convince a Client to Practice Web Accessibility

Accessibility image showing a ear, eye, hand, and brain.The web should be open and accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, accommodations aren’t always made for those who have a disability or other condition that makes using the web difficult.

If you have a client that hosts a website or blog using WordPress, you should really encourage them to be stepping up to make their website accessible to people who have a variety of conditions.

The Web is used now more than ever to access data, education, employment, healthcare, commerce, and a plethora of other roles that have to be easily and readily accessible to people with disabilities. It’s important to note why clients should take accessibility to heart. Continue reading WordPress Accessibility: How to Convince a Client to Practice Web Accessibility

Disclosure: It’s Your Responsibility

A disclosure policy helps to inform visitors how the site content corresponds with and affects the user. The policy should be carefully endorsed in a clear and concise way that cannot be manipulated.

If your website is compensated for content by advertisers in the form of: endorsements, cash, or merchandise, or if you have hired staff to test and blog about a product, then your company should specifically disclose this information in the disclosure policy.

Continue reading Disclosure: It’s Your Responsibility

Tips For Writing Successful Policies

Policies on a site are used to protect you and your content, as well as protecting your readers. So how do you write a successful policy page? There are a lot of things to consider when writing rules and guidelines. Most of these policies will be designed specifically for you, so every policy page will, and should be, unique.
Here are a few things to consider when writing policies:

  • Legal requirements (varies by country)
  • Style, tone, and organization
  • Relevant policies
  • Short versus long
  • Understandable terms

Continue reading Tips For Writing Successful Policies

The New Blogger’s Law in Russia

While it isn’t the purpose of this site to publish political news or commentary on current events, this particular issue touched the students of the WordPress class at Clark College and they’ve asked the instructor to expand upon the discussion held in class on this topic.

Reporters Without Borders - World Press Freedom Barometers for 2104.The lives and welfare of bloggers and social media publishers are often restricted by local and national freedom of speech and censorship laws, labeled insurgents, protestors, and activists violating laws with the “goal of inciting riots or government overthrow.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Reporters Without Borders report frequently on the persecution, imprisonment, and attacks on bloggers and web publishers around the world, citing 27 journalists and “netizens and citizen journalists” killed and 174 journalists and 166 netizens imprisoned since the beginning of 2014 on their Press Freedom Barometer.

This past week, Russia has imposed the Internet Law, commonly known as the “blogger’s law,” imposing registration, site blocking, and harsher penalties against websites found to be inciting dissension in Russia.

Russian President Putin Puts Down Internet Freedoms

“The goal is to kill off the political blogosphere by the fall.” – blogger Andrei Malgin

A report called “World Press Freedom Index 2014 states that Russia is 148th out of 179 countries on their list rating government’s media freedom and rights, and anticipating an even lower score next year due to Putin’s “draconian legislation” and efforts to restrict freedom of speech and transparency within its borders.

In 2013, the Russian Federation government introduced a bill led by Putin that would block websites and blogs regarded as extremist and requiring registration of the site’s owner and contributors with a government agency known as Roskomnadzor, the communications oversight agency. Continue reading The New Blogger’s Law in Russia

Privacy Policies: Reporting the Tracking

Do you know what personal information is collected from you when you are online? The answer could surprise you. Here is a list of regularly collected information.

What Is Tracked

  • What websites you visit and the frequency of those visits
  • What your name is.
  • Your geographic location.
  • Passwords you use.
  • Credit Card information.
  • Social Security Numbers.

These are just a few examples of the types of information being tracked while you are online. Does it make you wonder what the information is used for?

Continue reading Privacy Policies: Reporting the Tracking

American Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits rising against website accessibility

This is a photo of a wooden gavel hitting the wooden plate with a white background.

The amount of lawsuits being brought against an Internet website for the lack of accommodations for the disabled is growing. It has now been termed Cyber Accessibility Claims in the courts, and the cost of litigation has been grossly under appreciated.

The Target Corporation paid out 6 million dollars for a lack of website accessibility in a class action lawsuit representing the visually impaired. There isn’t a clear law for internet website accessibility due to the fact that the technology continues to grow at a rate that the law cannot keep up with year after year. However, even without clear website law, there is still ADA compliance that needs to be met or your website could be at risk for a lawsuit. Continue reading American Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits rising against website accessibility