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WordPress: Terms of Use You Didn’t Read

Y’all know I’m a big Terms of Use geek. I’m super excited about this new monthly series, “Terms of Use You Didn’t Read.” I will go in and pick out a handful of terms in platforms that you might be using and point out some of the things that you’ve agreed to by using the platform.

The series will show you, in general, how Terms of Use are used. It’ll also show things that you might not know you’ve agreed to by using certain platforms. Today I’m talking about, a common website platform for building tons of different kinds of websites.

WordPress Terms of Use: Share and Share-Alike

The coolest thing about WordPress’s Terms of Use is that they have released them under a Creative Commons Share-Alike license.

Well, what the heck does that mean?

That means that you can copy and paste those suckers and use them for your own website!
Obviously, they should be tailored to your website. WordPress even says this in the first couple of paragraphs of their Terms of Use. WordPress also says it would appreciate credit if you do post them. Still, pretty neat that they put out there that you can use these Terms of Use for your own website.

Screen shot from WordPress that reads: We've decided to make these Terms available under a Creative Commons Sharealike license. You can grab a copy of these Terms and other legal documents on Github. You're more than welcome to copy them, adapt them, and repurpose them for your own use. Just make sure to revise the language so that your Terms reflect your actual practices. Also, if you do use these Terms, we'd appreciate credit and a link to Automattic somewhere on your website.
Pretty cool, WordPress. Pretty cool.

Permission to Re-Blog [automatically] Granted

Next is something in the WordPress Terms of Use that has to do with “re-blogging.” The Terms of Use say:

“You give other users permission to share your content on other websites and add their own content to it (so in other words, re-blog) so long as they only use a portion of your post and they give you credit as the original author by linking back to your website.


In other words, by posting on a website, you grant permission to other WordPress users to copy and paste portions of your website “so long as they only use a portion of your post.”
It doesn’t say what “a portion”means, it doesn’t say big or small portion. This might be worth monitoring, to the extent you monitor your own content that’s being reposted or shared.

The Easter Egg in the WordPress Terms of Use

In the Disclaimer of Warranties section, WordPress has a little Easter egg hiding. So, they say, “If you’re actually reading this, here’s a treat.” And they hyperlink to a picture of barbecue. ‘Cause they love barbecue.

It’s just funny because they call out the fact that nobody actually reads these things. ( I mean, I do.) I bet at least ten percent of the people that read this post will be surprised by what they’ve agreed to by using WordPress.

WordPress Limitation of Liability

In their Limitation of Liability, WordPress points out that their liability is limited. The limitation is either the fees you’ve paid over the last 12 months, or $50 (whichever is greater). So, to use easy math, if you pay $10 per month for a year, then you are limited to $120 in damages. (That is, if there’s ever a cause of action that arises between you and WordPress.)

So that’s it in terms of some of the terms that you’ve agreed to by using WordPress. Just a handful there for your entertainment and education.