[wp-hackers] Plugin License Excluding Spam

Chris Jean gaarai at gaarai.com
Fri Oct 23 13:47:18 UTC 2009

Chuck isn't asking about stopping spam. He's simply asking if there is a
way to release the software while also ensuring that he is insulated
from potential lawsuits if/when spammers start using the code.

Chuck, I'd love to say that you don't have to do anything to cover
yourself, but with the wild way that legal decisions come down these
days, I have to say that there isn't anything you can do to guarantee
insulation from litigation. I would think that the spammer's ISP and/or
hosting company would be targets well before your software would be, so
that's a little bit of insulation there.

I may be misunderstanding though. Are you more concerned about legal
insulation or image protection? Again, I'm not sure if there is anything
solid you can do to protect yourself in either case.

Chris Jean

Glenn Ansley wrote:
> I doubt the license will restrict it from being used for spam
> anyway... unless you're planning on taking a lot of people to court
> next year :)
> Glenn Ansley
> http://fullthrottledevelopment.com
> On Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 8:00 AM, Chuck Peters <cp at ccil.org> wrote:
>> We have been using a modified version of WP-Digest (1) for our newsletter
>> (2) and due to various issues I am in the process of rewriting the
>> newsletter code from scratch.  I have been thinking about creating a plugin,
>> but the last thing I need is our site getting associated with spamers.
>> I would prefer to use the GPL3, but I need some CYA against those spaming
>> criminals/jerks. Ignoring the issue of how effective a deterrent a software
>> license would be to spamers, can I add restrictions against spaming
>> (including specific damages fees) to one of the GPL compatible licenses?
>> Which license would allow me to make the extra restrictions?
>> I don't think the GPL 2 or 3 would allow me to make these kind of
>> restrictions against spamers.  So if I can't restrict it from being used for
>> spam I am not likely to release it as a plugin.
>> Thanks,
>> Chuck
>> 1. WP-Digest is not really a plugin
>> http://birdhouse.org/software/2006/12/wp-digest/.  It runs via cron and uses
>> php and lynx to format the newsletter and sends out the posts via phpmailer.
>>  If no new posts are found it send out the past 3 posts...
>> 2. We run wordpress and the modified WP-Digest and posts are used to create
>> a newsletter template which we manually edit and send to our site running
>> mailman.  No lynx, phpmailer or cron is used.  We also use procmail, php,
>> sed and bash to create a php page of the current newsletter.
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