9

Due to name in changing policy our main site currently has simply "WordPress" as a title.

This strongly clashes (in my opinion) with how WordPress foundation defines boundaries of trademark use and misrepresents our stack by being non-descriptive.

This is brings us back to the issue that "WordPress Answers" is crappy placeholder that got eternal, so personally I would like "WordPress Stack Exchange" to be restored.

  • I don't think any site actually puts "Stack Exchange" in the title – Michael Mrozek May 14 '12 at 17:10
  • 3
    @Michael Mrozek they used to until (very?) recently. The issue is prominent for us because just "WordPress" is not suitable as complete name. And "WordPress Answers" suck. And custom name plans were scrapped by network. So we seem to have settled at "WordPress Stack Exchange" or "WPSE" in practice. – Rarst May 14 '12 at 17:26
1

After receiving additional requests, we have gone and changed the <title> to match the site's current title of WordPress Answers, rather than just WordPress.

6

As far as I can tell, the trademark policy isn't new.

Also: I see no legal or philosophical issues with a "WordPress" sub-site/network site of StackExchange.

Edit

As stated in the comments to another answer, I believe the relevant concerns are semantics, name recognition, and clarity. To that end, I propose that our formal site name be WordPress StackExchange, or WordPress Exchange. I have never understood WordPress Answers.

Also, I fully agree that our document title should read WordPress StackExchange, rather than merely WordPress.

Alternately, if our formal site name is to be WordPress Answers, then our document title should also reflect that name. But, I think "WordPress Answers" suffers from the same name recognition issues with which we currently deal.

  • 3
    It's not the trademark policy that's new, but the naming policy of the SE network that's changed. Look at the main site and you'll see "WordPress" in your browser's title bar because the page is set up with <title>WordPress</title> in the <head> element ... – EAMann May 14 '12 at 17:22
  • Oh, sorry; the question linked to the WPF's trademark policy, not to a SE-network policy or convention. :) – Chip Bennett May 14 '12 at 18:42
2

Since this is turning into an opinionated debate, I figured it would be best to just contact the WordPress Foundation and ask their official stance on the issue. Since they own the trademark after all, it's up to them whether or not we're using it according to their rules. If we aren't, then we have an official stance with which to guide both the site and the SE network.

I've sent off an email to the WP Foundation and will report back here with their feedback.

Update

Just received this message back from Matt:

If you made the title WP Answers you'd avoid any confusion.

  • 4
    Oh dear..... :) – Rarst May 15 '12 at 18:00
  • 1
    That is, essentially, a non-answer, and not really helpful to the discussion. – Chip Bennett May 15 '12 at 22:02
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    Whether or not it's helpful to the discussion it is the feedback given from the WP Foundation (via Matt) with regards to the discussion. – EAMann May 15 '12 at 22:12
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    But how is that "feedback" helpful? It is essentially nothing more than Matt's opinion. – Chip Bennett May 16 '12 at 19:41
-1

Perhaps we should revisit the naming of this site? Someone could argue that "WordPress Answers" is in violation of the trademark to begin with (not saying that someone would be me...):

All other WordPress-related businesses or projects can use the WordPress name and logo to refer to and explain their services, but they cannot use them as part of a product, project, service, domain, or company name and they cannot use them in any way that suggests an affiliation with or endorsement by the WordPress Foundation or the WordPress open source project. For example, a consulting company can describe its business as “123 Web Services, offering WordPress consulting for small businesses,” but cannot call its business “The WordPress Consulting Company.” Similarly, a business related to WordPress themes can describe itself as “XYZ Themes, the world’s best WordPress themes,” but cannot call itself “The WordPress Theme Portal.”

I know more people recognize "The WordPress Stack Exchange" than "WordPress Answers" when I bring it up in local meetups and at WordCamp. Sometimes, other attendees even call it "The WordPress Answers Stack Exchange." So we definitely have some name recognition.

But just "WordPress" in the site's title bar makes me a bit nervous ...

  • 2
    I disagree. WordPress Stack Exchange is a forum (technically, a question and answer site), not a service, business, or other commercial endeavor that would in any way impact trademark use of the term "WordPress". – Chip Bennett May 14 '12 at 18:43
  • I only put this out there because the exact point has come up several times in the past with regards to our site's name. For the record, I agree with you 100%. – EAMann May 14 '12 at 21:25
  • 1
    @Chip why forum and business are mutually exclusive? This is web site, run by for-profit company with long terms goal (I suppose, one of them at least) to bring revenue. Anyway even if WP foundation is peachy with this case, but that doesn't change the issue of us not having decent title. – Rarst May 15 '12 at 8:53
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    @Rarst with respect to trademark law, a forum and a commercial endeavor are mutually exclusive. No reasonable person would believe (or argue) that WPSE is attempting to impersonate the WordPress project, or that WPSE causes market confusion. The subdomain use of "wordpress" in the SE domain name/URL explicitly conforms to the WordPress policy. I do agree that the document title should include "Stack Exchange"; but for me, the issue is one of semantics, not trademark law. – Chip Bennett May 15 '12 at 14:43
  • @Chip No reasonable person would believe (or argue) that WPSE is attempting to impersonate the WordPress project, or that WPSE causes market confusion. Yes, yes... Just like no sane person believed WPSE splinters the WordPress community and undermines its ideals with it filthy closed source roots. :) Not every one is sane. I thought trademark aspect is relevant IMO so I mentioned it. – Rarst May 15 '12 at 15:49
  • @Rarst "Just like no sane person believed WPSE splinters the WordPress community and undermines its ideals with it filthy closed source roots. :)" - not really relevant to the trademark question at hand. (I keep coming back to trademark since it's in the post title and content.) I think the relevant concerns are semantics, name recognition, and clarity. Bringing trademark into this issue merely distracts from the relevant concerns. – Chip Bennett May 15 '12 at 16:58

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