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Re: [wp-hackers] Text ads in themes

Matt Mullenweg wrote:
Podz wrote:
I can see that author's want reward for creating a theme - that isn't
the problem. But they are getting bloggers to pay for that reward
unwittingly. But then spammy crap like Indigo is almost there _just_ for
the sponsor cash.

If people want to run these types of ads on their own site, that's their own business.

The core of what's bothering me here is themes are being used as a trojan horse to get thousands and thousands of links across unknowing blogs:


Everyone has their own reasons for what they do, and I'm not saying we should attack anyone. The real question is: As a community, is this the type of thing we want to encourage in the future? My gut says no. It's a slippery slope.

Some interesting suggestions have been brought up thus far:

* Up front disclosure if it is a "sponsored" theme
* Themes with ads, plugins with ads, etc should not be promoted on WP.org sites

(As an aside, I would love to see a way for more theme authors to get paid, and it's something I'm working on.)
After reading through all responses to Matt's question whether wordpress.org should promote themes with built in ads.
For wordpress.com, which offers free blog hosting there could be the suspicion that WP.COM is secretly promoting some flowering business ;)

I'd  say no!

Themes that are released under the same license as WordPress, should not contain the author's sponsor links or any other ads.
Such a theme is free and the reward for the author is the appreciation of bloggers using it.
Harsh? I don' think so.
We contribute to the community effort for fun, the possible 15 minutes in the lime light and for social reasons.

A link in the footer pointing to the author's site is more relevant, and in my opinion a good idea.
I have fond myself looking in the footer of a good theme to see who made it,
because I like it and want to test it for my own blog.
If it is there, I don't have to check out the CSS or the html <head> section for the origin of the theme.
As for plugins, a link to the author is relevant and useful.

Admittedly these themes are GPL, and the blogger is allowed to change the theme.
In the referred case, the ad link is not hidden, but as Podz expresses it, "stealth linking",
and will in most cases not be removed. The blogger is in many cases unaware of his/her
promotion of some business, that the he/she may not want to promote.

Something like that, I believe should not be part of a GPL'd product.

Let's ask the authors of free themes, plugins or other additions to the WordPress platform, not to include such promotional machinery in their products.

The authors spend much time in the development of themes and plugins, and i is reasonable to want some money out of it, but if they do, they are going pro, and there is nothing to stop them from drilling their own license and selling their products on a commercial basis.

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