Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

31Mar/05Off

That And The Easter Bunny Is A Lie

I've been meaning to lay down a few thoughts about the WordPress googlerank scandal but I actually had to do some work. This, of course, led to any number of weird discussions on IRC that spanned more than a few tangents of the possible ethical problems with the decision to generate revenue by associating WordPress with SEO scum. The truly unfortunate part is that Matt is out of the country at the moment so the furor will continue to rage unabated until he has the time and internet access to respond. I can't really defend the decision because I think it was a terrible one made without enough consideration given to the potential repercussions. That part completely sucks and I have a feeling that it's going to disappear as soon as the obligations to the aforementioned pigfuckers are fulfilled. Instead of trying to justify any decisions made by people other than myself I offer you a few things to consider while you're working this hard nugget of fiscal reality through your hinterparts:

1. Releasing software under the GPL does not indicate that the author of the software has joined a monastery and can never be influenced by pr0n, bouts of temporary insanity, or tall Yanqui dollars (oh, Aaron I do miss you.) I'm a little surprised at how many people are having fits of drop your pants in public and have furious conversations with god anxiety over this. Calm the fuck down. He's a guy who gave you some software not a false prophet or sleazy used car salesman. The bilking begins and ends right inside your beady little head.

2. The software is GPL'd. This means that you can check the entire code base out from CVS and start your own version. You can even call it Carry Nation-press if you want to. Matt already gave you that freedom by using the license that he did. Now use it dummy.

3. People keep comparing this situation to the Six Apart licensing debacle and it provides powerful evidence that people are not very bright. The license change by Six Apart changed the permitted use of future versions of their software. I moved away from their software the day after that change was announced. This 'scandal' involves a decision made by one person and doesn't adversely effect users of the software at all. The links to WordPress that come up in the default install can be removed pretty easily and aren't required by the license. You can essentially use the software from now until the end of time with nary a link back to its creator.

4. I've also heard a whole bunch of folks throwing around 'issues of trust' like it means something. Matt was not your scoutmaster and he did not touch you there. Again, what is done with the front end of the main site really has no connection to what you get as a user. The license that covers WordPress doesn't extend to other things. Others have tenously argued that the conversion of Googlerank is a violation of trust. That's a little more sketchy and difficult to really define. I'd love to hear a full articulation of this but I don't see that happening.

Ok, so it's one in the morning. Six fucking hours. Ack.

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