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  • Hi Petrus,

    The watermark is small and is forced on us by Flowplayer, from whom we have a platform license for WordPress. We had a long fight with the staff of the WordPress plugin directory who would not let us remove the watermark, Otto in specific. FV Player was forcibly removed from the plugin directory in 2010 until we added the Flowplayer watermark back.

    I don’t know how open source software can insist on inserting watermarks and strongly disagree with it. We offer FV Player Pro on the basis of its additional pro features, its extensive documentation and not on the basis of the watermark.

    I still strongly disagree with watermarking in open source software and we may attempt again to publish a version without the watermark again soon.

    You should know that unearned one star reviews discourage plugin developers and make it very difficult for plugin developers to continue to improve their plugins. I’m not sure if you think we really deserve one star for over this single issue. What would make more sense to me would be a three or four star review which read like this:

    Lots of features, powerful, good documentation but holy smokes there’s a watermark on my videos unless I upgrade to pro. I’d give the plugin [five | four] stars but [one | two] stars off for the watermark.

    It is possible for a reviewer to return to his or her evaluation and change the star grade and even revise the text by attempting to review the same plugin again. I’ve often done this myself and might improve one today where I may have been a bit too harsh in retrospect (two stars though and not one star).

    Making the web work for you, Alec

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Advisor and Activist

    FYI this plugin is the rare exception to our ‘no watermarks’ ‘rule (technically a no-credits), due to the nature of their license (tldr, Foliovision would be in breach of their license terms). It’s messy, no one’s happy about it. If Flowplayer can change their minds about it, we’d be thrilled, but they were pretty clear about it for their older versions (7 and earlier) 🙁

    They DO allow this in the new plans, but that would have to be something Alec figures out since he’d have to pay, and we’re not about to force him to do that.

    So do please give them the benefit of the doubt here 🙂

    Thread Starter petrusmaximus


    You could mention the watermark it the plugin description, it would have save me some time.
    Also you faked all the screenshots for the free version by removing the watermark from them.


    I assure you we didn’t “fake” the screenshots, we make the screenshots from our own demos on our own domain which naturally had a license . All subdomains do too so it’s more complicated for us to make screenshots which do include the log. Still, we’ve changed the screenshot here to include a logo and added information about the log in the readme.


    Hey Mika. Thanks for providing some valuable insight. There’s some specific points about which I’d like to share more information with you. You wrote:

    rare exception to our ‘no watermarks’ ‘rule (technically a no-credits), due to the nature of their license (tldr, Foliovision would be in breach of their license terms).

    No it was because Otto was friendly with the jQuery developers at the time (2010), Tero Piirainen, who were also developers of Flowplayer. To allow forced logos on open-source software is both illegal and dishonest. Otto justified it at the time that the jQuery team had managed to get GNU founder Richard Stallman to write “sounds okay to me” on the back of a napkin about Flowplayer’s encumbrance of GPLv2, after a shared conference dinner.

    Encumbering GPLv2 with forced front end visual credits is a violation of both the letter and the spirt of the GPLv2. Coming back to the WordPress plugins directory, this looks like a clear case of “do as I say, not as I do”.

    You also wrote:

    They DO allow this in the new plans, but that would have to be something Alec figures out since he’d have to pay, and we’re not about to force him to do that.

    You couldn’t be more wrong. We’ve paid thousands for our platform license of Flowplayer for WordPress over the years. The issue with pulling the license for the free version here is that we are theoretically not allowed to distribute derivatives of the Flowplayer code without the logo binary (as above, it’s unlikely that those terms would hold up in most courts of law). We include our own logo, as the license allows. This discussion has encouraged me to think of a workaround. Our logo is about to become much smaller. My intention from the beginning was to provide WordPress users a reliable and free open source video player.

    We only decided to sell a pro version several years later, mainly as we were being asked for features complex and maintenance-intensive enough that to pay for the developer hours to build the advanced features out and maintain them there would require an ongoing revenue stream.

    Not only have we paid thousands for our platform license, we regularly contributed to Flowplayer source code while it was open source. Sadly that ended about two years ago. The current player is entirely proprietary. We’ve forked Flowplayer 7 and keep our version up-to-date to work with the most recent iOS (15 today) and Android (12 today), not to mention Chromium (and derivatives), Firefox and Safari.

    Indeed, there’s a whole set of pro features which we’ve intended to migrate over to the free player including YouTube API playback (right now YouTube plays in an iFrame unless a website owner upgrades to pro at which point the YouTube API takes over) for more than two years but Covid intervened and we just haven’t caught up. We’ll make these improvements in the next couple of weeks. We believe strongly enough in the spirit of open source to have published thirteen free WordPress plugins including five substantial pro-equivalent ones (including a WYSIWYG editor and SEO plugin) of which the only paid plugin is FV Player Pro.

    The never ending core changes and mandatory version upgrades at WordPress have taken their toll on our ability to fully maintain a large stable of free plugins but that’s another conversation.

    If will allow us to distribute FV Flowplayer without the logo binary, we will do so immediately. Please let me know Mika.

    A good weekend to all, Alec

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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