Support » Plugins and Hacks » [Plugin: Automatic WordPress Backup] Plugin Adds Link without Permission, Breaks Repository Guidelin

  • This plugin, Automatic WordPress Backup, breaks the WordPress Plugin Repository Guidelines. Restriction #4 is:

    The plugin must not embed external links on the public site (like a “powered by” link) without explicitly asking the user’s permission.

    This plugin automatically adds a link to the footer of the public-facing website with a link to the Web Design Company:

    echo ‘<p>Powered by Web Design Company Plugins</p>’;

    There is an option to turn off the link (rather coyly), but by default, the plugin places the link in the footer of the public site. The plugin file with the link is /automatic-wordpress-backup/wdc/wdc.class.php.

    I really like this plugin, but it is doing something wrong.

    Btw, why doesn’t WordPress search the entire plugins archive for “Powered by”. That might get rid of some of these plugins.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/automatic-wordpress-backup/

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
  • Moderator Mark Jaquith

    (@markjaquith)

    WordPress Lead Dev

    Btw, why doesn’t WordPress search the entire plugins archive for “Powered by”. That might get rid of some of these plugins.

    It’s tedious work. It often involves installing the plugin. We’re handling them as they’re reported. Hopefully awareness will spread, and more plugin authors will correct without getting a suspension or an e-mail from us!

    Mark,
    Is something happening with this plugin/plugin author then? Or do I need to contact Dan? Thanks for the response.

    melvinram

    (@melvinram)

    Hi Mark,

    I’m the owner of WebDesignCompany.net, the company sponsoring the development of the plugin. My first gut reaction to this is that it doesn’t seem right for multiple reasons. I’m going to take the weekend to think about this topic before responding further.

    Melvin Ram

    clindsey

    (@clindsey)

    Melvin,

    I don’t understand your post. What doesn’t seem right?

    To me this seems pretty cut-and-dry: I install this plugin, activate it, and then a link appears on the front-page of my website. It doesn’t ask the user permission to show the link. The Guidelines specifically mention “Powered by…” links, which your plugin shows by default.

    melvinram

    (@melvinram)

    The guideline seems new as it’s not showing in the Internet Archives for that page and by “not right” I meant with guideline is unfair and wrong. Instead of trying to think out loud here, I’ll respond in a clear, well thought out manner once I’ve gathered my thoughts.

    MacMacken

    (@macmacken)

    @melvinram: Have you been able to gather your thoughts?

    The above-mentioned guidelines apply only to plugins hosted by WordPress. It is therefore your choice: Comply with the guidelines or remove the plugin from the WordPress plugin directory.

    clindsey

    (@clindsey)

    Agreed. @melvinram, any response?

    traag1

    (@traag1)

    @melvinram:

    I can understand that you probably feel that after all the work you done to create a clean and useful plugin for the community to use that you deserve some recognition for those efforts, but consider this:

    1. Everyone who uses your plugin will know who you are, so you are already getting positive recognition from them.

    2. No one who reads their blogs care about the “powered by” links anyway; I certainly ignore them by default. I mean, are you assuming that everyone who reads a WordPress blog also owns and moderates one, and could make use of a WordPress Backup plugin? Besides, the blogs all use themes, which were most likely not designed by you, so I don’t see how a “powered by” link is effective advertising you on the average Jo’s WordPress blog anyway.

    3. Like it or not, the guidelines are in place for a reason. My blogs average about 8-9 plugins or more apiece. Can you imagine if there was a powered by link for each and every one of those? All those links would clutter the blog and distract from what was important in the first place: the content. The average blog reader doesn’t care what plugins a blog admin uses on their blog.

    4. Your true audience are the people who are using your product, in this case the WordPress Backup plugin, and by not following a very basic guideline you will establish yourself as unethical and probably get your plugin removed from the repository altogether. See in this one instance how Clindsey, who otherwise really likes your plugin, is now feeling rather negative about your product because he feels you have infringed upon his personal blog space with your advertisement without his permission? What’s really “not right” here?

    5. I think you’ll find that if you politely give the users of your plugin the OPTION to place your link on their blog, many of them probably will. And even if they don’t, you’ve already demonstrated your expertise to them, and they will have a positive reaction to you, your product and your company. Isn’t THAT what you really want?

    So please, take your time gathering your thoughts, and if you still feel that following the clearly outlined guidelines to hosting your plugin in the official repository are unfair or “not right” feel free to host them on your site instead.

    clindsey

    (@clindsey)

    Neither the developer or the “sponsor” of this plugin have responded for 6 days now (and they haven’t responded to the issue at all). I would ask that a moderator take a look at this plugin and ask the owners to make the link option turned OFF by default or remove the plugin. Again…

    The Plugin Repository guidelines say:

    The plugin must not embed external links on the public site (like a “powered by” link) without explicitly asking the user’s permission.

    This plugin automatically adds a link in the footer of the public-facing website to the Web Design Company. There is an option to turn off the link (rather coyly), but by default, the plugin places the link in the footer of the public site. The plugin file with the link is /automatic-wordpress-backup/wdc/wdc.class.php.

    melvinram

    (@melvinram)

    A) Chris Lindsey, please don’t use the plugin. PLEASE don’t.

    B) I’m in discussions with Mark Jaquith to figure out an appropriate way to handle this that would meet WP.org’s new guidelines and still provide enough incentive for continuous support and development.

    C) traag1 – You make some valid points, though when considering what ends up happening in reality, a lot of them don’t hold up. I’ll go into depth with this once I’ve figure out the exact direction we’re going with the plugin after I reach agreement with Mark.

    clindsey

    (@clindsey)

    Still no update on this plugin?

    Melvin, I apologize for any harsh feelings between us. I really like your plugin and utilize it, but I think the version on the WordPress plugin repository needs to be changed or removed as it pretty clearly violates the guidelines..

    Chip Bennett

    (@chipbennett)

    Theme Review Admin

    While you’re waiting for a response, you can easily remove the footer credits, using the following steps:

    1) In your plugins directory, open /automatic-wordpress-backup/wdc/wdc.class.php (either within your backend, or using your text editor of choice)

    2) Find the following code on Line #78

    add_action('wp_footer', array(&$wdc_settings, 'credits'));

    3) Comment out the line, by placing two forward slashes in front, as such:

    \\ add_action('wp_footer', array(&$wdc_settings, 'credits'));

    Now the credit text will no longer be added to the footer.

    You could just do it the easy way and turn off the credits using the mechanism we’ve included. No code hacking needed.

    Also, if you comment out that code above, your hack will go away when you update to newer versions which may result in the credit line showing up unexpectedly… and you might get mad at us for providing a free plugin (that others are selling for $150), supporting it and asking for some credit in exchange.

    If you do it using the mechanism we include, your choice of not showing the credit line will be remembered and it won’t out of the blue show the link. I’d recommend this approach if you want to hide the link.

    PS: We have reached an agree of how we’ll be handling the credits part. The new approach will go into effect once v2 is out of beta and ready for release.

    you might get mad at us for providing a free plugin (that others are selling for $150), supporting it and asking for some credit in exchange

    Melvin, there are a lot of folks out there who provide great plugins that don’t embed links in a site without asking permission.

    Yep, and that is exactly why a lot of plugins are left abandoned without someone else to adopt them.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
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