Footnotes #435

POST STATUS SLACK EXCLUSIVE 🗨️

How Am I Bluehost to Live Without You?

Morten Rand-Hendriksen noticed Bluehost appeared to be violating the WordPress Foundation‘s Trademark Policy by using the WordPress logo in an ad. A day later, Josepha Haden acknowledged the tweet and said she had been “checking for context.” Josepha later mentioned having a call with Bluehost.

As you may know, Bluehost has been featured on the recommended hosting page at WordPress.org for a long time. It's one of the very few hosts that have been selected for that level of endorsement by Matt Mullenweg.

In the #hosting channel on Post Status Slack, Matt stated that the list on the recommended hosting page “is open” and that “anyone can apply, no one can pay to be on the page.”

Matt also said, “I take 100% responsibility for the editorial… I also get a fair number of people emailing me direct feedback about the hosts listed, and how the host follows up is part of my evaluation.”

While the current list is in “good standing,” Matt acknowledges the recommended hosts haven't changed in a while:

“It is past-due for open applications again, but I have prioritized other work on .org.”

Regarding the WordPress trademark itself, Matt summarized its history:

“The trademark was originally held by Automattic, which donated it to the Foundation, and in return got an exclusive commercial license back. That commercial use can be sub-licensed by Automattic, and has been in the past.”

Apparently “Automattic can lose its commercial license to the trademark if it is not a good steward,” although the odds of this happening while Matt is still in charge are probably slim to none.

Returning to the Bluehost ad, it seems the ad was “not approved” and has been dropped. The issue might be resolved soon, following further discussion between Automattic and Bluehost.