WordPress China Users, operating on their own terms

UPDATE #2: A variant of the Grid Focus is now available for download. Feel free to visit the project page for details.

UPDATE #1: Comments on this article are closed. The WordPress Chinese Forums have implemented a stricter sense of intellectual property rights and are now informing users that ripping & redistributing personal work is not permitted.

I have always believed that WordPress was one of the most powerful CMS’s available to general internet users. What makes WordPress so great is the lenient learning curve. Even greater is the wealth of information and support provided by the WordPress community. Because WordPress is Open Source, and because there are so many devoted users, beginning and veteran users alike have access to some of the greatest public plugin & theme releases around. The key word here being public – freely available for download by the general public.

Although the selling points of WordPress includes such vast download resources via sites like the WordPress Plugins Directory or Unofficial Theme Viewer, there exists the idea of paid-for or personal / private projects. Paid-for or personal / private projects are not free.

WordPress Chinese Forums users decide for themselves

About a month ago I launched a personal project here on 5thirtyone.com – Grid Focus. Roughly 15 days after the fact, the following URL landed in my inbox which was a complete rip of the entire 5thirtyone.com domain. The owner was slowly making his way through the pages changing English text to Chinese.

Preview of Grid Focus ripped

5thirtyone.com downloaded and ripped in order to create a localized Chinese version – Click for larger version

I continued to discover a handful of additional Chinese domains including this site which all look to be doing the same thing – creating localized versions of a personal project without permission.

A user speaks out and explains

Thinking that there was little else for me to do – writing emails to hosts garnered no positive results, I was almost ready to say "forget it" – no one was listening and no one was going to stop. Yesterday I received the following comment from an individual who identified himself as a Chinese WP user with the following message:

I am a Chinese WP user. Let me explain something here. The truth is a Chinese web desinger “copy” this theme as a foreign WP user’s asking, and later published it, with the plugins, free, on the most popular Chinese WP forum. www.wordpress.org.cn

Well slap me silly! Yay! Chinese WP "designers" have decided that it was within their rights to rip an entire personal project and redistribute with plugins! It’s like knock-off Fendi or Gucci bags, only now it’s WordPress work.

Just because a website is running WordPress does not mean that everything on the site is open and freely available for the taking. If you’re reading this and you happen to have came here by way of the WordPress Chinese Forums, know that I am not at all pleased and will from here on out consider putting my ip-tables to good use.

Other identified projects

Browsing through the forum, I also noticed that the beautifully designed Kineda has a thread of its own here. I strongly encourage visitors or members of the forum to dissuade users from ripping and distributing this work as well.

Take Care of your Hosting Issues

No matter where you are hosting your website make sure that they can support your ecommerce model and traffic. Website hosting is easier than ever, but it’s still important to read up on all the hosting options available before making a decision.

Discuss - 54 Comments

  1. Stavanger says:

    At least he/she admits “I’m a sticky fingered uncreative bastard”……

  2. Terry Ng says:

    Derek –

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ve noticed this isn’t the only Chinese forum who has ripped designs for release (www.shareko.com is another) Unfortunately, I can’t write/read Chinese (only speak), so if anyone here can voice their opinion for us in their forum… We’d really appreciate it. Hopefully, we can teach them that this is wrong, and find other ways they can learn to build their own templates.

  3. Derek says:

    Terry, unfortunate to see your work used without permission. I would continue to push giving the host pressure but seeing as though shareko is hosted in China leaves very little as far as options are concerned. I Exchanged emails with Bluehost again today. Looking for some type of support from that perspective as hosting a forum which promotes the re-creation of various personal projects, including Kineda.com, seems like something any host would disagree to do.

  4. underone.com says:

    …………………..:(

  5. David says:

    [quote comment=”48267″]Derek –

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ve noticed this isn’t the only Chinese forum who has ripped designs for release (www.shareko.com is another) Unfortunately, I can’t write/read Chinese (only speak), so if anyone here can voice their opinion for us in their forum… We’d really appreciate it. Hopefully, we can teach them that this is wrong, and find other ways they can learn to build their own templates.[/quote]

    [quote comment=”48270″]Terry, unfortunate to see your work used without permission. I would continue to push giving the host pressure but seeing as though shareko is hosted in China leaves very little as far as options are concerned. I Exchanged emails with Bluehost again today. Looking for some type of support from that perspective as hosting a forum which promotes the re-creation of various personal projects, including Kineda.com, seems like something any host would disagree to do.[/quote]

    To contact the one who charge the forum directyly seems a better way.
    I’d like to offer some help. If you would like to send me a email and make clear what your opions are, and I will try to contact the forum administrator through email.
    My Email: snoopylion[at]gmail.com

  6. Derek says:

    Email sent. Thanks David.

  7. […] wir schon beim Thema sind, Derek ist recht angepisst weil das (unveröffentlichte) Theme seines Blogs von einigen chinesischen […]

  8. kukukuan says:

    Sorry to hear that.
    I myself is using a localized theme – durable, but I got the author’s permision.

    It’s time for you to say NO to theft, and it’s time for some people to say sorry and stop stealing.

    Actually, many people reconsider this problem now. I believe everything will be better. Just don’t be too angry.

  9. dupola says:

    Being a Chinese .I’m so sorry to hear that.

  10. xiGang says:

    Derek and everyone,

    Thanks David and all the people tell me the “copyright” things about the site of wordpress.org.cn today, I make this site for a years long,in order to make a place to let people who may like use WordPress chinese version to learn and I’m happy to let more people to pleasure use the Opensource software like WordPress, but I’m not attention more about the posts which have the “copyright” question. If these things have some hurt to you, I will say sorry.

    I have seen the improvment in our forums, we close some threads as we can do just like momoko2k have done,hope more people help us.

    It’s not the wrong of Chinese, it’s my mistake.

    (my english is poor, sorry me.)

    xiGang

  11. Derek says:

    Thank you xiGang. Comments on this article are now closed.

  12. […] David and all the people tell me the “copyright” things about the site of wordpress.org.cn today, I make this site for a years long,in order to make a place […]

  13. […] interests and agendas. There’s overlap, yes, but there’s also difference: difference in constituency and in outlook. There is no overarching, coherent group of people with a particular direction or […]

  14. […] much personal debate and the incident concerning the WP China Forums, I’ve decided to release the WordPress Grid Focus as a "theme". The decision was […]