Representing WordPress

tl;dr: If you agree with everything here, you’re a good fit for being a WordCamp organizer, speaker, sponsor, or volunteer.

Anyone involved in your WordCamp in an official role is representing WordPress. Because of this, it’s important that you vet each person/company that wants to be an organizer, speaker, sponsor, or volunteer to make sure they meet the requirements for promotion by a WordCamp/WordPress.

General things we feel strongly about:

  • WordPress users! Lately there have been quite a few people wanting to organize WordCamps for the publicity value, who don’t even use WordPress to power their own blogs/sites. If you’re looking to stand up and be a WordPress community leader, ya gotta be  a WordPress user. It seems silly to have to state that explicitly, but there you have it.
  • No discrimination on the basis of economic or social status, race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability. They shouldn’t engage in discriminatory practices, and you shouldn’t discriminate against anyone.
  • No incitement to violence, or promotion of hate on our watch, please.
  • No spammers.
  • No jerks. That sounds silly, too, but it’s kind of important. If someone is in an official role and winds up alienating a chunk of your local WordPress community, that hurts WordPress as a whole. Anyone you choose to take on an official role should be able to behave appropriately.

If WordPress-based, there are a few additional requirements:

  • Respect the WordPress trademark. Any person or business currently misusing or infringing on the WordPress trademark will need to fix any misuse before they will be allowed to take on a sanctioned role in a WordCamp.
  • Embrace the WordPress license. If distributing WordPress-derivative works (themes, plugins, WP distros), any person or business should give their users the same freedoms that WordPress itself provides. Note: this is one step above simple compliance, which requires PHP code to be GPL/compatible but allows proprietary licenses for JavaScript, CSS, and images. 100% GPL or compatible is required for promotion at WordCamps when WordPress-derivative works are involved, the same guidelines we follow on WordPress.org.
  • Do not promote others who fail to respect the WordPress license or trademark. If a person or business does not distribute WordPress-derivative code, but promotes those who do, those they are promoting should meet the guidelines above. If not, then it’s like WordPress is promoting them, if you remember 10th grade math. :)

As the primary organizer, it will be your responsibility to ensure that these criteria are met by all members of the organizing team, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers. What most organizing teams do these days is ask all organizers and volunteers to agree to this, and ask all speakers and sponsors to agree to items 3 & 4 on that list as a part of their speaker or sponsor application.

If you’d like to read more about WordPress and the GPL, here are some great resources:

WordPress and the GPL
Themes are GPL, too
Why WordPress Themes are Derivative of WordPress