Automattic Tries To Cripple WordCamp’s With Restrictive New Guidelines

Just as we thought that Automattic, the company behind WordPress, might finally be softening on its no one can make money from WordPress except us stance, comes news today on an attempt to cripple the thriving “Wordcamp” movement.

Wordcamp’s are WordPress user events, and depending on the event can run anywhere from a small group in a small town, to a near full on conference/ all weekend function complete with sponsors and speakers.

New guidelines currently being imposed by Automattic include a prohibition on profit from a Wordcamp, with all funds to be “returned to the community.” Some may argue that’s a reasonable point, until you realize that as well as prohibiting profit, they are also trying to cripple the covering of costs as well, with a clause that reads “People or companies in violation of the WordPress license cannot be accepted as event organizers or sponsors.”

As Remkus de Vries at Blogging Pro points out:

Does this mean we have to block out sponsors as Microsoft and the likes? They are clearly not GPL compliant…. Same goes for speakers, what if you have perfect speaker and he or she is willing to help out, but because they work for a company that does not support the GPL they won’t be allowed to come? That can’t be right….I don’t think it is humanly possible to conduct a background check on all sponsors and speakers.nd a ban on sponsors that produce.

A kick in the guts for the WordPress community isn’t new from the Matt Mullenweg run company, which in recent years has been happy to sit back and profit from the effort of free community labor, while going out of its way to make sure no one else can.

I wonder if Automattic has ever profited from a WordPress event before? :)