Open Letter: Automattic notes about WordPress block in Brazil

To Automattic/Wordpress team, through Matt Mullenweg, CEO:

Sometimes, we wake up with bad news, like the one the brazilian blogging community got a few days ago. But sometimes, we wake up with news that are really good. The kind that keeps the balance and make us hope for better days.

Maybe i’m overreacting, but your last post, about the possible WordPress block and banning in Brazil, made me feel that hope. I’m quoting the post just below, and then my words:

WordPress.com in Brazil

Given the recent news that WordPress.com might be blocked in Brazil, we would like to share some information about the case and our response.

A Brazilian judge ordered that one blog hosted at WordPress.com should be blocked in Brazil. A local ISP association mentioned it would do so via IP address blocking, something that would compromise access to WordPress.com in Brazil and would not block the blog.

We filed a motion on Monday, explaining, in essence: a) how our service works; b) our terms of use and US laws apply to content hosted on WordPress.com; c) we oppose censorship and will not take down the blog ourselves unless it violates our terms of service; d) the best ways to handle the blocking of this blog in Brazil without compromising the access to WordPress.com.

The terms of the lawsuit are confidential so we cannot disclose all the information we would like at this time, such as the names of the parties involved or the blog address.

We are represented in the case by Marcel Leonardi, a Brazilian attorney, law professor, and cyberlaw scholar. He is working on the case pro bono on behalf of the WordPress.com community.

We hope to have this matter resolved within a few days and will keep you updated.

Português Brasileiro

Em virtude das notícias recentes a respeito do possível bloqueio do WordPress.com no Brasil, nós gostaríamos de compartilhar algumas informações sobre caso e nossa resposta.

Um juiz brasileiro determinou que um blog hospedado no WordPress.com deveria ser bloqueado no Brasil. Uma associação local de provedores de serviços de Internet mencionou que isso seria feito por meio de bloqueio de endereço IP, algo que comprometeria o acesso ao WordPress.com no Brasil e não bloquearia o blog.

Apresentamos uma petição na segunda-feira, explicando, em síntese: a) como nosso serviço funciona; b) nossos termos de uso e as leis norte-americanas se aplicam ao conteúdo hospedado no WordPress.com; c) não aceitamos censura e não removeremos o blog a não ser que ele viole nossos termos de uso; d) quais são as melhores formas de lidar com o bloqueio deste blog no Brasil sem comprometer o acesso ao WordPress.com.

Os termos do processo judicial são confidenciais e não podemos revelar todas as informações que gostaríamos neste momento, tais como o nome das pessoas envolvidas e o endereço do blog.

Somos representados neste caso por Marcel Leonardi, advogado, professor de direito e pesquisador de temas de Direito e Internet no Brasil. Ele está trabalhando no caso gratuitamente, em nome da comunidade WordPress.com.

Esperamos resolver este assunto dentro dos próximos dias e manteremos vocês atualizados.

(My apologies if I messed up the formatting of any of the Portuguese above.)

I know there’s a lot to come in this issue, but your words and clarifications gave me some light:

  • Knowing that the blog the Court wants to block is not about a sex video shows that there’s a lot of misinformation around the blogsphere and we gotta have more and more care.
  • Knowing your position and opinions, makes me happy (that’s why Automattic hire happiness engineers?) and shows me that i’m not alone on my cruzade to ethic business. Specially in a country like mine, known for it’s corruption rates, it’s a strenght booster that helps me keeping doing things the way i believe is the right.
  • Knowing that this matter is spreading and getting bigger and stronger in the community shows, again, the power of this kind of tool to change the world, for better.
  • Knowing that you are aware and concerned shows me that WordPress and Automattic still a reliabe company and service. The kind that we can trust and get inspiration.

So, i think it’s fair to say thank you again and make this public. So, below, i reproduce the comment i wrote on your official blog.

Almost perfect the portuguese writing.
Just two minor corrections:

“algumas informações sobre o caso”

“as leis norte-americanas que se aplicam”

But, you could mispelled or misformatted a lot more… and i would still being grateful to you and Autommatic (and Marcel) because your clear position, trying to balance what is the best to our community, to Autommatic and to Brazilian Courts too.

Standing for principles and beliefs (open source and community power, avoiding censorship, and yet, respect laws) always was one of the reasons i admire Automattic and use Automattic products and services and I still using wordpress.com even when i have my own domain, use wordpress as CMS and suggested to anyone that ask me about CMS.

Is the kind of corporative (and personal too) behavior inspired the way i do business and relationships.

So, same way i wrote you an open letter, now i write this note and say:

Thank you, guys.

See ya, write ya, read ya.

Best Regads, hug’s and keep wordpressing.

Celso Bessa
Brazilian WordPresser

PS: If by any chance you guys come to Brazil, to São Paulo City, know that you are my guests to some beers and pizzas.

That’s it.

Thank you again Autommatic guys, Doctor Marcel, all the people spreading this.

Now, we will wait whatever may come. The best, i hope.

Celso Bessa
Brazilian WordPresser

Este post pode ser lido em português também: Carta Aberta: Notas da Automattic sobre o bloqueio do WordPress no Brasil.

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