Ghost and Accidental Messaging

I investigate pretty much every new publishing system that comes out. I’m eager to see what features they think are important, and see what might spark new ideas for my own site. I got my invite to try Ghost a short time ago. I put up a test post, and was a shocked by what I saw in the footer.

Ghost Copyright

I’ve circled the footer area, which includes:

All content copyright Ghost © 2013 · All rights reserved.

My reaction upon seeing this? Whoah – “Copyright Ghost”? I don’t think so…

I did a little poking around and found Ghost’s Terms of Service, which are derived from the TOS and are released under a Creative Common 3.0 license. That was more like what I expected and didn’t seem to jive with what I was seeing in the footer.

So I did a little more searching. Pretty soon I found this:

Template File

In the search results, I could see that the line that was bothering me is actually a pretty reasonable bit of template language:

All content copyright {{@blog.title}} © 2013 […]

This was a simple matter of defaults causing accidental messaging. See when you create a blog on Ghost, the default name of the blog is “Ghost”. Then the footer is outputting the blog name (Ghost) as the copyright holder.1 If I had taken the time to set my blog name to “Alex King”, then the footer message would have read “copyright Alex King”. This is a case of several things coming together to say something they didn’t mean.

Be careful with your defaults! Your messaging is important and if you’re not careful it can say something you didn’t intend.

  1. I’m not a lawyer, but I believe this really isn’t an accurate copyright statement. Copyright is owned by a person or entity; the name of a blog isn’t something that can own copyright (unless it is also the name of a person or entity).