WordPress.org bans Themeforest members from participating in official WordCamp gatherings

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greenshady says


We actually deal with “copycats” easily on WordPress.org…
Thanks for your insight Justin. I guess it’s not as complicated as I’d thought. Envato would have to draw a similar set of guidelines and be consistent with them.

This does still leave one aspect open though, which you guys don’t have to deal with on .org…

What do you think Envato should do if I took a design of a WP theme (100% GPL) and ported it to Drupal / Joomla. Would this be ok, so long as I kept the author credit in the CSS?

I can see a fair few authors not worrying about the copycats, or those who want something for nothing (as they’d pirate it anyway). I can, however, see them being very unhappy about their theme being sold by someone else on a different platform. Yet that would kind of be the point of extending the GPL to cover the CSS/images wouldn’t it? If it’s ok to do it with the code, should it be ok to do it with the design too?

I don’t think Envato should or will allow it. It’s sort of like what I said about straight up copies on .ORG. We want themes that are original work. It’s not that allowing such a thing is illegal or unethical. It’s just that we like to showcase the original designer.

Now, if that person wanted to release that ported copy on their own site, it’d be perfectly fine.

I can, however, see them being very unhappy about their theme being sold by someone else on a different platform.

I just wanted to point out something about this. If seeing something like this makes you unhappy, you definitely shouldn’t be releasing fully, 100% open-source themes.

I have people port my work to other platforms all the time or just build derivatives of it on WordPress. I usually give them a “great job!”, post about on Twitter, or something like that. I want to promote people who build off my work (within the confines of the license, of course) because it helps my business grow.

You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve had sign up to my site because they were using a ported Blogger version of one of my themes and thought they’d get support from me. Within a day, I’d have them set up on WordPress and running my WordPress themes/plugins.

Of course, I’ve been doing this a good while longer than most people here, so I’ve had time to see how a lot of these things benefit me over the long haul.

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VF says


^ But what if reviewer mistakenly approved? The original author can’t send DMCA
Exactly my thought. however, as long as 100% GPL = opt in like the extended license, it would be author decision.

Yes. Basically this comes to the point where 100% GPL isn’t an easy choice for an author even if there are home rules (for upload) added by marketplace. Those rules will work like usage upload guidelines, nothing more than that – it would be impossible to monitor in the long run.

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CodingJack says

Collis made another post http://wpdaily.co/theme-clarity/ much respect for that man.

+1 mad props

From Jake’s Blog:

I can tell you that while I was speaking with Andrea she told me that declaring my themes 100% GPL on ThemeForest still wouldn’t satisfy the issue because I’m still selling my themes on a network that sells other items that are not 100% GPL. (Jake)

Missed this before, but it kind of makes the whole conversation moot. Because even if Envato starts offering authors the option to go 100% GPL, they’re still going to be punished for selling here, and that’s just plain silly.

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VF says
^ Matt’s direct comment on this page clarifies it differently: http://www.designcrumbs.com/automatically-blackballed#comment-430

However it is a shame that all clarifications are available in the form of individual comment. What if someone comments with matt’s avatar! :D

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pixelentity says

Yes. Basically this comes to the point where 100% GPL isn’t an easy choice for an author even if there are home rules (for upload) added by marketplace. Those rules will work like usage upload guidelines, nothing more than that – it would be impossible to monitor in the long run.
We wouldn’t for sure.

100% GPL themes would have 0 protection here. Even with split license, envato doesn’t enforce any “my house my rules” policy against copycats.

We, as many, also include custom made jquery plugin that are sold as separate commercial items and a 100% GPL theme would extend the license to the bundled plugin code.

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Caldazar says

My stance on this is identical with greenshady’s. Copycats as well as forks for no good reason are frowned upon everywhere. Envato can and should protect its marketplace against that but I don’t see an instrument prohibiting it on other marketplaces. In addition I see a problem arise with exclusivety because of this.

The other side off the coin is two sellers cooperating on one item. Imagine you being a good programmer and the other a great designer. Now he copies your {whatever}, improves it with a top notch visual design / CSS and wants to sell it here. You, as the copyright holder can pull the new CSS back into your version, of course.

Should both authors be allowed to sell the same version here, now that the ‘zerosum’ game got replaced by ‘win-win’?

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gbs says

^ Matt’s direct comment on this page clarifies it differently: http://www.designcrumbs.com/automatically-blackballed#comment-430 However it is a shame that all clarifications are available in the form of individual comment. What if someone comments with matt’s avatar! :D

Just can guess that it sounds like Matt :D

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PixelBuffet says

Good question Caldazar.

Another one I’ve got is about pricing. Currently our themes (on a standard license) are pretty cheap compared to most theme shops, whilst an extended license would require me to re-mortgage my house to afford!

If I switch to 100% GPL and lose the extended license, should the cost of my theme raise – to reflect the new freedoms given to the end user?

If yes: It would make the split-license themes more desirable, as people would just purchase the cheaper one (I don’t think many end users give a crap about licensing).

If no: Keeping pricing as it is now though would make the extended license even more absurd. My 100% GPL $50 theme is actually now competing with your $2500 extended license theme (and even then, mine offers more freedom).

The more I think about it, the more I think I’d like to go 100% GPL – but there are a few things I’d like to see answered first.

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Dream-Theme says

Collis made another post http://wpdaily.co/theme-clarity/ much respect for that man.

I’ll just quit selling themes on TF if license will be switched to all-gpl

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FinalDestiny says


Collis made another post http://wpdaily.co/theme-clarity/ much respect for that man.
I’ll just quit selling themes on TF if license will be switched to all-gpl

If they’ll force us to use all-gpl, surely you won’t be the only one. If we’d have a way to choose either all gpl or split license, that could work fine.

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