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Home Forums Other Help with WP Theme Licensing Terms – PLEASE HELP

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    Hi, I emailed the supprt team at Envato about this but I haven’t heard back yet. I am hoping someone in the freelance community can confirm something for me.

    I have a friend who hired a designer to create a website. It turns out this designer bought this theme

    This designer updated the copy, added a logo and is now asking for $1500!

    I am looking at the licensing terms for ThemeForest and it seems like this is against their licensing terms.

    Can someone help me confirm this? I really need to help my buddy figure this out so he doesn’t get ripped off.

    Thank you


    As far as I can tell, there’s nothing wrong with that. Charging $1500 for it, on the other hand, is a crock of shit. It’s designers like this that give us all a bad name.

    Is there a contract? Does the contract say a custom design?

    Do not pay this person $1500 for a theme he did not create. If you can provide some more information on the project I would gladly help you bury this person into the ground.


    Legally, I believe he CAN take a theme, put a new logo on it, and charge whatever he wants for it.

    However, if the contract says he would design it custom and is charging an amount of hours to do so (say 10 hours or whatever), it’s clear he did not spend that much time and you can argue that he hasn’t fulfilled his end of the contract and you don’t have to pay him.

    Definitely do not pay this guy. Also, I want to know who this guy is so I can keep on the look out.


    I am trying to gather as much info as I can before we go after this guy. I also want to give him a chance to refund the base payment of $500.
    Here is an email that outlines what he will provide. There was no official contract. This designer is the brother of a colleague of my friend who doesn’t really know any better.

    “After looking at the wireframes you sent through yesterday, I think working on a blogging platform is the way to go for your site. It’ll make it easy for you to update yourself without having to get help every time you need to add some text, an event, a link, or a video (which is FREE)…always nice. It will also save you from having to go through costly developers to have the site made functional once it’s designed (meaning I can also handle the basic functionality.)

    Any work that I do outside of the agency I charge a flat rate for, divided into three segments – A 30% deposit, 30% after revisions and 30% before site launch. The project would consist of one mockup, based on criteria and needs provided by you (all information you give me up front including copy, colors, etc), two rounds of revisions based on the original mockup, and a preparation and launch of the final site. The flat rate charge for this project will be $1500, divided by three according to the timeline above.

    I look forward to helping you make something amazing to showcase East Coast Drum School. Please let me know when you’re ready to move forward!


    This email can be interpreted in many ways I guess. But my friend supplied him with colors and a logo. This guy even took it upon himself to change the logo!
    I am looking for the best way to handle this without sinking to this guys level.

    Thanks so much for the help.


    It reads as though he’ll be designing something.


    yes thats how I read it as well.

    I am trying to confirm the Terms on ThemeForest if you are in fact allowed to resell a them like that. It doesn’t seem like you are allowed. Unless I am not understanding their Terms.



    I’m gonna give this guy a chance to apologize and do the right thing.
    If not I will be happy to let you know who he is.

    Please let me know if you guys have any thoughts on what you would say to this guy.


    It’s definitely kosher under the Envato’s terms. For example, if you hire me to do a website and I use a theme, I charge whatever I want, it doesn’t matter what the theme’s cost is. I can use that theme once in any project I see fit.

    Of course, I’m not an asshole, so I would charge you $1500 for it!


    The letter states he would provide a mockup, implying a new or custom design. He didn’t mock anything up, only purchased a theme.

    Do not pay the full $1500. In fact he is only requesting $1350 clearly stated as three payments of 30% of the $1500. Essentially you are getting a 10% discount on a $1400 over-priced theme.


    ok thanks guys. I appreciate the help.
    I’ll definitely let you know what happens over the next few days.
    Should be interesting.


    Just thought I would let everyone know that the designer is returning the $500 payment.
    His excuse was that there was a miscommunication about what he would be providing and that he has done this “a million” times before and noone has ever complained.

    I feel bad for those people that got scammed by this guy.

    Thanks everyone for the responses.


    Glad he refunded the money.

    And yes, a lot of people get taken by people like this. CLEARLY he isn’t properly explaining what his clients are receiving.


    what is the problem with wp-licence
    explain clearly


    Reselling a theme is not OK.

    However, purchasing a theme license, and then charge for doing actual work on/with it (whether it’s setting up the site with that theme, configuring it, customizing it, entering content, and other things that developers do) is perfecly fine in my view.

    Whether it’s worth $1500 or not, really depends on all the work that’s involved. Of course, installing a theme and just changing a logo should not cost $1500. But in many cases, developers do a lot more than just that. And from the initial email, it kinda looked like he would do a lot more work than just taking a theme and changing a logo.


    In fact he is only requesting $1350 clearly stated as three payments of 30% of the $1500.

    yes. that was hilarious.

    For future reference, people even remotely associated with computer programming (or business, for that matter), should be able to do basic arithmetic. At least, know how to use a calculator. This is a red flag. But the bigger red flag is when there is no contract, not even a simple one.

    It reads as though he’ll be designing something.

    That would be my interpretation as well, but it not what is actually written. To be clear, I’m not siding with the guy; he sounds like a scumbag. However, according to that email, all he owes you is:

    • a mockup that meets your requirements

    • up to two revisions

    • installation and launch

    The mockup is really your only negotiation point. Did you get, and approve, a mockup? If so, then he’s fulfilled his obligations in that regard. It doesn’t matter at all if he wrote the theme from scratch or found it on a flash drive lying in the gutter.

    If this email is the extent of your agreement, then your only recourse would be to end the project. The fact that payments are due at particular project phases has strong implications:

    Paying the deposit means it’s okay to start work.

    The second payment means you’re satisfied with the design and revisions.

    The last payment means you’re satisfied with the site launch.

    Not paying any of these installments clearly means you don’t want him to continue working on the project. And it’s not your problem if he keeps working anyway.


    In any case, I’m glad to hear that it worked out and he gave you your money back. Next time, make sure you have a clear contract.

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