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[resolved] What are the legal issues of using a theme's images? (23 posts)

  1. jlseagull
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I found a cool free theme from woothemes. The annoying thing is it has the woo themes logo and the header is just the name of the theme and there is no built in option to change it.

    I have enough knowledge to edit the code and change this, and make my own title, get rid of the woothemes logo etc.

    Basically I can make a child theme which will be perfect.

    But what makes this theme cool is the background, which is sort of blurred paint.

    If I create a child theme naturally it inherits these images.

    Is it legal for me to use this child theme without the WooTheme logo?

    I've read on the forums that the general wordpress license means it is legal to modify the theme however you like once you have it, but since I don't own the images that have been used as the background, can I still use this?

    I don't even mind sending them a donation or something, it's just that I want this free theme as it looks cool.

  2. Andrew
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Which license is that theme released under?

  3. jlseagull
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    It says on this page that all their themes are GNU general public license.

    It also says:

    2. Photoshop Files License
    The Photoshop design files for our themes come packaged separately and are not GPL licensed. They are licensed and copyrighted under WooThemes.com. You are not allowed to redistribute these files in any way.

    But obviously I am not planning to redistribute them so I'm not sure of the legalities here.

  4. leejosepho
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I have a Twenty Twelve Child Theme that is actually a compilation of a theme I had purchased somewhere and modifications I made by reading and posting in these forums while doing many other web searches and picking up bits of things here, there and yonder...and now a Developer has taken all of that still farther and yet called me the theme's author.

    If you can make something work, I say "Work it" as long as you did not steal it.

  5. Andrew
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 1 year ago #

    You can therefore use/modify/remove everything apart from what ever it states.

  6. jlseagull
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    So does this mean I can make a child theme from it and leave the background? All I will do mainly is make a new header with my company logo and remove woothemes info from the bottom.

    Thanks for your help by the way!

  7. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 1 year ago #

    You need to ask WooThemes - if their license says they are copyrighted, that's not GPL.

  8. jlseagull
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hmm well it seems you can only contact them if you are a paying customer.

    So is it possible that the GNU license does not extend to the background images of a theme?

  9. Andrew
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 1 year ago #

    You can contact them regardless, using their COMPLETE A FORM option http://www.woothemes.com/contact-us/

  10. jlseagull
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Ha yeh I just did that, not exactly a sales question but there you go

  11. leejosepho
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    You are not allowed to redistribute these files in any way.

    But obviously I am not planning to redistribute...

    My site is greatly dependent upon copyrighted material, and copyrighted material simply needs to be properly credited as long as you are not redistributing.

  12. jlseagull
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hmm so perhaps I could just put "based on a theme by woothemes" in the stylesheet notation?

  13. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Also, just to be clear here, no one here is a lawyer (at least not that I know of the usual people who help out), so we really cannot presume to give real legal advice. Even if we told you something in perfectly good faith, we could be completely wrong :).

  14. jlseagull
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Yeh that's cool, I really posted because I thought it must be a common issue that comes up and there might be a clear answer.

    Guess not!

    I'll see what WooThemes say.

  15. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Yes, it is a fairly common question, but we generally avoid giving legal advice for the obvious reasons :). Copyright law is extremely complicated and also depends on where the copyright is held (i.e. nation), so to be safe, just ask. Often, copyright holders are willing or happy to share, but it's much better to do it the right way.

  16. jlseagull
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Makes sense.

    Thanks everyone for your input.

    If Woothemes reply I'll let you know on here what they said.

  17. leejosepho
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hmm so perhaps I could just put "based on a theme by woothemes" in the stylesheet notation?

    If I am understanding correctly, the theme is free under the GPL license or whatever, but is yet dependent upon a custom platform and some copyrighted material (graphics). WPyogi is correct that none of us are lawyers, but it is easy to understand this matter: Give credit where credit is due Photoshop or whoever.

  18. jlseagull
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hmm well I've asked Woothemes directly now so I guess I have to do whatever they say lol.

    Fingers crossed they won't mind.

  19. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @lee - giving credit is not necessarily or always complying with copyright law - please don't give any kind of legal advice here.

  20. leejosepho
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    You can be sure I will not! I just share my own knowledge or experience and let others decide what to do or not do with it.

  21. jlseagull
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Thought you guys might like to know that Magnus from WooThemes wrote back to me and said:

    "Yes that is perfectly OK.

    Our themes are licensed under GPL license, so you are free to use our themes how you please."

    Got to say I was quite impressed with such a clear and friendly response. It certainly inspired me to use WooThemes' paid services later when I'm setting up my E-commerce store.

    Thanks to you guys for your input.

  22. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Excellent and thanks for letting people know!

  23. leejosepho
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Knowing very little about all the legalities, I still suspected they would say that even if only as a matter of good PR.

    Kudos to you for asking them, and congrats.

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