Support » Everything else WordPress » Is removing the WP Theme footer legal?

  • I am thinking of building a commercial website based on a WordPress and free Theme, available at I would like to remove the footer, or replace it with something else that talks about the company – by editing theme’s .php file(s). Is it legal to do it, or do I have to leave the footer intact? I read in this forum, that as long as the theme allows edition, I am good to go. Does it mean that WordPress doesn’t require their footer on the bottom?

    Thanks for help!

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • You can delete the WordPress stuff at the bottom if you like… it is in no way illegal to do so.

    You can do whatever you want to a theme so long as it’s being used by your WP installation. Once it’s plugged into WordPress it now falls under the same GPL licensing restrictions. Most theme authors aren’t even aware of this, but that doesn’t make it not so, and for those that do know but still encrypt there footers with a tagged message saying that the theme is protected under copyright protection, are just trying to protect their investment with a link so that they can get paid…..however, you can decode it, reverse engineer it, alter it, delete it or do anything you would like to the footer….you could even leave the footer intact, with linkage back to the author 😉

    You can read some words from the WP man himself about the legality of changing the footer, or anything in the theme for that matter, he really nails it

    Or if you’re really worried, freshen up on the actual licensing topic at hand
    Hope this helps!

    As others have said, it’s not illegal to remove these links.

    But legalities aside, I personally either leave them intact, or give a donation if I really must remove the link. I’ve never developed a WordPress theme or Plugin from scratch before, and it’s the least I can do to show my appreciation for the author’s hardwork.

    Thank you guys for your help, I greatly appreciate it!

    @gappiah, I entirely agree with donating money to the authors, I just wanted to make sure that it is legal to remove the footers if that is my customer’s requirement.

    One more question, perhaps outside of the topic, but you maybe familiar with it – can I replace WP footer with “© Copyright <company_name> 2009”?

    Thank you!

    Yes. Copyright statements like this generally refer to the content rather than the technology used to generate the code that displays it.

    I can see people giving props to the authors by keeping their links intact ( I personally don’t, but that’s just because my customers don’t want them there ) so long as the author didn’t go out of his/her way to try an deceive them into keeping his/her links on the theme by fraudulently claiming it’s protected under the Creative Common License or any other restricting license, which it’s not, and that the removal of the links is STRICTLY PROHIBITED, which is BS, and which in all actuality is an illegal claim by the author whether they know it or not, but they do it anyway.

    Everyone has to keep in mind that these themes are being created as a GPL sidekick of WordPress. The license was created SPECIFICALLY for the SOLE PURPOSE of protecting the Open Source Tradition.

    Who’s really walking the fine line of immoral practices? The ones who follow the rules by using WordPress Themes, (which most definitely fall under WordPress’s GPL license as I’ve yet to see one that works as a standalone and I just finished editing over 1000 of them) for exactly what they are created for, no matter the authors intention……
    the OH SO MANY individuals that are falsely claiming Creative Common License protection, wrongly and deceivingly stripping away the rights of all us “honest” users that are abiding by the law?

    And if authors really wanna gripe about people hacking their themes and removing their unwanted advertising links then there’s a very simple solution……go create themes for a non-GPL platform where the CCL will actually be valid and they won’t be knowingly or unknowingly committing a white collar crime.

    Sorry, but I happen to believe in our rights and feel that someone needs to speak out against those that would take them away from us.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Courtney Bostdorff

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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