Support » Themes and Templates » What are the legal issues of using a theme's images?

  • Resolved jlseagull


    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.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
  • Moderator Andrew Nevins


    Which license is that theme released under?

    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 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.

    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.

    Moderator Andrew Nevins


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

    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!

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

    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?

    Moderator Andrew Nevins


    You can contact them regardless, using their COMPLETE A FORM option

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

    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.

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

    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 :).

    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.

    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.

    Makes sense.

    Thanks everyone for your input.

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

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
  • The topic ‘What are the legal issues of using a theme's images?’ is closed to new replies.