Support » Themes and Templates » When is a “new” theme new?

  • I’m re-posting this from an un-related thread:

    How much does one have to modify an existing theme before it becomes a “new version” of that theme, or just a tweaked existing version? For instance, my theme I’m using now started off as Blix but I’ve slowly transmogrified it into a distinctly seperate beast… so it’s definitely Blix no more (take a look to see).

    But there are some who change a couple colors, font sizes, and the header image and call it a “new” theme. Is this taboo?

    What say ye? 🙂

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • You might find this thread interesting:

    V, as always you seem to know all. 🙂 I wasn’t even blogging when that thread was going so it’s great you pointed it out. Yeah, it was good to read that some of this discussion has been going on already.

    It just really came upon my mind when I saw some “new” themes recently that were more like the description in the thread of what is NOT a new theme… (boy, that was worded awkwardly)… for instance, merely changing fonts, colors, widths, and banner image really shouldn’t be a new theme… you’d even have to really stretch it to put your own name on it in front of the original author.

    But if you moved the sidebar to the other side… added some original theme images… added a menu effect… wrote a slick archives or links template… then we’re getting into the realm of a “new” theme based off of an old one.

    And all of that is pretty much what was said in that previous thread…. along with some ideas for what they called “flavors”. Interesting.

    I would argue that very rarely, especially in this “global village” of ours, is any idea or design truly, uninspired originality. That being said, I’m not advocating that you cite the inventor of the colour red if you use it, but I think in the spirit of community based software and just in the interests of staving off some of these ludicrous notions of intellectual property and what-not, all of us who are displeased with seeing, say the boy scout having to pay a license fee to sing “happy birthday”, should give credit where credit is due! Even if it is a completely, unrecognizable, the original author wouldn’t even know it was his kind of re-design, I think offering a little credit is the “communal” thing to do, even something as discrete as a comment in the code somewhere.

    I think copyrights and patents and what not are a good thing when used properly, as is open-source or communal ‘property’, in the non-open-source world, money is the citation per say, in non-commerce areas, its the acknowledgement, the idea that ‘someone shared this with me and now I’m sharing their idea, with my own touches, with you’.

    I however would be very pleased if someone where to assert a patent over snow, I’ve just been out shovelling and it’s still snowing and there is so much already!! If this was especially off-topic or sounds a little too socialistic-utopian, even for me, just blame it on exhaustion, from shovelling the snow…lots of snow! 🙂


    Yep. See, that’s a really black mark against the current “search” (or lack thereof)….

    I rather like what I’ve seen a bit lately: the use of the original name combined with an “additive” to indicate that something(s) have changed. That gives credit where credit is due, and yet points out that the author of the changed theme has done tweaks as well. For instance, “Monkey-King Blix” etc.

    Now, if you’re talking Phu’s themes ( for instance), that’s “new” – as in he started from scratch….

    I like the “flavors” idea too.

    Michael, sweetie, feel perfectly free to send the snow here. The 10k mountain behind my house has only 16 inches of snow at summit…. it will NOT BE A NICE FIRE SEASON in a couple of months….

    So just shoo it on down here, okay?

    ugh. 92 degrees today in oklahoma.

    as far as this goes, I’m debating right now. I started off with emire from ifelse and did some fairly heavy modification. I’d say 30%, so I definitely don’t deserve to have my name in front of the author’s, but at the same time it’s not at all the original design

    So call it emiresiny…. and tagline it “based on emire by Phu Ly”….

    Phu does great work… no doubt about it.

    If I were to take existing themes and do the usual 15% changes to the CSS (with maybe a new banner) I would have an absolute field day! I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’d rather take a gorgeous open source non-WP template and port it over… because then I’m giving the community something entirely new that they didn’t have before.

    I dunno… I may try tweaking some existing themes and seeing what you guys think.

    Well, just don’t go for andreas viklund stuff, okay?

    As soon as we dig ourselves out, you’re going to have a whole pile of Canadian snow!!!

    Thank you – I look forward to it. SOONEST!

    send me some as well.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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