I cannot locate this information in the knowledge base at this time, but I’ve alerted Envato Support of this matter and this will hopefully be resolved soon. However, I can tell you that this policy is not new and that authors are not permitted to check purchase codes in order to activate / grant access to a purchased item. As stated earlier though, verification can be used in external support forums.
“The item, and all advertised sub-modules and features, needs to be functional right out of the box without user intervention.”
This refers to activating the product with a key, etc. which is not permitted. Yes, some user setup / configuration will be required – but it cannot include verifying the purchase. This is something we check for here and on ThemeForest.
Another staff member will be along shortly to address locating this information in the knowledge base for you.
Hey guys I feel your pain and can hopefully offer a little help regarding these issues.
Speaking as an Author:
Protecting your digital assets is a big concern for everyone. There is no way to guarantee your code doesn’t end up elsewhere. If there was a way, “big companies” would have found it by now. Whether software is sold here, independently or elsewhere – the odds of dealing with such situations should be known. Everyone should also be aware that there isn’t a golden answer to insuring your code isn’t stolen, cracked, copied, distributed etc.
Unfortunately, this is an aspect of selling digital assets, anywhere. However… this does not mean you should not combat the situation in full force.
You should actively seek out cases and deal with them appropriately using DMCA notices. Targeting hosting companies will usually have faster results – and may sometimes result in entire websites being downed. It is an ongoing battle to protect your assets, but the whole idea is to take them down as fast as they go up – minimizing availability of your assets.
In some cases this takes a LOT of notices – which means a LOT of time. I’ve opted to pay a 3rd party company to do just this. Within a month I saw a noticeable increase in sales across the board. Again, there are periods of time that some are available, but the wheels are already in motion for a takedown.
Placing a ton of barriers on your code is not the answer. I’ve read a lot of forum threads regarding this topic over the years, and while some very creative ideas have popped up – I’ve yet to see one that covers all bases. Encryption, ofuscation, verification checks, etc – should probably all just be considered speed-bumps on the road to getting at your source…. and speed-bumps to maintaining quality code.
Speaking as a Reviewer:
The Envato Markets are based around community – and a place for everyone to learn, including buyers. Some buyers may be purchasing your item to see the source – which is exactly why all source files are required to be in readable format.
The item, and all advertised sub-modules and features, needs to be functional right out of the box without user intervention. Items aren’t permitted to ask the user for a purchase key or license code to unlock the item or part of it. License keys are still allowed to create buyer specific support systems and forums.
Hopefully this info helps.
[not as staff]
Everyone currently has their own definition of support that they’ve been working with for years now, which may make coming to a single, solid definition difficult.
Like others have already said: opting out of support means fewer sales. Plus, we all want people to use the products we create – and want to help them use these products.
It really comes down to the few bad buyer experiences that screws everything up for all buyers. Perhaps the best approach would be allow authors to personally address these experiences.
Envato can lay a “foundation definition” of Support at the market level – which all authors would need to respect. However, authors could then append their own support conditions to this foundation (perhaps in the support tab or other designated area).
A lot of authors upload new releases of their existing items as new items – however the newer version must be a significant update to the existing version. If this applies to you then you’re technically dealing with a different item which is not subject to exclusivity agreement.
However, as soon as that next version is uploaded to any Envato site under an exclusive account, you cannot give it away for free. Basically, on a technicality the updated item is not the same as the one you’re selling here, and whenever you’re finished beta testing, running a contest/promo, or whatever – then you can decide the fate of that new item – including offering it as a free update to your existing item