Hi again, there’s a lot of interesting and thought-provoking discussion going on here, which is awesome, but there are also a lot of assumptions being made, as a few of you have pointed out. I hope everyone here can understand our decision not to disclose purchase details – we are committed to a level confidentiality with buyers. However, as we’ve said before, Envato negotiates all bulk purchases and ensures guidelines are met (e.g., ensuring the buyer is a genuine third party, is the purchaser of the licenses and has purchased a copy for each end user). And while we strongly believe in supporting and upholding a fair and level playing field, we also want to accommodate our buyers’ needs which includes different factors that impact when and how purchases are made. Self-purchasing continues to be against our terms of service. The purchases of X Theme have been negotiated by Envato, and are legitimately purchased by a third party based on the specific needs and resources of that third party.
I’m going to quickly jump in to clarify a couple of license terms and FAQs that seem to be causing some confusion here.
First up, I’d like to make a distinction between re-distribution and giveaways.
The first is covered by section 8 of the Regular License:
You can’t re-distribute the Item as stock, in a tool or template, or with source files. You can’t do this with an Item either on its own or bundled with other items, and even if you modify the Item. You can’t re-distribute or make available the Item as-is or with superficial modifications. These things are not allowed even if the re-distribution is for Free.
This license term is to prevent people from buying an item and redistributing it / reselling it as-is or even slightly modified as their own item / product. For example, licensing music tracks and reselling them as a music CD, adding a feature to a theme and re-distributing that as your own item or licensing a stock photo and including it as part of your own stock template. These would be considered re-distributions and are prohibited.
The second — giveaways — is covered by a guideline that we created last year which allows external blogs and websites to purchase items for giveaways. It’s different to re-distribution because the buyer is not re-distributing the item / license as their own product, but instead giving it away as it would be purchased on Envato Market. The giveaway here is in effect a transfer of the item license, not a re-distribution of the item. It’s also worth mentioning here that we check all bulk purchases to ensure they meet our guidelines (e.g., to ensure the buyer is a genuine third party, is the purchaser of the licenses and has purchased a copy for each end user).
To make the distinction between the two clearer, we’ll be making some changes to the the “Is my license transferable?” FAQ, particularly in relation to the newer guideline for giveaways. We’ll also be adding a couple of sentences to the giveaway guideline to make it clear that the organiser of the giveaway is transferring (i.e., not re-distributing) the license to the giveaway recipient. These updates should be live in the next couple of days — I’ll post here when they’re done.
I hope this clears things up, but please let me know if you have any other questions.
I’m super excited to introduce the second hack week cab off the rank: two brand new tabs on the profile page where you can view complete lists of authors you’re following as well as your own followers.
Check out the Releases blog post for details and let us know what you think.
We hope you love it!
Congratulations THEMECO! This is a fantastic achievement and it’s great to see everyone on here showing their support Although we can’t provide details, we’re excited to confirm there was a bulk purchase last week of X Theme. We often help facilitate bulk purchases between buyers and authors, and field these requests from both authors and buyers… so, look out for more to come! Also, anyone can take advantage of this service — please contact us at email@example.com
Hi guys, sorry for the slowness on the update front!
As you’ve already put together, Akshay (who took over from Dan Michael as Elite Program Manager) finished up with Envato a few weeks ago.
We’ve just re-advertised the position (see link in Palzme’s post above) and if you know someone amazing, please encourage them to drop their hat in the ring. It’s a super important role and we want to make sure we find the very best person for the job.
While we’re recruiting, the whole community team (me, Scott, Travis and Calin) along with Curt from our help team (who also happens to be one of our awesome Elites) are pitching in to make sure reward fulfilment and support continues as per normal
Thanks for your patience and understanding and free to get in touch with us directly if you have any questions about any of this.
Hi everyone, hope you all had a good weekend A couple of new questions came in since my last round up and I’ve pasted these along with answers below. I’m going to un-sticky the thread today but I’ll loop back tomorrow one last time to check for any new questions. After that, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Is there any update on how past VAT issues will be handled? (By ‘past’ I mean transactions before January 1st 2015).
Hi randomnoise, we don’t have any updates since our last announcement, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do. We expect this to take some time as dealing with an authority is generally not a fast process unfortunately. As Collis explained previously, we are working to resolve historic issues with the relevant EU Member States, we aren’t seeking recourse from authors, and we will work to support authors in the event they are audited or need documentation about the past. Hope this helps!
@randomnoise, you raise a very important issue and I’ve posted on the topic of who is the actual seller/supplier a few pages back, but my post was ignored so far. I’ll post my message again:
I’ve seen it mentioned several times that this is a 2015 change in the EU law, which I don’t think is quite correct. The actual 2015 change in the EU law refers to the place of supply: whether the supplier’s location is considered to be the place of supply or the buyer’s location is considered to be the place of supply. Before 2015, the supplier’s place was considered to be the place of supply, so VAT had to be charged at the rate of the country where the supplier is registered, but, as of 2015, the buyer’s place is considered to be the place of supply, so VAT has to be charged at the rate of the country where the buyer resides.
Who is considered to be the actual supplier is not changed by the new law, there are only some new clarifications. Article 28 from Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 states this: “Where a taxable person acting in his own name but on behalf of another person takes part in a supply of services, he shall be deemed to have received and supplied those services himself.” So, from my understanding, even according to the old law, Envato is considered the supplier. In the new law, there are some additions that elaborate on Article 28 from the old law:
“For the application of Article 28 of Directive 2006/112/EC, where electronically supplied services are supplied through a telecommunications network, an interface or a portal such as a marketplace for applications, a taxable person taking part in that supply shall be presumed to be acting in his own name but on behalf of the provider of those services unless that provider is explicitly indicated as the supplier by that taxable person and that is reflected in the contractual arrangements between the parties. In order to regard the provider of electronically supplied services as being explicitly indicated as the supplier of those services by the taxable person, the following conditions shall be met:
(a) the invoice issued or made available by each taxable person taking part in the supply of the electronically supplied services must identify such services and the supplier thereof;
(b) the bill or receipt issued or made available to the customer must identify the electronically supplied services and the supplier thereof.
For the purposes of this paragraph, a taxable person who, with regard to a supply of electronically supplied services, authorises the charge to the customer or the delivery of the services, or sets the general terms and conditions of the supply, shall not be permitted to explicitly indicate another person as the supplier of those services.“
The text can be found here, in Article 1 > Article 9a.The current invoices don’t follow the law, in my opinion, because they still indicate (in a very confusing way) that the author is the seller/supplier, which the law explicitly prohibits in the passage I posted above.
Hi bqworks, I think you’re mainly asking two questions – one about the changes to the law, and the other about the invoice structure.
With respect to the changes introduced this year, yes it’s probably a bit more complex and nuanced than a forum thread is going to capture. There are a number of changes (or clarifications), some of which impact non-EU sellers, some for EU sellers, some for platforms, mostly focusing on place of supply and involvement in the supply. We’ve used some fairly broad language in some of our forum posts for simplicity.
In terms of the invoice language, Envato is marked as supplier for EU VAT purposes and EU VAT is being collected and remitted by Envato.
Hi guys, thanks for the comments overnight. I’ve picked out a couple of new questions and added answers below and I’ll be back again tomorrow to do the same. Thanks again!
Not to derail the topic at hand, but there has been a question I’ve been wondering about as it relates to VAT that perhaps you all can shed some light on. How can the EU force a non-EU company to charge a tax to EU members? On what authority can they force a company outside of their jurisdiction to collect and remit tax? If this has been addressed somewhere else and you know the link, that would be great…I understand there are other topics being addressed here and don’t want to hijack the thread
It’s a great question. A very broad answer is that when you are trading with people in a particular jurisdiction, regulatory/tax authorities in that jurisdiction will seek to regulate/tax the transaction. To push an obligation outside a jurisdiction has some practical implications in regard to enforcement (i.e. it’s harder to do!) But that doesn’t mean the obligation hasn’t existed, and authorities can and sometimes do seek to exert themselves through inter-country cooperation agreements and other means.
At the end of the day for a global marketplace like Envato Market with both authors and buyers around the world, it’s important for us to be respectful of different regions and their laws, both from a simple legality point of view, but also because of our company values.
Could you please email email@example.com with documents you typically use to do this when interacting online? I know the team would find that really helpful to have real user feedback here!
Thank you for your reply. The above link is relevant to the UK law regarding this, here is an excerpt that states typical documents used>If a customer is unable to supply a VRN but claims they are ‘in business’ but not VAT registered because, for example, they are below their member state’s VAT registration threshold, you can accept other evidence of your customer’s business status eg, a link to the customer’s business website or other commercial documents.As requested, documents I have personally used in the past to prove my business status without a VAT number include:
It’s your decision whether to accept alternative evidence that the customer is ‘in business’ and your customer can’t require you to treat a supply as business to business if they haven’t provided a valid VRN.
If you accept that your customer is in business, the supply doesn’t come within the scope of these business to consumer arrangements. With a cross-border business to business supply the customer will be responsible for accounting for any VAT due to the tax authorities in their member state.
- Bank account statement in my own name
- Tax return first page
- Utility Bill
- Business Letter Headed Paper
- Business Card
Please note that the UK government seems happy enough for anyone with a website to be considered a business. Even my local Costco is stricterIt is good to know you are considering alternative proof as I would rather keep purchasing from Envato. I am delighted with the service apart from this situation.
Thanks MigC! I’ll pass this along to our finance team. If anyone else here is in the same boat as MigC but has used different documents to those listed above, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again