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VF says

What I personally don’t like is to be treated as an idiot. The staff continue to say everyone is treated equally and rules and stuff, but then they do some exceptions while at the same time they keep saying everyone is equal.

I respect the rules but don’t try to fool me by saying the rules apply to everyone. This new author “woothemes” looks like is more important than exclusive authors and also elite authors. Is really a big slap in the face of your loyal authors that got the marketplace to this point.

Empty words are one way of fixing issues, sadly. It works.

My biggest concern from yesterday is, can everyone expect a straightforward item listings like the past or there going to be hidden/special incentives for some vendors in the search and sorting systems? Atleast the “All files” section managed to convey the timeline adjustments that happened recently. It was’t happen in a negative way though – but still it is a selective manipulation.

Can we trust the item search results?

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jremick Envato team says

So we are aware that some things slipped through, and we are re-reviewing the themes now.
isn’t the rule to soft reject/remove items from marketplace till they get pass the review process again?

This is actually incorrect. Disabling items is decided on a case by case basis depending on the seriousness of the issues and where/how the issues were identified (eg. via Review team or external source).

Saying you are aware that ’’some things slipped through’’ is really dodging the issue and sugar coating a rather serious slap in the face to all creators on TF. It is pretty obvious the themes were barely reviewed if at all. I have seen some great themes rejected for the tiniest detail yet it seems the themes in question were approved with extremely obvious flaws that would get anyone else instantly rejected. I think its great you guys are going to review the themes ‘again’ but is it so hard to just admit you put your faith in Woothemes and trusted their reputation and it backfired. It is really no big deal, mistakes happen.

We’re really not dodging or sugar coating the situation. The themes were to be reviewed against all our normal standards. This was what we (the Review team) had been directed to do, so Collis and the rest of the team really are telling it like it is.

To be more direct about it, I, as the Review Manager, have some explaining to do to the team as to why this happened and improve the system / process to prevent it from happening again. While we do try our best and mistakes do happen, this was unacceptable and my responsibility to own and correct.

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subwaymatch says

I have a hypothetical question which I would like to be answered by someone on the staff.

I got that the 100% GPL License & Exclusivity aren’t tied together already yesterday. Now the hypothetical part… If I were to release a GPL WordPress Theme from this account and started a company with my good friend. Now my friend wants to use the theme I am selling here for a client. He/She buys the theme and is also now offering this theme for sale on our company’s website.

A simple question – would this break the GPL & Exclusivty Terms or not and if it breaks them, then please can you tell me how ?

Thank you,
Legally, it doesn’t. Your company is another entity, while you(on ThemeForest) are a normal person. Even if you’re behind that company, a company != a person.
Not always, if you’re a freelancer working under company name then you and the company are the same.

How about partners?
Suppose two developers (say John & Kate) team up.
John purchases a GPL-licensed item from Kate in Themeforest and vice versa.
John sells Kate’s item and Kate sells John’s item in another market.
They are not stealing each other’s item, but rather are strategically teaming up to avoid the exclusivity issue.

Of course this would be an extreme case. But I think it’s a good example that backs up @FinalDestiny’s (and possible many others’) assertion that 100% GPL should imply non-exclusivity. The concepts of exclusivity and 100% GPL may differ, but the consequences aren’t independent from one another.

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aleluja says

So, basically, you are saying that everyone is equal but some are more equal then the others.

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CodingJack says

I remember Lance once saying, “we don’t sell products, we sell licenses for products”. So this is why the “regular license” and “extended license” are basically what you’re buying when you click the purchase button. But this is illogical for GPL items, because how can you “sell” a GPL license?

So I think the purchase area for GPL items needs to be examined. Because Envato isn’t selling licenses to these items anymore. Instead, they’re simply selling the rights to download the source files. So maybe for GPL items, you just get rid of the license talk altogether and instead just have a price and a purchase button.

Unfortunate fact is, educating buyers about GPL creates a competitive imbalance. So why not just ask GPL authors to add a license.txt file to their download zip? Honestly I don’t really see why GPL needs to be mentioned at all on item pages. Just take a look at some other popular shops—they don’t mention GPL on their item pages and they seem to be doing just fine.

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Dream-Theme says
So, basically, you are saying that everyone is equal but some are more equal then the others.

I live in Ukraine. Ukraine is considered as country with one of the most corrupted governments. Ironically, there is even a phrase “equals are not equal” on the back of highest-value banknote (500 grivnas) of our national currency.

I was topic starter of this thread: http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/reject-due-to-usage-of-timthumb/86464?page=1

Well, after winning streak of WooThemes ThemeForest feels very much like home.


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pixelentity says

We had the review manager apologies and him taking full responsibility for the “woo theme approval” case. Whether there was pressure or not from the upper floors on the review team itself, it was made clear that nobody is above the rules and anomalies will be fixed.

I think we should accept that and move on for now. For sure, all those themes will get a lot of attention from other authors in the following days.

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collis Envato team says

Hey guys!

@Pixelbuffet – great question, I need to look into what our current policy is on plugin bundling. Off the cuff, it doesn’t make sense for authors to just start bundling more and more plugins. There’s already plenty of free ones aside from whether or not CC plugins are GPL, so I assume we don’t allow bundling, or at least advertising of bundled plugins like its a service. But will ask the team for confirmation.

Also great idea about DesignCrumbs being the featured author for EnvatoMail, a nice closing of the loop so to speak!

@klasikweb – I totally understand where you’re coming from. I look at WooThemes as being the top of a certain group of theme developers and designers who I think will be a valuable addition to the community here at TF. But I take your points!

@sanisoft – I must admit not to being a lawyer, but I’m fairly certain that the GPL allows reselling as well as redistribution. If you do decide to use the full GPL license, it’s really worth reading all about it and what it means.

@ChapterThemes – I think one major reason would be if its in line with your philosophy about the world and open source. WordPress is all GPL, and using a 100% GPL license is arguably more in line with WordPress’ core principles. The ThemeForest regular license is 100% legally compliant however, so its completely up to you what path you take.

@VF – Totally agree, we didn’t do a good job with the reviewing, and I’m not sure why to be honest. But it’s something we’re going to get to the bottom of, and improve. Not just because of this current situation, but also because its important that our reviewing is consistent across the board – regardless of the name of the author!

@mad_dog – I totally agree. I’m not sure how it happened, because it really shouldn’t have. As I mentioned Jarel is investigating and starting a rereview. I think the short answer is, we made some mistakes.

@Anps – Good question, I haven’t looked through the themes myself, but am going to spend some more time with the review team to better understand and make sure we address anything which isn’t in line with our regular standards.

@FinalDestiny – thanks for the comments, I think you make some fair and justified points. Definitely I was (and still am) excited about WooThemes joining, but I didn’t want that to come across like it was at the expense of our own community. And I think we could have done a better job of an even handed promotion.

@Bitfade – I think with GPL theme copycats, if it was on a major marketplace we’d look to speak to the operators of the marketplace and make the case that its a bit unsavoury – even if it is legal. However if its just a random site onselling GPL themes, I think any author who chooses that license needs to understand they are accepting that this is a completely legal thing to do.

@Robvenom – Those are probably fair assumptions, I just don’t want to say categorically that was where the mistake was, until I’m sure and we’ve spoken to the review team and looked at the situation properly. It’s not that I’m trying to avoid saying we made a mistake – I’m very proud that as a company we have a history of owning up to mistakes – I just want to make sure I’ve got my facts right before I assign any blame internally on a public forum. Hope that makes sense!

@doru – We don’t mean to treat anyone like an idiot. I’m really sorry if you feel that way. We do our best to have a fair setup. It’s more complicated than everyone is treated the same though. Whenever we get criticism about something being unfair though, we do treat it seriously.

@VF – You asked about hidden/special incentives for some vendors in search and sorting systems. We’ve got a fairly straightforward listing which doesn’t have much in the way of weightings. I agree placing items in so they are spread a bit more unevenly could be viewed as a sort of manipulation, but as you say its one intended to make things better for other authors. We used to upload in blocks and it was a real source of frustration to community members who felt like one author was taking up all the listings. I guess its always a fine balance. I will speak to the team to ensure we are as transparent as possible about how we weight search results. We’ve got some major search projects this year, so it’s a good idea to make sure everyone is on the same page on this important topic – thanks for raising it.

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omarabid says

Innocent question: What’s the point of WooThemes joining the board? They are not bringing traffic to the site (instead, they are getting traffic). They are not giving special prices and from what it looks, you don’t get the help desk support that they provide (since you didn’t buy from their site), their items doesn’t look like they are off to a good start (maybe people are buying from their main site) and it’s quite expected that this idea is going to cause a controversy.

Business deals are great, but I can hardly see any gains in this one.

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kriskorn says

The one post(mine) that specifically asked for a staff reply didn’t get it… Please could a staff member give an answer to this post – http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/100-gpl-questions-answered/93118?page=3#764162

Thank you,

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