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mlando says

I have noticed a buyer who adding his design firm/name to the Wordpress Style Sheet as “theme by me, modified by Them” . Then added a copywrite line that says “WebSite Design by: their name” in the footer. This really doesn’t feel right by me as the mods are very slight and really just changing some style. They didn’t design the website just altered a theme and the styling.

Bad enough people buy themes, set them up and call themselves Wed Designers but to then take credit for changing some of the window dressing and calling it their design, just feels awkward IMO … is that wrong?

I believe it is against the license agreement. Isn’t it? Can some of authors please weigh in on this…

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EireStudio says

I have seen a few buyers do this, doesn’t bother me in the slightest though.

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enstyled says

It’s not right, but there’s not much you can do about it. It’s even more sad, when an agency buys an item and resell it as “their design”, not to mention that they resell a regular licensed template :nerdy:

Of course if you have problem with the situation, you can send a mail, telling the buyer what’s wrong and try to settle on the issue.

Anyway, if someone cares who really is the author of the design, he will find your portfolio and see that it’s you.

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EugeneO says

This was probably the biggest surprise for me when I started selling themes here. I really didn’t like that someone who called themselves a web designer / agency would buy my theme and then pass it off as their work. They should be giving credit where it’s due.

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jeffeatworld says

I’m not fussed what they do to it if I’m honest, what irks me more is companies or agencies palming off a template purchased here as either their own work or to a client who’s paid their normal fees.

As a designer, if anyone comes to me with a low budget my honest advice is to come here – it solves alot of their needs.

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MDNW says

I’ve had this happen a lot – doesn’t really bug me personally since I’m not in direct competition for their client’s business and, frankly, anyone who has a desperate need to use a template as one of their defining portfolio pieces probably doesn’t have a competitive portfolio to begin with.

That said, I publish my own templates to empower designers – so if part of that means making them look like a rock star in front of their own group of clients, then more power to em’! The good news is that if they want to duplicate the same quality of work, they’ll have to come back to you for another product ;)

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nathrat says

If you think about it though, the fact that these template sites exist kind of kill business for web designers. Many potential clients know places like themeforest exist, so when they see a template for $32 or whatever, they wonder why they should even bother paying a designer in the first place.

The fact of the matter is, clients are cheap nowadays, and they want to believe that you spent 900 hours on their site that they paid $500 for. Many clients don’t see web designers as real professionals (but rather dumb kids) and constantly try to take advantage of them.

I have a suspicion that if the buyer had to disclose that it was a template to clients and give credit back to the original author, sales would plummet. It’s a hassle haggling with clients, because all of a sudden they think web design is worth $32. Alot of clients are stupid, never forget that. So no matter how you explain it, they’re not going to get it.

I understand not getting credit for your design is frustrating, but maybe that’s the price that has to be paid in order to kill their profession.

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mlando says
I’ve had this happen a lot – doesn’t really bug me personally since I’m not in direct competition for their client’s business and, frankly, anyone who has a desperate need to use a template as one of their defining portfolio pieces probably doesn’t have a competitive portfolio to begin with. That said, I publish my own templates to empower designers – so if part of that means making them look like a rock star in front of their own group of clients, then more power to em’! The good news is that if they want to duplicate the same quality of work, they’ll have to come back to you for another product ;)

I don’t have any problem at all with people using template as solutions for their clients. That is what they are available for. A great head start or complete solution. But I just am not crazy about when/why a designer would buy a theme add their clients logo and then put the “© Designed By Their Company”.

Just because you are singing someone else’s song doesn’t mean you wrote the song… no matter if you change the tune a little or a lot. It is just fundamentally wrong regardless if it effects you as a template author or not. It is Just not right for anyone in the design field to accept it when people claim someone elses’ work as their own. As Designers I would think they should know better. It lowers the standard of professionalism as a whole in our field and will effect you somehow… maybe not directly right now but by loosely guarding copyright and intellectual property, it will slowly chip away at the value of our work as a whole. These are things that designers should take a hard stance on. This is our livelihood and should not be brushed off lightly. Our Ideas and implementation are what people are buying and what we are essentially selling. We should NOT sell ourselves short by relinquishing this basic courtesy of proper credit for our hard work.

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contempoinc says
The good news is that if they want to duplicate the same quality of work, they’ll have to come back to you for another product

werd :)

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MDNW says

@nathrat

If you think about it though, the fact that these template sites exist kind of kill business for web designers. Many potential clients know places like themeforest exist, so when they see a template for $32 or whatever, they wonder why they should even bother paying a designer in the first place.

...

I understand not getting credit for your design is frustrating, but maybe that’s the price that has to be paid in order to kill their profession.

I understand where your thought process is coming from nathrat, but allow me a respectful counterpoint:

What we’re doing here doesn’t kill the profession at all, it empowers designers to save time and money on dev costs and it’s part of the natural progression of our industry (look at any other industry in history and you’ll see the same trends towards the commoditization of items that were previous big-ticket services). It’s kinda surprising that it took this long for our quickly moving industry to hit this stage.

Case in point: Film developers were probably just as pissed when the first serious digital camera came out, but Flickr is bigger than ever and the photography field as a whole has benefited; although I’m sure there’s still some curmudgeonly Luddites out there that gripe about it on stone tablets.

Frankly, (and with all due respect) if you can’t find a way to convince your client (who let’s assume knows that you are starting with a template) that it’s going to cost them $X,XXX to customize, perhaps you couldn’t have made the sale in the first place ;) Some of my biggest clients over the past 18 months have actually started with them asking for customization requests to a template, and showing 4 or 5 templates as optional designs has become a fixture in the initial design phase of most projects. There’s honestly no need to hide the fact that we’re using templates – it’s not dirty or shameful or unoriginal if you’re doing it right. It’s only when the client finds out late in the game that you’re using someone else’s template that it becomes awkward and dishonest. Educating clients has always been a key to the sales process, this is just another in a long series of updates to the sales pitch. The alternative is an industry-wide knownledge blackout where web designers collectively try to convince their clients that they create web sites with magic wands and fairy dust.

Personally, I use templates (as do most of my colleagues and many studios that I work with) as a major selling point. Since we started using templates our rates have gone up, as have the number of gigs that we can take on per month. Even if your average price per project goes down, your volume should be skyrocketing at this point. Honestly, all that this recent trend has done is remove the headache part of web design and streamlined our ability to meet the ever growing demands of clients.

I hear you on the “fear of the entire industry collapsing” notion, but web design has always been an industry where you keep up or get out – every month there’s something new and hot that you’ve gotta adapt to – and most designers would be liars if they claimed that they wrote every line of code (including JS, jQuery, PHP , the entire Wordpress backend, etc.) for each project they have ever worked on. Web designers recycle each others work and innovate beyond it – it’s part of what makes this such an awesome and invigorating job in the first place. Having readily available creative tools don’t diminish what we do, it frees us up to kick even more butt than we were previously kicking.

Don’t fear the templates, use them to your own advantage – the industry is never going to be the same as it was a year ago – whether it be 2000, 2010 or 2020, which is the reason most of us chose this as a profession in the first place.

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