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RoPadel says

I have inherited a client that is using a theme from Themeforest. The original developer of the site is unavailable to answer my question and I have asked it of both the theme developer and Envato support, but have been unable to get a response from either. I am new to Themeforest myself.

My client has no information about the licensing for the theme. Can anyone tell me what sort of information a developer would normally supply to a client about a theme purchased on their behalf? If they have not been given anything, do I have to work on the basis that without proof, the theme is now not licensed for use on the website?

Thanks for any light anyone can throw on this. I have searched the forums and read some of the licensing information available, but have not been able to find anything that will answer this very specific question.

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UBLThemes says

With out a purchase code I doubt the developer will support you.

As an author myself I have users who illegally use the theme and ask for support stating its not theirs, it’s their clients and can not get the product code.

I’m not saying you are one of these people, but this is the reason for purchase codes.

Contacting the author by your account and not the account who purchased the item will let the author know you you are not the licence holder which will most likely mean you won’t get a response straight away… If at all if you are asking for support without a licence.

The best bet is to ask your client for the account login for theme forest.

Without proof of the licence I think that the licence is deemed invalid

Sorry to put a downer on things.

Good luck and hope you find a solution

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RoPadel says

Thanks for the quick response. My client unfortunately does not have an account with themeforest. They had a developer sort their website out for them and have been given nothing to say that the theme is licensed on their behalf. The developer is not contactable to find out how this was done.

My assumption was already that it was unlikely that, without some sort of license number, the theme could be proved to be valid for their use. I was really just hoping that someone could let me know exactly what the client should have been given, I’m guessing that there is some sort of common system, just in case they have something that they aren’t aware of. Long shot, but you never know.

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UBLThemes says

There client should have got a licence form which has a purchase cod and a few others things

I do not know if there is a common system to cater for this. Maybe a mod or staff member will see this soon and enlighten you .

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RoPadel says

Thanks so much for your advice. By coincidence, Envato Support have just replied to me and their advice is that the developer is the licensee and that we should repurchase the theme. That seems a little hard on the client who, I’m sure, will have paid the original developer of the site an amount for the use of the theme already.

I usually develop custom themes for my clients and have only just got into using purchased themes, so it is useful to know exactly what my customers would need to keep to ensure they have proof of their right to use a theme should I get run over by the proverbial bus!

Is it then, best practice to allow clients to purchase their own themes through themeforest, thus ensuring that they have full rights.

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UBLThemes says

Thanks so much for your advice. By coincidence, Envato Support have just replied to me and their advice is that the developer is the licensee and that we should repurchase the theme. That seems a little hard on the client who, I’m sure, will have paid the original developer of the site an amount for the use of the theme already.

I usually develop custom themes for my clients and have only just got into using purchased themes, so it is useful to know exactly what my customers would need to keep to ensure they have proof of their right to use a theme should I get run over by the proverbial bus!

Is it then, best practice to allow clients to purchase their own themes through themeforest, thus ensuring that they have full rights.

I would setup an account or each client. Purchase the themes from the account yourself, then give full access to the account when you hand over the project, or you will no longer be working for them

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RoPadel says

Thank you so much, that seems a very sensible way to work with it. As a developer I like to give my customers the complete ability to own everything about their website and so move it as they choose. I really appreciate your advice.

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CLINE123 says

Is it then, best practice to allow clients to purchase their own themes through themeforest, thus ensuring that they have full rights.

This experience brings up an interesting point. I understand the licensing problem faced but I still stop short from having my clients purchase their own themes preferring to buy all themes from my account as it’s easier to manage all from one place, download updates etc. If I take over a client’s site from another web designer, I usually have to start over from scratch so I’ve never had to continue using their current theme.

What I could suggest that authors do is to include a license or some unique identifier in the theme files/upload folder that would automatically be uploaded with the theme which any new site admin would be able to access and prove the theme’s legitimacy.

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LucidStudios says

Or may be a feature to transfer a purchase of an item from one account to another account. Like in RoPadel’s case the original developer would agree to transfer the purchase of the theme from his account to RoPadel’s account as he is now dealing with the client’s website.

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bitshok says

What I could suggest that authors do is to include a license or some unique identifier in the theme files/upload folder that would automatically be uploaded with the theme which any new site admin would be able to access and prove the theme’s legitimacy.

This sounds like the ideal solution.

I have thought of something similar and it’s simple to say but an author can’t develop such a system, the main reason is that once the files are submitted to Themeforest they are out of the author reach so only Themeforest could provide a solution like you say. As you probably know about the item purchase code, it’s the best thing to do in this case. In my opinion.

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