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virplay says

I’ve always thought that Envato should keep ALL items donwload zips available for those ones who purchased them, no matter if the author removes the frontend links. Customer can deal with missing authors (regarding support) but is stupid that you can’t access zip files you have purchased.

I agree

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OriginalEXE says


I’ve always thought that Envato should keep ALL items donwload zips available for those ones who purchased them, no matter if the author removes the frontend links. Customer can deal with missing authors (regarding support) but is stupid that you can’t access zip files you have purchased.
I agree

+1 that would be fair.

I did not wan’t to attack, as I have experienced this myself (I started here as a buyer and one of the themes I bought got deleted) but you must also understand that authors don’t have guarantee of success here.

Someone said where would you get $50k for a theme. Not all themes generate that income. In fact, a very small percent of themes succeeed here, so it’s not all black and white.

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sevenspark Volunteer moderator says

There seem to be a lot of different threads of thought running through this topic. So I thought I’d try to respond to a few of them with my own opinions/insight:

1. Items removed from the marketplace

1a. Sometimes files need to be discontinued. They may be no longer viable, they may be dated, they may not make sense to continue selling for any number of reasons. Products are sold as-is and that means it’s understood that they may not be changed/updated/available in the future. This is a trade-off of getting quality work for incredibly cheap prices – there’s no “lifetime” contract as you might have with custom work.

1b. I completely agree with some other users here that after an item is purchased, the item should always be available for download to those who have purchased it (the latest version). Even if that item is discontinued, it should still be able to be downloaded by those who have purchased it. I believe Envato’s reasoning behind removing the files is that they can’t legally host these files after the author withdraws them; but I think this is just something we (authors) should have to agree to as authors when uploading. (Alternatively, the final version of the file could be sent to the existing customers when the file is deleted – or an alert allowing customers the chance to download the file before it is removed).

1c. If you purchased a file but never downloaded it and it was deleted, I suspect Envato will do what they can to assist – likely with marketplace credit (I can’t promise that of course, but I know they always do their best to be fair). If you already downloaded the files, of course, you can use your existing copy. [edit: this confirms that you can get a refund if you didn’t download the file or if it was removed within 5 days of purchase]

2. Item upgrades and future compatibility. I think this is one of the toughest issues we deal with as a stock marketplace. As someone pointed out, clearly files cannot be updated forever (that’s unreasonable), so how long should they be updated for? That’s not an easy question to answer. With that, I think there are two important things to keep in mind:

2a. When purchasing a file, understand you’re buying a stock product, and don’t assume it’ll be updated. I know, this is unfortunate, but there is simply no guarantee. (That being said, the majority of authors do update their items regularly – you just can’t assume this). The reality is that only files that continue to sell well are generally viable to continue developing. If this is a dealbreaker, that’s understandable, but you should probably be seeking a custom solution.

2b. Understand that you don’t HAVE to upgrade WordPress. Yes, it is good practice, and I would always encourage you to upgrade when possible. However, just because a file that worked with WordPress 3.5 doesn’t work with WordPress 3.6, doesn’t mean the file is worthless; it just means you have to use WordPress 3.5 if you want to continue using it. Clearly this is not ideal, but it’s important to realize. The point is, a site/theme/plugin that works today isn’t going to mysteriously stop working tomorrow just because WordPress released a new update. And hiring someone to update the theme is still probably cheaper than a full custom solution.

Everything is a trade-off in life :)

Also, I’d like to add that even though I am an author, I have also bought several items over the years that have been removed. Yes, it’s frustrating! But I don’t feel like I have much to complain about, given the price I paid for a stock product.

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VF says

I believe Envato’s reasoning behind removing the files is that they can’t legally host these files after the author withdraws them; but I think this is just something we (authors) should have to agree to as authors when uploading.

This is where it fails from Envato’s side as a system. Whenever an author deletes item, the marketplace not even questions about the reason. That’s where all the problems start, since we are selling license – not just hosting the files. There is no way to alert a buyer if an item removed because of copyright infringement.

Our item prices may be too low to consider all these things but again, we are selling the license – so it requires atleast a bottom level responsibility and be informative about the status of item license in the downloads page and even better if buyers get alert whenever a purchased item removed due to copyright issues.

Lack of such credibilities means we no longer target license sensitive buyers. But according to our own business logic, those who respects and gives attention towards license are the ones who feed us daily food. Ok, if that is not feasible, atleast the system supposed to have regulations to avoid frequent item deletions and should ask for reasons and display it on downloads page. But we do nothing on this area – it is a shame as license seller.

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ChillThemes says

A time-sensitive, second-chance offer for anyone who has purchased an item would be nice. Give them, let’s say, one week to download a file that has been deleted before it’s completely purged from the marketplace, and then hidden from the Downloads page (all deleted items should be hidden from view in my opinion).

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