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lungemark says

Am i allowed to showcase the website, if I make a template Themeforest exclusive and sell it here?

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danharper says

Do you mean are you allowed to advertise the theme or show it in a portfolio if you’re exclusive? Sure. Just as long as you send any sales to TF and don’t sell it yourself.

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jremick Envato team says

Actually, you should read the “contract” you “sign” when you enter into agreement in the exclusivity program. There is more there that you might want to know about before considering becoming a part of the program.

For instance:

“Not engage, directly or indirectly, without the written consent of the Distributor, in the sale, licensing, sublicensing, promotion, advertising or distribution of any other computer program or similar Product which has a functionality the same as or similar to the Supplier’s Product;”

In other words, no, you cannot use it in your portfolio or any other ways of “promotion or advertising” without written consent of the Distributor (ThemeForest).

You should read the whole of the “Supplier’s Obligation” (#6) as it basically covers what you can and cannot do.

Personally after reading the whole agreement, I am not happy at all. I obviously didn’t read it thoroughly enough the first time through (I was in a hurry, bad idea). It prevents me from using my submitted and approved work on ThemeForest for any promotion, advertising or even potential freelance clients. Yet exclusive authors only make 35% to start. If I can’t use my templates again, I want more than 35%. ThemeForest is making a killing on this deal.

I think exclusive authors should at least be able to use their approved work for promotional and advertisement purposes AND resell works derived from such approved work to others.

I will be contacting Jeffrey (or just the evato support staff) regarding this subject. If they aren’t willing to flex on some of this stuff, I most definitely won’t be building “premium templates and themes” to be sold here. It’s a total rip for the authors.

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SaroGFX says

I totally agree with you xmdsys

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simnor says

Wow I did not know that, I read through the agreement quickly but if the case is that I may not use my themes in my portfolio then ThemeForest is taking it too far, giving 35% to authors and claiming all rights which is essentially what they are doing is unjust and unfair, if I create something and only get 35% of the profits then I want rights to claim it as my own work, if I am not allowed to showcase it in my portfolio then they are basically saying that its not my work which it clearly is.

I suggest that ThemeForest seriously takes a good luck at this agreement because I for one am now extremely annoyed at seeing this come to light, at the moment I am very angry that ThemeForest would do this especially as I have been a good supporter for this site and defended its coming into the the theme marketplace, over the last few days I have seriously been reassessing my opinions.

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kuimu says
If they aren’t willing to flex on some of this stuff, I most definitely won’t be building “premium templates and themes” to be sold here. It’s a total rip for the authors.

+1, that’s not acceptable at all.
- Annoyed exclusive author.

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shadow66142000 says

Agreed! I need to read it again but if this turns out to be true I will probably have to change some things. I haven’t made enough to offset the cost of one template let alone the rights lost for selling templates here. Obviously Envato isn’t as strict as the agreement may state but they could be if they choose to and I think we all know that things change quite often around here. I for one don’t have any issues with the commission here but I do have serious issues with what has been brought to light above.

@xmdsys – Good Call!

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twoaz1 says

Thanks guys for bringing this all to light. Though we personally are eons away from exclusivity, that is our goal, or was our goal(?).

We feel that TF is likely a work in progress and moving in very positive progression, but gosh if we can’t add our work into our portfolios or essentially say the original work belongs to Envato entirely then we will certainly reconsider.

Thanks xmdsys for enlightening us on this subject. We would hope that Envato understands these concerns and has or will incorporate this into their policies. If not, that’s cool too, but we will reconsider our goals here on TF.

Hey, we’ll still try to contribute to TF no matter what the official word on this subject. We just might need to reconfigure our efforts. Frankly with all we understand from Envato they are not trying to screw anybody from buyer to author but maybe more stuff needs to be considered as the site matures?

Thanks all,

Chris

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JeffreyWay says

Hi everybody. Please keep in mind that, to some extent, a lot of the wording is simply lawyer jargon meant to protect both you and us in the case of legal action. For example, in reference to the “Can I promote my theme” question – of course you can link to your theme from your website. You have my consent to do so.

Additionally, though the wording might imply otherwise, I’m sure there is absolutely nothing wrong with displaying your template in your portfolio. You’re the author! Of course you can take credit for it.

I agree that the wording is a bit misleading. I’ll contact my boss for further clarification.

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jremick Envato team says

Hi Jeffrey,

I was waiting for you to chime in on this. Sooner than I expected, lol. :-)

I think it’s dangerous to just say “simply lawyer jargon”. Having had to deal with my share of “lawyer jargon” I’m well aware that it’s easy for a company to say, “Oh, it’s just legal stuff ya know, no big deal.” but when it comes down to a legal dispute, that jargon will make a world of difference. In this situation, it works to the advantage of ThemeForest at the expense of the author (not to say ThemeForest is purposefully attempting to take advantage of authors).

The exclusive author agreement contract mentions on several occasions obtaining written consent. So with many of these situations, it’s as simple as requesting and obtaining consent to promote your own work to protect yourself legally. Although I have seen in many situations where consent has to be given from senior management (I assume this is Jeffrey) or even the company owner him/her self. So what happens is the site manager (in this case Jeffrey) gives consent but when/if a legal dispute occurs, the company can argue that the site manager did not have adequate authority to grant such consent. I would assume this is obviously not the case Jeffrey but I feel like it’s worth me asking the question to be sure (no offense intended).

One thing I am concerned about is the commission related to the exclusive author program. I have expressed concerns before and many people disagree with me on this… but…

ThemeForest markets themselves as a marketplace for premium templates, themes and now web designs. Obviously ThemeForest wants to bring the highest quality products to the market as possible and it will take some time to develop an extensive library of truly premium products (it’s off to a fantastic start though!).

So, if this is the direction ThemeForest is trying to go, how do you expect authors to dedicate quality time to build quality products with the current options for compensation.

For instance, $30,500 in total revenue must be earned before reaching the 50% per sale level. That means an author will earn $13,725 during the time it takes to earn the $30K. To reach that level within a 1 year span you would have to have an average of 203 and 1/3 sales each month averaging $12.50 each (HTML templates).

I think the best ThemeForest can hope for is authors trying to expand their portfolio and learn (which won’t be the cream of the crop here) and authors who are freelancers that sell their work that clients didn’t want to buy, here on TF. In either case, it’s going to be much harder to be a place with premium products.

Maybe my expectations are too high and maybe wanting to build templates for a living is not a realistic job. I’ve read on these forums that freelance gigs can come from more attention from your TF portfolio. Read the exclusive author contract carefully and you’ll see that if someone should contact you via the TF website asking for freelance work, you could be breaching the contract. So freelance work coming from TF is also a fine line.

Ok, I’m going to stop here although I have other concerns, etc. This post is much larger than I anticipated, my apologies! I’m also not bashing TF, I would just like to see a way that people who are interested in doing this kind of thing as more of an income can earn more than just pocket change.

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