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Premium, but illegal themes?

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premium-illegal-themesCurrently, the premium themes market is all about magazine-like layouts and nifty Javascript-based features like DOMtab. While there should be no problem with the magazine-layout movement, did anyone bothered to question the premium theme authors about whether they have permission to resell or commercially redistribute scripts like DOMTab?

For example: “DOMtab is provided as-is and I don’t take any responsibility for any problems that might occur for using it. It is free to use, but not free to resell. If you want to use DOMtab in a commercial site/product please contact me.” – Christian Heilmann of OnlineTools.org

If you’ve read my post about the elephant in the room, you know what’s coming. I hate to use them as an example, but they’re the only premium themes distributor I know of that sell themes with integrated DOMtab. UniqueBlogDesigns.com and Adii.co.za are the sites I’m talking about.

Adii.co.za creates the themes and Unique Blog Designs distributes them. The problem is one of Adii’s recent theme (Block Magazine), which is UBD’s latest theme, uses DOMTab, but I don’t see any terms of service or license regarding the use of DOMTab.

I am not accusing Unique Blog Designs and Adriaan Pienaar of Adii.co.za of anything. This is simply something you have to question the premium theme authors before you purchase.

I made the same mistake of distributing DOMtab, but didn’t charge for it. In the beginning, my Showcase theme was sold with a DOMtab script within the download file, although the Showcase theme didn’t need DOMtab and it doesn’t work with DOMtab like the Block Magazine theme does.

How did this happened? Initially, DOMtab was going to be one of Showcase’s features, but I took it off the features list at the last minute because I realized that I couldn’t resell it. Try as you might, but the included DOMtab file does not work with my Showcase theme. DOMtab was packaged with the Showcase theme because I simply forgot to remove the DOMtab script from the js (Javascript) folder during the development (playing around) stage.

Customers and theme authors, the point is you need to be careful. Anything beyond basic XHTML and CSS has to be questioned and addressed before you make the purchase.

p.s. – A good alternative to DOMtab for commercial use is Tabber, which is what Michael Pollock’s using for his WP-Glory theme.

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