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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist sipltech's Avatar
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    Illegal use of WP themes/ checkout a fake site here.

    It's very much sad to see that some people like David Cameron Law steals other people's hard work and earn money. Basically these people are parasites who live on other's blood. Here is what he is doing at google-adsense-templates.co.uk/

    1. Downloading any quality theme, add adsense and become the author of theme.

    2. He selling each theme for approx 15 to 30 Pounds, wow!

    3. he removes every bit of author information, check Fresh theme, and talian, I am sure he is not at all the author of both themes.

    Is this ethically acceptable?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    That link isn't working for me. Perhaps they have been taken down already?

    Many (most?) WordPress themes are GPL, so it is perfectly legal to remove author information from the theme design (attribution still needs to be given in the code though), then sell them. I have no idea if this is the case here though since the link isn't working me.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    I Googled the name "David Cameron Law" and it showed up the following URL.

    http://www.findsouthwestfloridahomes...law-this-week/

    In the footer it says the following:
    Powered by WordPress | Talian designed by Virtual Assistance for Business
    Optimized and Updated by David Cameron Law from Google AdSense and SEO Templates
    That seems reasonable to me as long as the link is to the original Talian theme and the license of the original theme allows for others to modify it (ie: GPL). EDIT: Confirmed. Talian theme is indeed GPL.


    What specifically makes you think he is doing anything wrong? Bare in mind that I can't see the site so I can't make a judgement.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard esds's Avatar
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    That depends on the "Term of Use" if it is under creative license, non-commercial, share alike, no one should make any changes of original theme and sell it. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/

  5. #5
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    It is unethical to remove or edit themes without proper permission from the owners.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist sipltech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanhellyer View Post


    What specifically makes you think he is doing anything wrong? Bare in mind that I can't see the site so I can't make a judgement.
    thanks for your reply.
    here is the link to his site, google-adsense-templates.co.uk/
    i may be wrong but here he is not using author links and if you check the CSS URL here he claims the authorship of the theme. not only Talian, he is doing for Blix, Fresh and many more themes which are popular before his site was up.

    As far as i know under GPL any one can use any thing, but if some one is reselling he/she must obtain permission from original author and clearly state the work he has done to enhance the theme.

    i had an original copy of talian and I see all SEO features like sitemap, titles and adsense are already added. Only area where adsense is not there is singlepost.php. mr. david has just added an small piece of code nothing else.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sipltech View Post
    i may be wrong but here he is not using author links and if you check the CSS URL here he claims the authorship of the theme. not only Talian, he is doing for Blix, Fresh and many more themes which are popular before his site was up.
    AFAIK the link isn't required for GPL, but there should still be attribution somewhere in the theme which I guess isn't being given if he is claiming it is his own design.


    Quote Originally Posted by sipltech View Post
    As far as i know under GPL any one can use any thing, but if some one is reselling he/she must obtain permission from original author and clearly state the work he has done to enhance the theme.
    No. AFAIK the same rule applies whether it is being sold or given away for free. It's like selling water, it's free anyway, but if someone is willing to pay for it then there is nothing stopping someone selling it.


    I'm no legal beagle though, I just know a little bit about this type of thing from listening to experts on the matter.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    More information is available here. That text file is included with the Talian theme. I think this would be considered legal. I haven't bothered checking any of the other themes.


    I couldn't find a contact page on his site. I was going to point him to this thread so he could answer you directly but it seems I can't. If anyone knows how to get it touch with him then it would be good if you could point him in this direction as I'm sure he would like to explain his position on the matter.


    Anyone who releases something under the GPL is placing themselves at risk of having their work credited to someone else. This happens all the time and is perfectly acceptable. WordPress itself for example was originally called B2 until Matt Mullenweg took the code and turned into the WordPress we have today.

    If you look in my signature you will see two WordPress themes "Aqua Vaccinium" and "Hellish Simplicity". The first one has been copied by multiple people, modified and left available for download. The second one (AFAIK) is only available on my site and no one has been cheeky enough to copy it. They are both available for free, however the first one is GPL, the second is wholly owned by yours truly. I can't complain about others copying my GPL theme as I placed it under that license in the knowledge that others could copy it and only leave a small credit to me somewhere in the depths of the code. If I didn't want people doing that then I wouldn't have made it GPL, I'd have used another licensing system.

  9. #9
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    spikeZ's Avatar
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    btw, link is http://www.google-adsense-templates.co.uk - needs the www.
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  10. #10
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    wow that is messed up!!! These kind of malicious business tactics really ruin community collaboration. The overall wordpress community has been so good at creating cool free themes. This kind of crap makes people want to stop creating free themes. Somebody take this guy down!!!

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb241 View Post
    wow that is messed up!!! These kind of malicious business tactics really ruin community collaboration. The overall wordpress community has been so good at creating cool free themes. This kind of crap makes people want to stop creating free themes. Somebody take this guy down!!!
    What do you think they have done wrong? I haven't see any issues with the themes available for download on that site. I haven't checked all of themes in depth though, just Talian.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Evangelist sipltech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanhellyer View Post
    What do you think they have done wrong? I haven't see any issues with the themes available for download on that site. I haven't checked all of themes in depth though, just Talian.
    As far as some one redistributing others' work and asking money is indeed an ethical concern for me. I will say it 100 times, it's wrong. The base of GNU is to provide people free use of software's and that attracts more developments, cases like this will prevent new talents to comeup and share their work. Also GNU has the redistribution policy which is defined as:

    GPL & CopyLeft:

    "The copyleft only applies when a person seeks to redistribute the program. One is allowed to make private modified versions, without any obligation to divulge the modifications as long as the modified software is not distributed to anyone else. Note that the copyleft only applies to the software and not to its output (unless that output is itself a derivative work of the program); for example, a web portal running a modified GPL content management system is not required to distribute its changes to the underlying software."

    Adding adsense to a theme is not a derivitive work or it is not the huge modifications thak makes him original author.

    I am sorryto say, but his claims on modification on SEO and Adsense to Talian theme makes me think that he is misrepresenting the concept of original author. To me it's lack of creativity

    here are some facts: (I am quoting Talian first as this is discussion point at this stage)

    1. Talian do comes with adsense, and those codes are added in comments.php (commented of cource) People only need to un-comment the portion and add their adsense pub ID. here his USP is baseless as it is already in the theme.

    2. Talian is SEO friendly itself and I think it is one of the few themes that comes with self generated sitemaps, archive pages without any plugin. All you need to create a page chosing page template "sitemap" and "Archives". i like to know what else SEO Makeovers he has done with the theme?

    3. Talian is not a dead theme, it works without any modifications with even WP 2.6.1 even after 14 months of it's release date. I like to know if he has released any revisions of the theme?

    4. The original author has released the theme under GPL compatible licence and restricted commercial use, means one can use it for personal purpose or giveaway, no resale at all without permission.

    here the seller has:


    1. Removed the credits from CSS, that projects he has written the entire CSS himself.

    2. Selling the theme as an author to innocent people for money. He may sale that theme if he has done something remarkable with it.

    I like to know what contribution he has done to improve talian? how i will trust him that he has done something remarkable to improve the theme where as not a single piece of code has been changed?

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Good reply sipltech

    It is interesting to hear that the Adsense code was already in the Talian theme, but it was just commented out! I'm guessing he'll be covered in a legal sense though. My understanding is that only extremely small changes to the code would need to be made for him to claim authorship of the theme/s.

    From a moral standpoint this isn't good though. Hopefully no one purchases anything from him.

    Personally I'd feel like a bit of an *** if I made a site like that. It's just a good sign that you don't know how to code themes yourself. I wonder if his own sites theme design is his own?


    EDIT: lol, the word '***' got edited out of my post!

  14. #14
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    Judging base on feel.. (not legal or scientific at all) it doesnt...feel... right in this case.. if its greasy.. well...

  15. #15
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    I apologise for commenting on an old thread, but I just stumbled on this and I'm the owner of http://www.google-adsense-templates.co.uk/

    Where to start!

    I don't claim to be the original author of the themes I've converted to AdSense/SEO WordPress themes.

    I attribute the original authors fully (except one: who's site no longer exists) within the readme text files supplied with the themes that explains how to setup AdSense correctly, for example for Talian:

    Based on original Talian Theme: http://www.va4business.com/business/...e-to-my-heart/ Author: Steve Arun

    I also leave any original readme txt/pdf files with the themes (Talian for example has a file original-readme.txt which is the original readme file which I renamed). On the sales pages near the top it pretty much always says I converted the theme for X reason, like for Talian:

    "Talian is the first AdSense WordPress theme for this site, but not my first AdSense ready WordPress theme (made roughly half a dozen AdSense themes previously).

    According to WordPress theme viewer Talian is the most popular theme downloaded from wordpress.net with almost 12,000 downloads (as of mid September 2007). Which is why I converted it to AdSense + SEO."

    So I think attribution of the original author is covered. I do get comments on the sales pages thinking my page is the support page for the original themes and I let them know this is a derivative work with significant alterations. For example original Blix no longer works correctly in the latest versions of WordPress (looks a mess).

    With regards my modifications.

    Been meaning to add it all to the site, but finding the time, so far almost covered the AdSense changes here http://www.google-adsense-templates....theme-features

    Of the themes I've converted I think only Talian had AdSense already added, there was two ad units added around the comments area if I recall correctly and that was it. I removed those ad units and started again adding ad units in much better locations with a single file to control all the AdSense settings. As a side note I got the code for this file from a theme called Blitzkrieg (based on Blix), the author had downloaded an earlier version of my AdSense/SEO version (version 2) of Blix which I give away for free at http://www.morearnings.com/2006/08/1...oogle-adsense/ and improved on the AdSense code. I was impressed with the improvements and used his improved code in my newest theme conversions (version 3) and attribute his contribution within the readme.txt file and the adsense.php file.

    None of these themes had search engine optimized coding, WordPress is very good out the box from an SEO perspective (which is why I use it), but I've not looked at a theme yet that I've not worked on that comes close to being fully search engine optimised. I've started detailing the SEO improvements via a tutorial http://www.google-adsense-templates....-for-wordpress (still a lot to add).

    A few examples:

    There's no longer wasted headers, for example where the original themes had H1 headers surrounding the name of the site on every page, with my conversions on posts/pages/categories/tag and search results pages it's not a header, instead the title of that page is within the only H1 header (much better for SEO reasons).

    Title elements are far better, even meta tags (despite having little SEO value) are better without the need for plugins.

    Most themes originally showed the full content of a post on archive pages like the home page resulting in large pages using duplicate content. I converted them to use the excerpt instead with a search engine optimized link to the rest of the content (Blix used the excerpt, but the link had anchor text "More" which is awful SEO wise), also added built in support for a SEO version of a post teaser plugin (I edited the plugin and it's a free download on the site).

    There's plenty of other changes including fixing various errors within the original code of the themes, Blix for example has needed a LOT of updating as WordPress went through version 2.3+.

    My main aim when converting a theme is to keep the original look as close as possible, but add my SEO code (I use the same code for all themes) and easy to use AdSense coding (add your AdSense publisher ID to one file and your good to go).

    There are no better search engine optimized WordPress themes online today (free or for sale) , call me an arrogant ***, but if anyone can show me one that's better (that's not used my code) I'll give them one of my theme conversions for free.

    I didn't originally make these conversions to sell, I made them to use on my own sites and at first gave them away for free. Since I put a lot of time into maintaining the code and supporting those using the themes I started to charge for the themes. If a one off 10 fee is too much to ask for a theme SEO'd by an SEO consultant who offers free updates (if a theme breaks I fix it and send out a free update) and free support, (one sales page has over 100 comments) then download the original theme and convert it yourself for free.

    Happy to answer any more questions about the SEO improvements.

    BTW I couldn't post this with URLs even when I removed the http://www. from links until I'd made 10 posts. So had to make a few quick posts to get to 10.

    David Law

  16. #16
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    spikeZ's Avatar
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    Hi David, thanks for joining and replying to this thread.
    Its good to get both sides of a story/debate/argument
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
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  17. #17
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    Legal and Ethical are two different principals.

  18. #18
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    From reading both viewpoints, I think the only issue that actually exists in this instance is that the seller hasn't made it clear enough what all the changes that he has made to the themes are and so has left at least some people with the impression that a lot less work has been done on the versions for sale compared to the free originals than has actually taken place.

    If David has made all the changes he describes above to the themes then there is nothing wrong with what he is doing or claiming from either a legal or ethical viewpoint as his versions are significantly different from the originals and the originals are appropriately credited.
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  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot digital_shubhi's Avatar
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    Well, I have seen many like it. its common nowadays.

    - Digital -


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