Envato Licensing and Bully Authors backed by Envato

stop-bully

Update: After many emails and conversation all authors agreed to our case. Thank you for your support meanwhile.

This is our formal and public rejection of DMCA notices we have recently received form several Envato authors who were led by WP Bakery. I never thought we would be in a license drama but it happened.

I am sorry to post such a long article however I am fed up as for the last month I have been bullied by WPBakery with Envato backing them. Please take your time and read it carefully until the end and share it on any medium you can so that others can read about this.

It Begins

On 27th of July 2015 we have received an email from Raitis Ševelis of WPBakery. If you do not know who WPBakery is they are the team behind Visual Composer. I won’t try to explain what was written; here is the email.

Hello,

my name is Raitis Sevelis and I represent WPBakery – Visual Composer Developer along with BrainstormForce, Kreatura Media and GranthWeb Team.

It has come to our notice that you are using our WordPress plugins in your products without having proper license as none of the license types offered by Envato Market allows using plugins in such way. In attachment please find DMCA notices and approval letter from Envato stating that your actions are not according to licensing rules in order to avoid any possible speculations.

Taking into account that such license usage from your side could be misunderstanding we are open to discuss alternative terms of finding solution that will bring benefits to all parties – please keep in mind that different plugin developers may have different positions in terms of their product usage. If no, you will be required to remove our plugins from your products.

Thank You,
Raitis Sevelis
WPBakery

The email also had attachments; the DMCA notice and a letter from Envato. As they mentioned here is the letter:
Envato’s Letter

Let’s examine this letter.

  1. It is clearly written to us and marked as Private and Confidential. Did they send this letter to us? No. They sent it to Raitis S. of WPBakery which is directly infirniges the privacy and confidentiality of the letter. This is unethical, and illegal in many countries.
  2. They direct attention to the Extended license Clause 9. This does not apply to Ultimatum as Ultimatum is not such a tool. However, the funny part is that Envato licensing states that you are bound by terms of license when you purchased, which means any subsequent changes to that license is not binding to the buyer.
    See : http://themeforest.net/licenses/faq#license-changed-a

    Your license has changed. Which version of the license applies to the item I purchased?

    The one that applied when you purchased the item. See your license certificate or ask us for details.

    As Envato never contacted us to see which version of their license we were bound by, they used the latest copy. Well, the license that binds us can be seen here and there is no such clause! In my opinion with such a clause Envato should keep a database of revisions of licenses publicly reachable when needed.

  3. Also, kudos to the biggest theme selling marketplace around the globe for not knowing what a theme is.
  4. While ThemePunch did not file anything against us Envato added Rev. Slider as bonus
  5. They told us there will willing to give us a refund of the purchase price. Well it has been 2 years (28 months to be exact) what are you refunding? It’s like they sold us some land and we built a factory over it and now they are asking us to give our land back in return for the purchase price. What about the factory?

All can I say is, “Well done Envato. Are you serious? Great business ethics – not! Bravo!”

Now Let’s go in to the DMCA letters. They all swear information is accurate and they solemnly swear! Is false testimony not a legal crime? Well apparently it is not for those people.

  1. GranthWeb (Go Portfolio) their last email to us : 29th December 2013
    Hi Onur,

    Yes, maybe we misunderstood something.
    We read the licensing terms again and according to them there’s no problem with that.

    We confirm our permission:
    You can use our “Go – Responsive Portfolio for WP” and “Go – Responsive Pricing & Compare Tables for WP” wordpress plugins in your theme sold on Themeforest or other marketplace (including your website) if you purchase one extended license for that purpose.
    Meaning One Extended License per plugin for every Theme.

    Thanks, good luck with sales!

    Best,
    Attila

    This guy now files a DMCA! I do not have any words to explain their good faith and will.

  2. BrainStormForce (Ultimate addons for VC) : 22 Feb 2014

    Thanks for the touchbase.

    Please go ahead – purchase extended license and include our plugin in your theme. Wish you all the best with your theme and hope hope you will sell million copies 😉

    Regards,
    Sujay

    Well we have not (yet) sold a million copies, but you seem to be turned by 180 degrees!

  3. Kreatura Media (Layer Slider) : 27 Dec 2013

    It is enough to tell the reviewer that you have permission to include the plugin in your theme. You don’t need a written permission, but you can show the relevant FAQ entry from our support site if needed.

    http://support.kreaturamedia.com/faq/4/layerslider-for-wordpress/#group-3&entry-18


    Kind Regards,
    John – Kreatura Media Support

    Kreatura were did not appear to see any issue, so did not push the issue further

At the same time of those emails we have asked our lawyers and they said:

“You do not need such consent as the license itself is a consent”

Pointing the license clause:
The author of the Item retains ownership of the Item but grants you the license on these terms. This license is between the author of the Item and you. Envato Pty Ltd is not a party to this license or the one giving you the license.

Well let’s see Envato is filing a letter to us where they are not a party… Hold tight please this is just the beginning.

After the email arrived I directly contacted Envato and said:

Ultimatum is not such a tool you mentioned in the clause it is just a very customisable WordPress theme.

The Envato Support team member Patrisha replied:

Hello Onur,

Thank you for contacting Envato Help. I am passing your ticket to the appropriate staff to thoroughly research your issue.

Please be patient while this is being addressed. You will hear back shortly.

Warm regards,

Patrisha

Envato Market Help
Phoenix, AZ USA
Sun – Thurs MST

and Raitis S. ( I will mention him later in detail with more funny facts)

Hello,

thank you for getting back to me ASAP. I have reviewed your e-mail copies.

As seen from Kreatura Media FAQ – they clearly allow including their product in themes which are sold on ThemeForest exclusively which is not your case.

BrainstormForce was not informed about the fact that your product is not located on ThemeForest exclusively.

GranthWeb here misunderstood the terms itself, but as they are not license issuer you still need to align with Envato licensing terms.

As for Visual Composer – we clearly state that we allow including Visual Composer into themes which are sold on ThemeForest exclusively – this does not mean that you should just create profile on Envato – you need to sell products only on Envato which has plugins included. So here you also did not followed licensing terms.

Also you should once again check the letter from Envato Market with clear explanation from their legal department stating that your product is not following Envato Market licensing terms. Once again mention – that licenses are issued by Envato in cooperation with authors so you need to follow written terms of their site – please see letter with exact section stating that it is not allowed to include plugins into themes and sell them in-stock.

As you already received DMCA we are asking you to take proper actions in order to resolve this situation.

Thank you,
Raitis Sevelis
WPBakery

This guy is awesome pay special attention to his wording :

That licenses are issued by Envato in cooperation with authors so you need to follow written terms of their site.

Raitis, read the license again Envato is not the issuer but you are! Also from Envato’s Author terms

8.a : When you ‘sell’ an item, you’re making your item available to buyers to use that item under certain conditions; you’re not actually selling the item itself. What you’re selling includes a license directly to the buyer to use that item under the various types of license terms that we set that are applicable to your items.

… and the Author Licensing FAQ:

Can I add special requirements to the license terms for my file?

No. The Envato Market Licenses apply to all items, for consistency.

Which means my dear friend, the terms on your site are not valid and you are breaching the Legal agreement that you have with Envato.

I have replied to those emails but let’s skip them. Christian B. from Envato Market help team replied as he is the appropriate staff to thoroughly research my issue according to Patrisha.

His reply:

Hi Onur,

My name’s Christian, I’m one of the Help Team Leaders here at Envato.

Thanks for getting in touch. Just a heads up to let you know that we need to make a clarification with our legal team before we can confirm whether you’re complaint with our licensing terms.

Although we’ll try to be as quick as we can, it could take up to 24-48 hours to get back to you.

Sit tight 🙂

Christian

Envato Market Help Team Leader (UK)
Mon-Fri 0900-1700 (UTC +1)

Christian Replied on 2nd of August:

Hi again Onur,

Many thanks for your patience whilst we’ve been looking into this for you.

I’ve spoken to our legal team who have clarified the license terms around exclusive Envato Market items used in stock items sold externally.

Regrettably, any agreements between the author of exclusive elements [in this case: WP Bakery] and the author of the stock item [you] therefore are limited to Envato Market use.

To clarify: Our licenses don’t permit the use of Envato Market exclusive items within stock items sold outside of Envato Market.

http://themeforest.net/licenses/faq#small-element-stock-a

Therefore, it would seem the Ultimatum theme is currently not complaint with our licensing terms. If you’d like to ensure compliance by selling the Theme on Envato Market, I’d be happy to put you in touch with a member of our growth team who’ll be able to assist with this.

Please let me know how you’d like to proceed, or if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

Christian

Envato Market Help Team Leader (UK)

Meanwhile Raitis a.k.a StarDust (keep this in mind) wrote on 3rd of August:

Hello,

as we haven’t received any proposed/planned actions related to DMCA we have sent you previously we will be forced to take further actions after 48 hours from this e-mail. Until now you can inform us if you are taking any steps to avoid legal issues related to your previous actions.

Thank you,
Raitis Sevelis
WPBakery

And I replied :

Raitis,

I am pretty sure you are a part in Envato ticket(Ticket ID : 267682) we have opened about the matter as well as other plugin authors. Envato has replied to our inquiry about 12 hours ago and we have informed that our legal team will inspect their statement.

If you are so eager to take action please do so as the Envato document you have sent is now defunct which they agreed and changed clause of non compliance. The only thing we are trying to resolve is another misunderstanding.

Both Envato’s and our Legal teams are working on the matter. We cannot guarantee that the issue will be concluded in 48 hours as you request as it is a legal issue that needs attention to detail.

Thanks…

Please pay attention to Christian’s wording here :

I’ve spoken to our legal team who have clarified the license terms around exclusive Envato Market items used in stock items sold externally

Their legal team… who do not even know what they wrote or they do not care… even worse I suspect said team does not exist, as I cannot believe that a legal team of a company can exist that would be be unaware of their own terms.

Also:

If you’d like to ensure compliance by selling the Theme on Envato Market, I’d be happy to put you in touch with a member of our growth team who’ll be able to assist with this.

Sorry Christian but it seems you are now trying to benefit from us… This solution is not even a solution and is unethical.

We consulted our Lawyer and he wrote a lengthy email to be sent to Envato the part made us laugh was :

There is no such clause in documents to limit the items used by Extended licenses sales medium. So the end product complying the license terms can be sold anywhere and it is only logical as Envato especially on CodeCanyon hosts mobile apps as well. Given that Envato is not the owner of Google Play or Apple App Store the buyers would be never able to sell their End-Products otherwise

Also our Lawyer’s email included:

FAQ Section

1. There aren’t any limitations for the End Product to be found neither on the legal terms or the license terms stating that the End Product should be exclusively sold on Envato Markets (such as Themeforest). Therefore, as long as Ultimatum has the extended licenses for the items in question, Ultimatum should not be subjected to any enforcements by a party of this agreement to be sold exclusively on Envato Markets.

2. The article on http://themeforest.net/licenses/faq#small-element-stock-a is a subtitle of http://themeforest.net/licenses/faq#faq-section-author and is for Envato Authors who may want to include a small item as stock in their end product. Still, the license explains how to sell an end product in Envato Markets but does not limit the product to be sold exclusively on Envato Markets.

Can I purchase an item to use as a small element within a larger project that I plan to sell as stock or a template? For example, could I purchase a button graphic for a theme I plan to sell?

Use of items in larger stock projects is not allowed as the default position under the licenses, but there are exceptions.
— This, we believe, is against the license as the license clearly gives permission to use an item in an End Product. All End Products sold are Stock projects. Extended License 3.b states “For other types of Item, an End Product is something that incorporates the Item as well as other things, so that it is larger in scope and different in nature than the Item.” even the example stated in the term -the mobile app- is a larger stock project which is sold on app stores.

We believe this section in FAQ was added on 2013 after Themeforest Theme submission rules changed, to create a loophole/opportunity for Themeforest authors to include the items with stock license (re-distribute as-is) in their created themes. see: http://themeforest.net/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&term=visual+composer

All themes sold on Themeforest that include Visual Composer, include it as-is (re-distributing source files, sending as stock item). Which makes it possible for users to disable the theme while continuing the use of the plugin itself, or even extracting the plugin from the theme and install it on another site of theirs, which is against the rules of the license. However; the theme submission rules set by Envato in 2013, forced theme authors on Themeforest to include the plugins as stock items (non-altered files which are re-distributed by Themeforest authors). A simple search on Envato’s own market shows that there are 791 items that include Visual Composer. Weirdly enough, if all of them were in compliance with your theme submission rules, it seems you have made them violate the license terms as there is no such written license to justify the action.

As stated before we believe the FAQ section of Envato on matter is intended to give Themeforest authors the proper rights beyond the Envato’s extended license. In which case it cannot be applied to Ultimatum or any product which is sold outside Envato Markets.

Again the FAQ Section states that the buyer needs a written permission from author :
When you purchase an Extended License and get written permission from the author. Keep a copy of the email giving you permission.
— Which is irrelevant as Extended license clause 19
19. The author of the Item retains ownership of the Item but grants you the license on these terms. This license is between the author of the Item and you. Envato Pty Ltd is not a party to this license or the one giving you the license.
— In other words the license itself is already the written permission from the author of the item.

We do understand Envato’s aim of protecting the authors and their items and respect that. However, the accusations made to Ultimatum basically are insubstantial.

Please pay attention : Weirdly enough, if all of them were in compliance with your theme submission rules, it seems you have made them violate the license terms as there is no such written license to justify the action.

After a wait Christian replied back:

Hi again Onur,

Thanks again for your patience whilst we’ve been looking into this for you.

Further to your reply below, I can confirm that an element purchased from Envato Market with an extended license can be sold in an end product externally from Envato Market, on the condition that permission from the original element owner has been granted. This is outlined in our license FAQ which forms part of the license:

http://themeforest.net/licenses/faq#small-element-stock-a

In this case, if you don’t have permission from WP Bakery to use to implement VisualComposer in the Ultimatum Theme, you are infringing our license terms even though you have purchased an extended license. If you’re unable to reach an amicable conclusion with WP Bakery, they are within their right to submit a DMCA takedown notice, and you will need to remove Visual Composer from the Ultimatum Theme.

Kind regards,

Christian

So they now agree their previous email was wrong. However instead of saying yes there was a misunderstanding and all is OK, they show the clause we mentioned from FAQ and tried bind us with that so to say we are infringing the license. As you might have read in our reply we stated that part is for Envato Authors. For God’s sake its title is Author Licensing FAQ. We are not what Envato call authors (Envato authors are those who sell their products on Envato)!

Please enlighten me. Is Envato a global authority who can determine our terms of services etc? As there are terms listed under same section as:

Do I need to pay to use my own items within the applicable license terms?

No. You can use your own items for free in your freelance work for clients. If you’re exclusive, remember you can’t distribute your own items elsewhere.

Thanks! Envato allowed us to use our product freely!
OR

Can I add special requirements to the license terms for my file?

No. The Envato Market Licenses apply to all items, for consistency.

OK Envato please tell this to Microsoft, Google, Apple, Adobe etc so they should follow your terms they are creating inconsistency in the universe!

Jokes aside the section title is very clear and it binds only authors selling their work on Envato market. However Envato cannot see it.

After I got this email I quoted the section above again from previous email and sent to Christian his reply was:

Hi again Onur,

We’ve read the response from your lawyer, however, as the license FAQ’s form part of the extended license, you are bound by the terms that are in the FAQ also. This is clearly stated in the first paragraph of the Extended License:

http://codecanyon.net/licenses/terms/extended

The Extended License grants you, the purchaser, an ongoing, non-exclusive, worldwide license to make use of the digital work (Item) you have selected. Read the rest of this license for the details that apply to your use of the Item, as well as the FAQs (which form part of this license).

As per the following FAQ, in addition to the purchase of an extended license, the license requires written permission from the asset Author before the item can be included in a larger item that’s going to be sold:

http://codecanyon.net/licenses/faq#small-element-stock-a

Kind regards,

Christian

Christian, if you had read the email at the outset and understood your own terms better you would know that you cannot bind people outside Envato with Envato’s own terms. Sorry, but being a Neutral party means being neutral not being a naysayer to one of the parties.

As you can see in all of this, Envato did not accuse Ultimatum of breaching the Extended license but decided to force us with their internal rules set for their marketplace authors. Sorry guys, we are not one of your authors and will never be as we value our words given to our paying clients.

If we were the ones reading terms wrong what about WPBakery?

See :https://wpbakery.atlassian.net/wiki/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=524333

On 22nd of January, 2013 Envato updated their licenses and it is no longer possible to use items from marketplaces within your own items that will be for sale on Envato marketplaces, without a partnership agreement between two authors. In this case between me (Michael M) and you (Envato author).

Which means the FAQ section titled as Author Licensing is for the Envato Authors as we also say…

I have contacted Raitis with the email below:

Raitis,

To give an update on the issue.
Envato agreed there is no such limitation about exclusive items to be on Themeforest or any Envato markets only.

Christian B (Envato Market Help)
Aug 11, 21:02

Hi again Onur,

Thanks again for your patience whilst we’ve been looking into this for you.

Further to your reply below, I can confirm that an element purchased from Envato Market with an extended license can be sold in an end product externally from Envato Market, on the condition that permission from the original element owner has been granted.

Our lawyer is against that as the rule pointed by Envato is under Author Licensing FAQ. We are waiting for our lawyer’s official reply to Envato on the matter. However as WP Bakery is the only party in the case without written permission – We have supplied others emails- We would like to know how can we proceed and get your permission to close the case quicker. Otherwise our lawyer is pretty sure we have nothing to worry about but the issue will be troublesome and take a long time to be resolved.

Warm Regards
Onur Demir

Silly me! What was I thinking? Them to come to their senses? Well this fused the bomb and Raitis emailed back:

Hello Onur,

we have been informed about this from Envato side as well and they also stated that it is up to us to decide – if and under what conditions we are willing to allow including Visual Composer into end products which are sold outside Envato.

Our policy regarding such cases has been clear from the very first day and we have always stated that we allow incorporate Visual Composer only into items sold on Envato exclusively. I believe we are not going to change our mind and policy any time soon so everyone who is willing to use Visual Composer in their products will need to follow these rules.

Nevertheless taking into account that this is not an ordinary case with long history and many parties involved – we are considering to come to agreement under special terms which in my opinion gives you benefits in comparison to your competitors. Taking into account that Visual Composer is surely one of the key points of your product, and I am sure you will agree with it, we are considering offering following conditions for cooperation – of course under written agreement:

1) One year approval with option to extend it each year and review terms
2) Commission based payment depending on sales amount of items with Visual Composer. A clear and transparent mechanism for tracking sales will be required there
3) One time fee based on previous sales amount generated by items with Visual Composer included. Again – clear and transparent mechanism is necessary here as well.

I believe that both parties are interested in closing this issue and coming to agreement as soon as possible.

Thank you,
Raitis Sevelis
WPBakery

First I do not know why Raitis is not using Capital letters when he starts to emails. However honestly they did not ask enough in my opinion they should also have asked for my first born son!

As their product is one of the key points of our product. Sorry but I need to rest from laughing to that. Raitis your product is a nice complimentary tool for our users not a key item!

Also the line :
Our policy regarding such cases has been clear from the very first day and we have always stated that we allow incorporate Visual Composer only into items sold on Envato exclusively. I believe we are not going to change our mind and policy any time soon so everyone who is willing to use Visual Composer in their products will need to follow these rules.

Please visit : https://wpbakery.atlassian.net/wiki/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=524323

If you browse history (simply click on the date of the article) you will see Themeforest section is newly added. Raitis you are a rockstar! I cannot express my feelings against your actions as each time you say something I see its not true. Thats not the end of it I am keeping your best act for the later.

Dear reader I am sorry to take your time with such a lengthy post but please read on – I promise it will end soon.

Envato’s Extended license applies to Ultimatum

Now Lets go over Envato’s license binds us and WPBakery in detail

The low-down! The nuts and bolts of this license

1.The Extended License grants you, the purchaser, an ongoing, non-exclusive, worldwide license to make use of the digital work (Item) you have selected. Read the rest of this license for the details that apply to your use of the Item, as well as the FAQs (which form part of this license).
2.You are licensed to use the Item to create one single End Product for yourself or for one client (a “single application”), and the End Product may be Sold.
Ultimatum is an End Product to be sold
3.An End Product is one of the following things, both requiring an application of skill and effort.
(a)For an Item that is a template, the End Product is a customised implementation of the Item.
For example, the item is a magazine template and the end product is the finished magazine.
(b)For other types of Item, an End Product is something that incorporates the Item as well as other things, so that it is larger in scope and different in nature than the Item.
Ultimatum is an End Product that incorporates the item (in our case items) as well as other things, therefore Ultimatum is larger in scope and different in nature than the items in question (all items are plugins where Ultimatum is not)

Go for it! Things you can do with the Item

4.You can create the End Product for a client, and this license is then transferred from you to your client.
5.You can Sell and make any number of copies of the single End Product.
Ultimatum is a Single End Product being Sold
6.You can modify or manipulate the Item. You can combine the Item with other works and make a derivative work from it. The resulting works are subject to the terms of this license. You can do these things as long as the End Product you then create is one that’s permitted under clause 3.
For example: you can license a vector, manipulate it and add your own elements to create an illustration that’s used as a book cover.
All plugins in Ultimatum from Envato are modified and manipulated to make sure they are working well together within Ultimatum itself and with each other.
Whoa there! Things you can’t do with the Item

7.This license is a “single application” license and not a “multi-use” license, which means that you can’t use the Item to create more than one unique End Product.
Ultimatum is one application; the licenses bought for use in Ultimatum are only used for Ultimatum.
8.You can’t re-distribute the Item as stock, in a tool or template, or with source files. You can’t do this with an Item either on its own or bundled with other items, and even if you modify the Item. You can’t re-distribute or make available the Item as-is or with superficial modifications.
All plugins in Ultimatum from Envato are modified and manipulated to make sure they are working well together with Ultimatum itself and with each other. Ultimatum is not re-distributing the items as is or with superficial modifications. As told the items can only work within an active installation Ultimatum only.
For example: You can’t license a number of audio files, and re-distribute them as a package on a CD.
If you’re an Envato author you can use other items in your item’s preview without a license, under conditions. See the author licensing FAQs.
9.Although you can modify the Item and therefore delete components before creating your single End Product, you can’t extract and use a single component of an Item on a stand-alone basis.
There are no components of items being used on standalone basis as any item we use strictly requires an active installation of Ultimatum.
For example: You license a game starter kit. You can delete unwanted 3D models from the file. But you can’t extract and use a 3D model outside of the game starter kit.
10.You must not permit an end user of the End Product to extract the Item and use it separately from the End Product.
As mentioned above, the items from Envato Markets are all modified, manipulated to work solely within Ultimatum. The End user cannot use the item as stand alone without an active installation of Ultimatum.
11.You can’t use an Item in a logo, trademark, or service mark.
Looking for a logo? See our GraphicRiver logos section, which has its own license.
The nitty gritty! Other license terms

12.For some Items, a component of the Item will be sourced by the author from elsewhere and different license terms may apply to the component, such as someone else’s license or an open source or creative commons license. If so, the component will be identified by the author in the Item’s description page or in the Item’s downloaded files. The other license will apply to that component instead of this license. This license will apply to the rest of the Item.
13.Some Items are partially subject to a GNU General Public License (GPL) or another open source license even if the Item was entirely created by the author. For these Items, a ‘split license’ applies. This means that the open source license applies to an extent that’s determined by the open source license terms and the nature of the Item, and this license applies to the rest of the Item.
For more information, see this Knowledge Base article. This is most common for themes for WordPress and other open source platforms. Where split licensing applies, this is noted in the Item’s download files.
14.You can only use the Item for lawful purposes. Also, if an Item contains an image of a person, even if the Item is model-released you can’t use it in a way that creates a fake identity, implies personal endorsement of a product by the person, or in a way that is defamatory, obscene or demeaning, or in connection with sensitive subjects.
For more information on sensitive subjects, see our FAQs.
15.This license applies in conjunction with the Membership Terms for your use of the Envato marketplaces. If there is an inconsistency between this license and the Membership Terms, this license will apply to the extent necessary to resolve the inconsistency.
16.This license can be terminated if you breach it. If that happens, you must stop making copies of or distributing the End Product until you remove the Item from it.
17.The author of the Item retains ownership of the Item but grants you the license on these terms. This license is between the author of the Item and you. Envato Pty Ltd is not a party to this license or the one giving you the license.

The license clearly states the author of the item sold under Extended license agrees to the terms. In addition, this clause clearly states the license agreement is between the author of the item and the buyer where Envato is not a party to the license or the one giving the license. Therefore, any takedown notices or actions cannot be sent out or taken by Envato. However; we believe Envato would act as a neutral party who can clarify the licensing issues.

As there is no breach in license we formally refuse their DMCA notices.

Questions

Also we have several things we want to ask to Envato and WP Bakery

Dear Envato,

  1. What does private and confidential mean to you?
  2. Do you really have a legal team who is aware of your terms and licensing?
  3. While you are not a party to the case (according to license terms) why do you blindly and blatantly defend the accuser (WP Bakery)?
  4. How are you going to fix the issue with current themes that include Codecanyon items on ‘as is’ basis (unmodified, ‘stock’ plugins), which are breaching your license? I can easily buy a Theme from Themeforest that includes such items and, after installing the theme, I can leave it deactivated and continue using the bundled plugins on any other theme I choose. If you really have a stock license where is it and what are the terms of it?
  5. Are you aware there is a world out there where people live and is including Envato not Envato the world.

Dear WP Bakery,

  1. There are about 200 themes being sold outside of Envato that include VC. What is your arrangement with them? If it is the same arrangement that you are trying to force on us, please send us a copy of such an agreement, I would presume that you have a template we can see? Also, how will you feel with this arrangement being unlawful, breaching the terms of your agreement with Envato?
  2. When we bought this license and started using that license WPBakery had 7000 sales now they are flying in sales numbers. Doesn’t WPBakery think that themes including their product made them popular, where we are one of them? A lot of buyers of Ultimatum experienced VC for the first time through us and then went on to buy their own copy.
  3. We have been using Visual Composer for more than 2 years and WPBakery were well aware of that. Why did WPBakery wait for this long if they believed we were breaching the license? Do not say, ‘We did not know.’ As we have proof of that as well simply visit:
    Visual Composer Comments section on Code Canyon
    Where for 2 years WPBakery knew we had included VC in our theme and until a month ago WPBakery never mentioned a thing about license.
    Oh by the way Raitis aka StarDust is the commenter mainly… He knew we were there he knew what we were doing and then he decided to attack us. Until a month ago he did not say anything about licensing etc now he is a fan of it!
  4. In your previous emails you stated you only allow VC implementation for Themeforest themes since day zero where you do not have any right to. However the statement is again wrong and misleading please visit :
    your own KB the wiki history will show you have edited that recently too. Please explain your actions and why do you change terms to attack people?
  5. When you contacted other authors (we know you did to make your case stronger) what did you promise to them?

Thanks

Are all authors bad in Envato? Definitely no.

Intense Visions (Intense Shortcodes) informed us WP Bakery contacting them so that they can join them in the case and they refused.

ThemePunch : Sorry guys we promised a blog post about your great version of Revolution Slider but we had to post this one before. And thank you for being honest and honouring your words.

SiteSao : Thank you for not being in such scam action.

Guys from ThemePunch knows this!

Guys from ThemePunch knows this!

And you the reader : As you were patient enough to read this post 🙂

Conclusion

I do not know what will happen next and cannot predict future but what I know is that we will not bow down to the bullies! If those authors are not happy with license terms they should make Envato change the terms for their future clients. Or they should remove extended license option from their items like UberMenu did. I even do not know if this will be a court case which court will be looking to it as the license does not assign a proper court for the disagreements may happen. Only court name mentioned is on Envato’s legal terms which is between Envato and their members. As Envato is not a party to the issue there is no court legally assigned to the case.

What I know is that we will fight to this till the end and all Ultimatum members will be with us during that fight.

Please share this post in any place you can so that community will know those people’s actions and not to bow before their bullying.

 

by Onur Demir

Onur Demir(@xenous) is the head of development at Ultimatum Theme. His main interest areas are PHP, MySQL and JavaScript development. He occasionally holds webinars covering WordPress basics and Ultimatum usage.

Comments

  1. marcocastro643

    I’m personally getting sick of them as well! their terms are always changing, and not in a good way!!

    • Their changed terms does not bind you as their FAQ states you are bound by terms of the purchase date. Do not accept new terms they push to you.

      • James Guzmán Méndez

        Hello

        This plugin is an excellent choice to replace VC, I bought it and it works great, and is licensed to developers.

        I have something clear, I do not want to take chances with my clients, and I love ultimatum framework and do not want to stop using it so be that no agreement is not reached envato

        This is the link: http://bit.ly/profitbuilderwpress

  2. Well those are some very sktechy and inconclusiv terms. To me it all comes down to the agreement you had when you bought the plugin. Everything after that is of no concern.
    I certainly wouldn’t agree to any new terms that set you back. That’s is not the way to do things. Also keep in mind that although WP-Bakery might offer you something, that offer should reflect the time they were unknown and the terms and prices should be accordingly.

    Anyway. You have my vote Onur! But try to keep your cool. If need be, let the lawyers fight it out.

  3. Chris Myers

    Sounds suspiciously like the Getty Image scam where they threaten you until you pay $1500 for a 75 cent photo. I stopped using iStockPhoto dot com when I saw they were purchased by Getty.

    Clearly you’re being threatened by people who are just trying to bully you into a Getty scam.

    Everyone should put them on their do-not-use list. I’ve met this kind of company before. They’d rather steal $1 than earn a $100.

    BTW, perhaps they could have used someone whose English knew the difference between compliant and complaint. I had trouble understanding their explanations.

    • Totally agree with you Chris, I did exactly what you did regarding iStockPhoto, freaking Getty made 2 of my clients pay about $1000 dls in fine each because of a stupid hidden term regarding illegal image use of a $20 usd image…unbelievable!!

    • We are thinking of that as well. However there are many sites built in 28 months by members it will be hard for them to convert. Unlike Envato we have to think our clients benefits.

      • Just to add here as I thought when reading this… The fact that Visual Composer can be replaced means it is not “key” to Ultimatum. They were ill hearted and selfishly motivated and wrongfully assuming that their plugin was.

        There are plenty of page builders out there that can replace VC! VC just has a benefit because of its fame, time of development and add-ons.

      • You can still remove that crappy page builder Onur, and add on Beaver instead. The members that have VC are most likely got their own licence anyways.

        I have a written consent from WP Bakery to use the VC in my product, and I am starting to think otherwise on including it now thank sot this post, it gives me the shits to see these people bully you, me, everyone they want.

        Great write up by the way mate.

        Ciaran

  4. No doubts Envato are bullies.
    I think it is about time to create a good alternative with better conditions to the developers 🙂
    I start right away & invite you to join me…
    Thanks & Enjoy Life 🙂

  5. Maybe as a way of settling the issue, ask them to allow the sites already built to remain, going forward switch to Beaver Builder. Otherwise xenous, you know your stuff and have developed a great theme here, build your own VC-like plugin, make it better, offer it for free or at enough of a discount to make VC go down.

  6. It appears as if Envato and WPBakery are attempting to rewrite history for their own monetary gain. Unfortunately, that is an all-to-common tactic used by those tainted by avarice. Truth is not subjective. Truth is truth and should prevail.

  7. I have purchases many, many things from envato. Thousands of dollars on Videohive, Themeforest, Codecanyon, 3d Ocean, and Photodune. This makes me angry. Envato obviously makes tons of money and so does WP Bakery. This level of greed and manipulation makes me sick. I thought higher of them. Not anymore. I am done with Envato. I think it is time I find another site to get stuff from. Good job Onur. I wish you the best in this mess.

  8. Bert

    I doubt if this comment ever will be published, but it sounds quite familiar to me. A few years ago I bought a theme with a ‘developers licence’… Recently I got a message from those guys I used it illegally because I could install it only on the domains I owned… they changed their licence polity.

    Sucks, doesn’t it? Well they offered me a refund… but I should buy new licences for all customers where I installed it.

    Name of the theme ? Ultimatumtheme… does it ring a bell ?

    • We never changed our license terms and never said you can install Ultimatum on your own domains we encouraged and still encourage people to use Ultimatum for client works. I think there is a misunderstanding. Only act was taken against a member who was selling Ultimatum on fiverr.

      • Bert

        Well even never tried to sell anything on fiverr, so do not hide behind that!

        So, I can quote you as a representative of Ultimatumtheme that I can continue using it for my customers and disregard the messages I got, that I have to stop doing this ?

        And how about those customers I had to offer a new webdesign for free, because I used the theme ‘illegally’?

        The message I got, was that I had to buy and install the ‘personal’ license for them… and refused to do so… so I rebuilt their websites using other tools…

        And btw, in 2012 you did call the licence differently…

      • Bert,

        In 2012 or any year we never stopped people using Ultimatum for client sites. I think you have something wrong in memories or got scammed. I am Onur Demir the owner of Ultimatum Theme and I do not have such emails in my mailbox. If you can send me the detailed emails etc via our contact form I will see how did it happen and will try to fix it for you.

      • Bert I am sorry to hear this mate. I fear you have been duped. I have been with Ultimatum from the start many years ago and what you are saying was never the case. Somewhere something must have gone terribly wrong. I hope you get it fixed with Onur.

    • Bert, I think you’re wrong. I’ve paid Ultimatum a certain amount of money for their theme and made a gigantic amount of money on client websites using Ultimatum as the basis for the theme. That’s pretty freaking generous of them.

  9. designconscious

    I’m shocked and stunned by this Onur, I agree with you and I hope for all parties this gets solved before it gets even further out of hand.

  10. Offer Ultimatum lite license free as an offer for 30 days through social payment. Buyers need to retweet and share in facebook and put this agenda in the content to go viral.
    Contact ‘Automatic’ the WordPress developers and ask them to send same DMCA notice to envato and its publishers for mass commercial gains using WP without paying any royalty to Automatic.

  11. I’m afraid to buy anymore extended license from Envato. All of their discussion response, looks like, “You buy one product from us, And next day we will take down your website in-order to sell your products via Envato only”.

    In this case, buying an Android/iPhone App and selling it Appstore/Playstore is making all buyers are Jokers. Common guys Grow-up.

    We are with you @Onur Demir.

    • I agree if licence is not clean or so flexible which keep changing , who ever know this issue will certainly not going to buy any thing from them, i already have lots of stuff from them, might i reconsider buying from them in future unless they specify their clear licensing stated on website instead which may born if product hits on market

  12. Duncan Barua

    Envato are complete wan*ers. If any developers want me to buy their themes and add-ins in the future please provide a website where people can buy directly. I hate Envato with a passion and will never buy throught their sites again.

  13. We have purchased many themes from theme forest with VC included and had to go back to theme forest to purchase the license. Maybe this is the solution. You continue to sell your theme with the VC plugin included and the buy has to go to theme forest to purchase the license.

  14. Roland

    Well, I stopped buying stuff from Envato a few months ago. They don’t care about their customers. Example: I didn’t get a refund although I asked for it with the approbation from the author. They simply didn’t answer me (and I tried three times!). but that’s not the only time that I was annoyed by Envato.

    They claim that they proof the code before they offer the items on their platform. But that’s a lie. It was not only one time that I bought a WordPress plugin from CodeCanyon and I couldn’t install on a fresh copy of WordPress because the plugin was buggy. Envato is good for authors, but not for customers. (I agree, there are authors that take support serious. But you can’t know before you buy and try.)

    The fact that Envato also comes with unjustified accusations in relation to licenses is the next locical step for this company. In my opinion they are grown too big and they are very greedy for money.

    But I can tell you something else: I used Ultimate Theme without using a single of these plugins. Visual Composer? Unusable, too much JavaScript, slows down your site and too heavy load time.

    Ultimate Theme itself is you jewel, not these Code Canyon bullshit. These plugins are a sales pitch, but without them you could spend more time to delelop Ultimate Theme instead of adapting these unnecessary plugins.

    So forget Envato and concentrate on your work. Envato and their items are not worth to waste a single minute. You don’t need their stuff!

  15. Victor

    What a story Onur! I really hope you will (and should) win this strange case! Very poor business practice by both Envato and VC

  16. Paulus

    Don’t give in to them, an awful, greedy company. I stopped buying anything from Envato over a year ago due to their licensing rules and haven’t looked back since.

  17. Technically, it’s all open source anyway since it is built on wordpress so you’re all tilting at windmills – every single tool, theme or app which incorporates wordpress code is – by definition – GPL

    • I’m not sure that’s true The following is a from Version 2 of the GPL, section 2.

      “These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program, and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.”

      Too much legalese for me. But it seems to me that a case could be made that WordPress plugins are not automatically covered by the GPL, or any other open source license.

      • This is not a GPL license issue however the GPL license also states all derivative works should be GPL which makes all PHP and HTML of plugins and themes for WordPress are GPL by nature.

      • I think that depends on the definition of derivative works. From what I can see, the term can be defined to mean that the work derived from (WordPress in this case) has an integral part of the product you’re releasing, not just that your product adheres to an API. In other words, you must add your code to, or replace some of, the core WordPress code to be considered a derivative. But then that’s my reading and I don’t get paid anything like the lawyers do.

        In any event, I haven’t use enough of the Evanto plugins to make that much difference. It’s their conduct that bothers me enough that I will probably continue to not use their products.

  18. awemaker

    I, for one, first encountered VC inside of Ultimatum. Now I see it everywhere. I think they might owe you some money for publicity. If they think they got a crappy deal with you to begin with but now have a big head, they should remember this little fact: you contributed to their success just by being awesome.

    You should at least know the numbers they are speaking of, though, before reacting. You might come to think of it as an adjustment for ongoing times, but I’m not in favor of you paying them back money like a settlement (there was a deal, after all), just in moving forward. It should be talked about, at least.

    I would like to see VC included in Ultimatum into the future; I hold a lifetime licence after all. Conversely, they are not the only page builder out there, but losing it would suck.

    Lastly, it certainly seems that the Bakery is in a pact with Envato. The details of that pact should be made public before moving on with your matter.

  19. Envato’s license(s) are useless. ALL derivatives from WordPress inherit the GPL license. I can get a month’s subscription of every theme/plugin club, download ALL their themes/plugins, put them all in one .zip file and sell it or even give it away for free on my own website. THAT IS GPL.

    Technically speaking the restrictions put on a Standard license that are not on the extended/developer license is against GPL.

    No amount of bitching from Envato or any theme/plugin will change what we get from GPL.

  20. Oh wow. I hope it gets resolved. I’ve been so happy with ultimatum theme that I actually started getting my customers to buy it. They have one of the best support ever. I’m sure they are correct and integral in their practices. Good luck! I’ll be sharing this to make sure everyone understands what’s going on.

  21. I’ll say it. Somebody needs to drop a bomb in that bomb in that bitch and roast hotdogs to that burning fire.

    Honestly as a consumer I don’t enjoy Envato. And if you think about it you may never have either. I don’t like their site, their UI, their lack of usability, their lack of proactive thinking for the users and authors.

    The thing I like from Envato other than their bundles sometimes, is the authors and what they create! Not Envato. I check codecanyon several times a day, just looking to see what new idea someone has came out with! It is that creative spirit I enjoy!

    It is a shame that corporate, greedy, manipulative, insensitive minds are getting in the way of that pure enjoyment of seeing another’s creative heart!

    All support from here man!

  22. Karri McKinnon, owner, Axxis Design Group

    This is disturbing at best. Please work on a new version of Ultimatum that will rely on another builder, such as Beaver Builder or Fusion Page Builder. Send another group email, and we WILL purchase for multiple future projects.

  23. Onur,

    I would suggest including a GPL page builder in version 3. That way you could contribute, work with and be a partner with authors instead of dealing with this kind of thing.

  24. Harley

    I have decided to never purchase another product from Envato quite some time ago.
    I have stuck to my guns.
    I have purchased from a few GREAT AUTHORS there and will try to find their own websites and buy from them personally as opposed o Envato in future

  25. This reminds me of a conversation I had with Specialized Bicycle Company in 1992. I bought one of the original Stump Jumpers in 1982 and had ridden it for years. The frame failed the top tube buckled right behind the weld and I contacted the company because it had a life time warranty. After some back and forth and having it looked at by an authorized dealer they agreed to warranty it but with the lesser bike frame they sold the Rock Hopper. Now don’t get me wrong the Rock Hopper was a good frame and probably better than the one I had in quality but not in respect in the biking community. I said WOW so in 1982 when you were a small struggling company trying to carve a new niche in the biking industry, I spent a lot of money for me and supported you so you could pay the bills and continue with your vision. Now you want to downgrade the people that believed in you and said it’s got a lifetime warranty, I just hope the company has a lifetime to stand behind that. I thought wow that’s what you feel about that first few hundred of people that bought your first Stump Jumper and made this all possible. I told the shop I have to think about that I’ll get back to them if I want it. The guys at the specialized retailer shop that was handling the return said Rock Hopper are cool and the frame is almost the same as the Stump Jumper accept forth sticker and the upgraded tubing. It’s better than the one I had! I thought about it and called the company and ask for the president of the company, I got the vice president, I explained the situation and who I was talking to and why I thought I deserved the flagship frame he thanked me. He couldn’t believe I had one of the first 500 bikes made it was way before his time with the company. He had to make some call to verify the story and see who is handling it in the returns dep. a couple hours later I got a call back from him saying he was sorry for how I was treated; I indeed had one of the first manufactured bikes. I hear that a lot but it’s rare it’s usually the 2nd or 3rd manufacturing run. My Stump Jumper frame and fork would be shipped the next day, what color do I want. He told me he had a talked with the warranty department and that would never happen again. THe bike shop said wow what did you do I said I just told him a story and he got it. I didn’t fight and I wasn’t attached to being right or the outcome. I just told him about being one of two Stump Jumpers in a College town in PA. How many times I let people ride it and how many appeared every year since.

    You see he got it there was a day when that company put it out there and said we hope like hell 500 people pay $850 for this funny looking thing. We know how that story went but in any conversation the context is decisive. I hope you can get past the legal of the license and wording and get them to realize that you both benefited from the relationship of you buying and using their product. I hope you can talk to the right person. If not I hope they get what they deserve as we say in business karma is a B—-. Thanks for all you do for us.

  26. I’m so sorry that you guys are dealing with this! You’ve built an amazing system that I love and depend on to build websites for my own clients. We are dealing with a similar situation with another big company and it’s crap! They just want to chase after those that they feel are making too much money off of their products! Please keep us all in the loop so that we can adjust accordingly!

  27. hi Onur
    terribly stupid from them, you have all my support. Already posted my deep annoyance on Codecanyon like some others. Please let us know if you wish we send more mails..
    Tom

    • Tom,

      Raitis replied you with:
      Hello, I can affirm you that there was no any licensing rule changes by WPBakery or Envato. I apologize that you have to be an unwilling witness of pure speculations and fact changes. We always treat our customers the best possible way and work closely with fair theme authors to provide best possible theme integration and compatibility. If you have any additional questions – I will be glad to answer it and provide more information.

      Well his emails are copied and pasted right? how can it be a fact change?

      • Air45

        Perhaps Onur, you should screen capture instead. A picture says a thousand words 😉

        Full screen so it’s clear that it’s the email you received – not something doctored. Even better – print message to pdf

      • I thought the same but the image reading is not so easy i will attach images of emails under them later so it will be their proofs.

  28. I am especially surprised that WP Bakery makes such a fuss about this. VC may be the foundation to build pages. But it is marginally equipped. So,if you want to have fun with visual effects or desire something more sophisticated, then you need to buy other plugins. VC is just a door opener for all the others.

    I could picture a light (usable) version of plugins like the many (even free) plugins on WordPress.org
    If customers like what they see, they will surely get the full versions.

    But on the other hand, Beaver Builder looks like an upcoming big name. I like it.

    Onur, I think of you as a genius – great work/different to all the others – Do not let others impress you to the point of resignation – Stand up for your rights but be wise enough to know where and when to fight.

    All my best wishes

    Peter

  29. I am with you all the way! Even without VC! I never liked Envato… They have “if you don’t join us – we’ll beat you to it” written all over them. One of the complementary reasons I was very happy to learn about your independent treasure island called Ultimatum.

  30. Pauli

    Stumbled upon this (quote): “Can I add special requirements to the license terms for my file? No. The Envato Market Licenses apply to all items, for consistency.” Later on Mr. WP Bakery explicitly suggests such a special requirement to close the case. 😀

  31. I am always with yall and agree on it all and if somehow all else fails yall can slowly take it away and create yalls own that would fit Ultimatum better than VC or something like that.

  32. shaun

    There needs to be more companies like yours in this world. I wish you all the luck I can and hope that they come to their senses. Keep up the fight and the amazing work. I’ll be with you to the end

  33. wow, it seems to me they have targeted Ultimatum Theme because it’s becoming extremely popular (and you will be changing theme licencing to an annual fee – for new licences with the next big release-yes?). They just want to piggy back on your success and they way in which you are now able to licence.

    They are just being extremely nasty, and if they didn’t have the foresight 2 years ago that’s their problem. I am so pleased I only have two sites that have a VC component!

  34. im with you Onur, i guess because of the success of your product perhaps Envato and wp bakery are trying to take advantage. good luck.

  35. As I read the Envato terms, it is mentioning a single end application for a customer (singular). That would imply that Ultimatum is infringing the license terms.

    As a customer building sites for my customers I had the feeling that at Ultimatum theme they would have dealt with this legally and have avoided this before putting the product on the market. This is, with all respect, quite naieve and amateuristic. Ultimatum is one of the best products on the market and then you know that you are with your head full in the wind.

    It seems that you have looked at the terms without a lawyer and certainlyvhave no written OEM agreement with WP Bakery. You build on assumptions without any legal base to support this. And Wp Bakery is not the only plugin in your product that could come knocking at your door.

    I don’t mind a bit extra for Ultimatum or pay for some premium plugins, which I could choose to buy or not. But as Professional I don’t want to read atvall that Ultimatum apparently is build on license quicksand. You should have known that you are surrounde by vultures.

    Solve this please, I can’t help you in any other way than being your satisfied customer. And that is what I would like to stay. So don’t fall over. Legalize it.

    • Johan,

      I have pasted whole license with my comments in the post and you can see:
      Clause 5:
      You can Sell and make any number of copies of the single End Product.

      So it is not for one client only. We have consulted legal people before we have included the items. So there is no infringement. their stand point is the Envato Author licensing FAQ which does not apply to us as we are not selling on Envato.

  36. Oh boy. This has gotten way out of control considering the success both Envato and WPBakery have achieved from theme authors such as yourself.

    Even more so I don’t see why WPBakery has chosen to target you considering how minuscule Ultimatum fits into the scale of things (no offense intended Onur). They still continue to show success in such a massive way, why even bother with you? It doesn’t effect them one way or the other in the big numbers game…except with the thought of Ultimatum continuing to expose their plugin’s shortcomings.

    Those of us that have developed VC addons know this all too well and realistically WP development is moving in a way that design tools should no longer look to be built upon the weakness of shortcodes inside the content editor and this is where VC will eventually fade away in my opinion.

    • Philip,

      In my opinion it was ok until I placed site counter on home page. They saw the numbers and thought they can sell that much licenses… It is more than their current sales and 10% would make them happy…

      They are bragging 500k sites done with VC with 85k sales.. How? because of Themes and thats their sales pitch…

      I did not get offended by the scale but the truth is not likewise 😉

      • Air45

        Spot on – they’ve now calculated how much your success is costing them and probably scrambled to change the rules in their favor before starting this process. WP Bakery being a mega seller they’ve got him worked up on how much he has lost by allowing you this old license agreement.

        Don’t blame you for choosing to stand alone in selling your product – Envato takes way too much of the author’s profits.

      • The license terms at current also allows Ultimatum to be as it is now. Their stand point is the Envato’s FAQ section titles Author Licensing FAQ, which is for authors selling on Envato markets.

  37. I found this on the Themepunch website, talking about licences:

    “The Slider Revolution WordPress Plugin is sold exclusively via the Envato Marketplace which currently offers two different license models”.
    http://www.themepunch.com/portfolio/slider-revolution-wordpress-plugin/

    The Essential Grid WordPress Plugin is sold exclusively via the Envato Marketplace which currently offers two different license models.
    http://www.themepunch.com/portfolio/essential-grid-wordpress-plugin/

    They are really respecting the original agreement?
    I have not previously paid attention to this and do not remember how it was dealt with the issue before version 5.0 Revolution Slider.

    • Yes they are.
      They do not add additional terms to licenses on Envato’s licenses (Regular, Extended) as they did before. ThemePunch are always good and supportive to us and they have never changed their word.

      • Good for them … I like and enjoy the work they do.
        Onur, deeply respect your work. I sincerely hope that this is resolved positively. But I imagine looking at the future you’re rethinking Ultimatum.

      • Oh the things I hear from time to time Ult 3.0 going to kill all versions before combined and will be IMO 5-10x bigger. So they have deff been rethought Ult long before this issue lol. It will be a long but fun ride there to Ult 3.0 and so on and I can’t wait to see where it ends there and continues to go even further down the road. VC issue is sort of small compared to the Developer’s vision on Ult.

  38. Seems clear that as they grew and employed lawyers, they have decided to chase down the companies that helped them get there.

    To be honest I have bought 6 copies of VC and Ultimate Addons for VC, 3 of these were to go with the Ultimatum theme because I wanted to make sure that the large companies I was working for had a license, wanted to compensate VC for the work done and ensure I got updates. After reading this I am sorry that I did!

    It seems to me that you may be experiencing a company that has hit its peak and is starting on the road to decline by increasingly focusing on things other than their core business and their core becoming more and more bloated with ‘features’.

    Maybe you or someone that works with the theme could take this as an opportunity to develop a VC alternative. I for one would be glad as I’m starting to see VC getting so big and bloated that I have been considering removing it from the sites I look after. Just for interest between VC and Ultimate Addons for VC you have over 1.5MB of files, before you have even started loading a page! That’s possibly acceptable on the desktop, but I have just been looking at mobile stylesheets on a site and VC basically kills it!

    • Well they might have got bigger in scale but i do not think they have consulted a lawyer before this. As the terms and license are very clear and they are trying to make their way of those. We did not wrote the rules but we obeyed now they are trying to change rules.

      I agree with VC being bloated and we are already looking for alternatives.

  39. For what it is worth, I would think that if the author knew that his product was being used and did nothing about it till now then he would be estopped from any recompense for those uses of his product in the past. He would only be able to try and change the terms of the licence going forward.

    Beaver sounds like a good alternative and would be happy to use it in UT on future sites, or use any builder alternative you develop.

    Keep up the good fight.

    • Of course they knew it was in Ultimatum for 28 months and the funny thing is Raitis aka (StarDust) commented on CodeCanyon comments saying Ultimatum has a modified version and we do not know what are their modifications…
      I think one day he woke up and thought: “What should I do today?” and decided to bully us.
      Also they cannot do changes to our future clients as well due to our license agreement and its rules.

  40. Shandery

    Hi Onur, thanks for letting us know regarding this issue.

    I have been using Ultimatum since 2013 for my projects. Just for your information, I do NOT use Visual Composer on most of the projects. So, if WPBakery say people buy Ultimatum because of VC, it’s totally wrong on my case. I love using Ultimatum for its easy to use drag and drop concept which helps me a lot in designing my websites NOT because of VC. What you mentioned above is TOTALLY correct, I know VC for the first time after I purchase Ultimatum.

    Fight for good, Onur! I’m supporting you. I am sick of people doing unethical act like that.

    Regards,
    Shandery

  41. Hi Onur,

    You might put the “Cornerstone” Page Builder in your back pocket too. It is by Theme.co, part of the XTheme. But recently they released a blog about aiming allow Cornerstone to be a stand alone Page Builder plugin.

    I would think this would not be sold on Envato? Hopefully, so it could be an option.

    Anyhow, just thought I would throw that out there to you.

    Reference Link: http://theme.co/cornerstone/

  42. Jon Crane

    Hope you manage to get this sorted out. Envato are totally out of order and don’t seem to understand the terms of their own License Agreement.

    Got to admit that I’m quite concerned. I have a number of sites that I’ve built for my clients that depend on Visual Composer. I also have one that is in the middle of being built that I’m now wondering if I should continue to use VC on.

  43. Tim Aldridge

    Envato has gotten too big for their britches and are now trying to retroactively change standing extended licensing agreements with developers so they can extract more $$$. Shameful- makes me want to not do business with Envato/Themeforest anymore!

  44. Chris

    They want theme developers to pay more and more and more but they don’t want to support end users who buy themes with vc built in…

    Found this on envato website vc comments / support.

    1 day ago
    I was trying to send a support ticket, but could not because I got Visual Composer bundled with a theme (Shopkeeper) and didn’t have a purchase code for VC alone.

    I ask my question here instead:

    How comes tabs and accordions are in my list of deprecated elements in VC?. They seems to have been added not so long ago (ver 4.6) and they even got some new custom CSS in ver 4.6.2 according to the changelog.

    Startdust
    Startdust AUTHOR TEAM
    about 19 hours ago
    Hi, official support is available only for direct customers in your case you should either contact theme author or consider purchasing direct license for VC. As for your question – in deprecated list there are old tabs, tours, accordions. But in Element list there are new tabs, tours, accordions – if for some reason they are not there I would recommend asking your theme author to take a look at it.

    Knowledge Base · Official Support · Facebook · Twitter

    • Very good point Chris, they ask for money very easy but when it comes to serve they never mention it. As you might have seen in post they asked money in bulk+money per sales from us but they did give nothing in return. All they want to give is what we already have! Our rights!

      • Seriously, you should bake up a competing better but free product that works out of the box with all VC add ons thus users can switch piece of cake, or pie…. whatever you are baking that day!
        AND comes with a tool that converts all [vc_shortcodes] to [fvc_shortcodes]

        I will leave it to your imagination what acronym fvc stands for!

  45. Tell them to go s*** a d***.

    I have a purchased several copies of standalone copies of VC, multiple themes with VC (inc ultimatum) and even purchased additional VC licences for themes that have bundled VC… They arent losing out on a damn thing!

    I will now be looking for alternatives to VC and themeforest!

    Way to alienate your customers Envato and WP Bakery!

  46. James Guzmán Méndez

    I apologize if my English translation is not the best

    I bought ultimatum because I found a sturdy framework and not because include VC.

    As for envato, you could say that it is playing with fire, because with that policy change many will not want to buy their products; Now if you change the rules should be applied to new buyers, and if you do all themes retroactive to include that plugin should be applied, which will bring many discomforts for those who have purchased any license type.

    Another view would be that if I buy a product and then I change the rules of the game, considered as misleading advertising.

    I buy a theme including commercially licensed VC, I mean I can offer my clients and so far I have not notified any change to the license.

    I agree with include Beaver Builder.

    Bye

  47. Sean

    xenous,

    Everything happens “for the better”. This maybe a sign to create something revolutionary, like the Ultimatum!

    Let’s give them a hell of a fight, but don’t lose sleep over it. Let the lawyers handle it and know that we are all with you. We’re with you and are spreading the word.

    All the best,
    Sean

  48. xenous,

    as one of the early ultimatum user, showing support with whichever direction ultimatum team is taking moving ahead from this with or without VC!! (prefer to remove it thou as it’s getting too bloated).

  49. Daniel Morris

    Thanks for being so transparent about your (our community’s) problem. Full support here.

  50. Onur, This is incredible, to say the least. Is there anything we can look for from them on our themes. Will the plugins still work? Just wondering what we may be up against. Thank you!

  51. Of all the things the Envato Marketplace is, one thing it is not is developer friendly. Even though I have wandered around Codecanyon, etc., for years, I still find it hard to believe you can’t buy a developer license for anything. Not only that, there’s no intimation that you might be able to buy a developer license on the author’s website where, on the author’s site, you will always find the disclaimer: if you bought this through Envato, sorry sucker. Maybe you can get a different terms of use from the author after an Envato purchase, but that’s an option Envato obscures.

    The word ‘obscure’ is particularly applicable to Envato’s licensing terms. How many of us have poured over the details of to whom they apply, under what circumstances they apply, whether they apply, what parts apply to which parties or whether, when taken as a whole, they mean anything at all? But they are certainly long enough, detailed enough, authoritative enough to make you think you will be in breach if you accidentally enable it on any website.

    At some point Envato’s distribution network made it possible for theme and plug-in authors to put their wares before millions of WordPress users. This produced competition and (arguably) better software and provided a way to make a decent living out of what was formerly more like a donation to the WordPress community.

    But now Envato has to protect its market space. The company’s increasingly restrictive, internally incoherent license terms, terms even they don’t understand and can’t explain, reflect this. Suggesting Automatic step in and throw its weight around is like suggesting an engine manufacturer change the engineering and components of its products to force auto manufacturing companies to completely change they way they design, build and sell cars. Unlikely.

    More likely is that Envato will fall under the weight of its own cobbled together licensing terms they must try to enforce after the fact due to the unforeseen outcome of pvevious terms. Some of that is okay but not the invention and imposition of new terms that destroy its customers’ businesses either by themselves or by way of their agreements with 3rd-parties.

    • Actually only PHP files in the code is GPL the same article you sent has this section as well.
      My JS/CSS/Images are 100% original. Do they have to be GPL?
      No, they don’t. If they aren’t based on GPL’d JavaScript, CSS, or images, you are not forced to make them GPL. What you could do is offer a theme under a split license. The PHP would be under the GPL, but other static resources could be under some other license.

      This is why they have two licenses on package (they call it split license) GPL fro PHP and Extended license in our case for the rest.

  52. Envato also seems to lie or post wrong/unclear information about other plugins.
    If you look at this one:

    http://codecanyon.net/item/microthemer-wordpress-visual-design-css-plugin/1651051

    they say:
    “UPDATE: Following customer requests, users can now purchase a Developer License for Microthemer (but only from themeover.com directly – CodeCanyon doesn’t offer Dev Licenses at the moment, and the Extended License is too expensive (in our view) and doesn’t permit use on client websites).”

    They say that the developer license of Microthemer does not permit the use on client sites. I did just receive a mail of the developer of microthemer. I did ask for the developer license and the use in regards of client sites, because i am thinking about getting the full version, it works great with ultimatum. Here is his reply:

    “Yes, the dev version allows you to use Microthemer on client sites. You can keep it installed for them to play with if you trust them not to mess things up (you can always export your work as a design pack in case they do mess things up :)”

    This seems like a clear lie to encourage people to buy the plugin from their site. And i think the normal version is completely overpriced at their site as well. (one licence for 50$ while you get 3 Licence for 45$ from the developer). I do value the work to set up a sales platform and the marketing but to increase the price by more than a factor 3X is a bit much.

    Xenous don’t let yourself put down by this greedy behaviour. I really appreciate your honesty and that you do stand for your product and your clients….Thanks for that.

  53. Mark

    Onur,

    This is just incredible!
    When you think of how you have elevated VC through its inclusion in Ult, you would have thought they would be bending over backwards to get this issue resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible.
    Like others, I discovered VC through Ult and have since purchased separate licences for add-ons etc.
    It does seem to be getting a little bloated these days, but I like it as it makes it easier for clients to be able to make simple changes to content on their sites without risking deleting essential coding.
    If there was an alternative that was as flexible, if not more so, then all of your existing customers would be well up for it as long as we could still be as creative and also keep up with current trends – parallax, animation etc…
    We are all behind you and your company and hope you get this issue resolved quickly as this is extra stress you don’t need!
    Keep up the excellent work – we can’t wait for Ult 3.0 and a new drag and drop page builder 😉

  54. I use SiteOrigin Page Builder, i hope you on ultimatumtheme.com can help SiteOrigin Page Builder for more feature.

    I stop buy anything from Evanto, because thier licence.
    I hope other web designer and wordpress lover also stop buying from Evanto, so they can chance their licence.

  55. eezosqueezer

    Personally, I don’t much like Visual Composer. Given the BS about licensing some time ago where Envato wouldn’t update us (you remember that xenous), I say dump ’em. This is utter BS. Like you don’t have enough to do with keeping Ultimatum running and updated that these dipsticks have to add to the problem.

    Good for you on making all this public. Personally, I won’t be buying anything from Envato after this. They looks like yet another typical tech company with sh*t customer service and vendor relations. Greed is such an ugly thing. And that’s how it looks to me.

    They aren’t the copyright holder nor should they act like they are. Respond to the DMCA complaint with the prescribed counter and tell plugin makers that you won’t include their products in Ultimatum if sold by Envato. Go get the stuff directly from the authors.

    While Envato may have terms that say you have to sell through us and only us—there’s a fact that escaped them. The author is the owner of the work and they can change the terms any time they please. That includes striking the clause from Envato’s contract. Everyone thinks that Terms of Service are sacrosanct. They aren’t and any clause can be struck. If Envato says, “You can’t use our site then,” then “Fine, f*** ’em!” Set up a $10 site on Digital Ocean, drop WP, Ultimatum and WooCommerce on it. Instant sales site. Put right on it, “We left Envato because their terms are shite.” That’s just the kind of PR a company loves!

    Here’s the part content creators don’t get. Envato needs them more than the authors need them. The authors (content creators) make the stuff. Envato is just a middleman—a distributor. Maybe you should apply your skills, contact the authors, and offer a new marketplace for them to sell through. You’ve got the chops for it. The authors do too. Hell, maybe the guys at WooCommerce would help you out with that. You never know!

    If Envato wants to be a monopoly (and that’s how it looks to me), then really scare the crap out of them. Compete with them and do it better. Nothing kicks a company in the b*lls harder than taking their money away.

  56. Sven

    From my side the same. Envato is out of the game for me – if they dont change their way of treating customers. Not only for that what they try with the License of Ultimatum, its also their licence policy if using something from their platform – too handcuffed. I support the Ultimatum Team – go on….

  57. Hi,

    Great deal there. My full support for you. I was planning to use VC on a new theme but will never. Now I am in another dilemma: Should I use Revolution Slider on my theme?

    problem is no other alternatives.

    What confused me is their supportive stand as you had mentioned( unlike other greedy authors). So please help me to solve this situation.

  58. greg

    What about a buyer who spent a few hundreds dollars in envato markets and got screwed by envato for file that ended up in some crappy piracy blog, how about trying to explain to them that if I wanted to share things I purcahsed on evato, I would have done so with the 150+ items I purchaased and not with a single not updated product (like I enjoy compromising my account for an old file) they just didn’t care, closed my account and that’s it. Envato is now a NO-NO use whatever they do, I jutst don’t want to hear from them anymore, lost a few hundreds dollars in files and will surely lose some customers when I won’t be able to update their websites.

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