Third party website selling Woothemes bundle – dodgy or legit?

07 March 2010 comment icon4 | Categories: theme news, wordpress

I was doing some googling this evening and stumbled across this ad:

woothemes

I was immediately suspicious. Perhaps this is a WooThemes affiliate who has a special deal directly with WooThemes?

Not so it would seem. Bundlethemes looks to be selling a bundle of 46 WooThemes themes and using the GPL to make it legit. Here’s a screenshot of their sales page.

woothemes bundle

And here’s a direct quote from that sales page:

How can I legally offer this? Simple. It’s kind of WooThemes dirty little secret. They have released everything they publish under the GPL license. This is the same license WordPress itself is given away free under. GPL gives the buyer full rights to use, edit and redistribute the product as they see fit. Being a customer let me bundle all these themes up so you could make a saving. By not buying from WooThemes you do lose out on the support they offer – if you want support and a community forum I recommend buying direct from WooThemes.

Dodgy or Legit?

I must say I’ve not come across this type of resale activity before. The site is clearly aimed at those who are already very familiar with WooThemes as bundlethemes does not contain much more than this sales page. Their whole business model seems to revolved around finding customers who wish to save approx. $40 to forego the support of the wonderful guys who actually make these brilliant themes. I’ve gotta say I don’t like this one bit at all. Whether or not this is considered legal or not – and I’m sure bundlethemes would strongly argue they are not breaking any laws – I think it doesn’t really add up for me. I can’t see potential customers going for this at all. It’s also morally wrong. The guys over at woothemes clearly put a heck of a lot of work into what they do and here we have someone who is effectively bootlegging their work.

I guess we should let customers decide who is right?

4 Responses to “Third party website selling Woothemes bundle – dodgy or legit?”

  1. John Maskell on 7 March 2010 at 5:59 pm said: Permalink

    Yes I have noticed these guys as well.

    These websharks have technically exploited a hole in GPL licensing it seems. The point is, these guys are affiliate (or whatever name they go by) opportunists who have no respect for people who create products, such as the beautiful products designed at WooThemes (I have no associating with Woo). They have no respect for the gifted designers, coders and support people who work long hours creating these products to make their living.

    Woo are The Creators, people that create value and worth, Bundlethemes are The Breakers, unscrupulous websharks that create nothing, except their ‘dirty little secret’ blogs.

    We creators have no problem with people making money through affiliations where its a win win situation for everyone, but stealing our hard earned creativity to profit from is just not right.

    Imaging trashing thousands of dollars of hard earned equity For Just $27, and diminishing the WooThemes brand name in the process.

    Bundlethemes, get your own coders and designers and create your own products. Hopefully you won’t feel too outraged when someone else rips off your hard work.

    People like BundleThemes should just piss off! (Sorry)

    • Ed on 7 March 2010 at 6:12 pm said: Permalink

      Hi John,

      I guess for premium theme shops who wish to get the blessing of Automattic when it comes to releasing their themes, the likes of Bundlethemes is going to be the dark side of the equation.

      I’m sure the Woothemes guys have come across this already. I’d be very interested to get their input on this. Surely there must be something which they can do to prevent this type of thing?

    • Patrick on 9 February 2011 at 8:23 pm said: Permalink

      I realize I’m late to this thread but I have a few thoughts on this.

      “These websharks have technically exploited a hole in GPL licensing it seems.”

      Actually there is no exploit, not even “technically”. The GPL license specifically allows this to happen.

      “They have no respect for the gifted designers, coders and support people who work long hours creating these products to make their living.”

      Actually Richard Stallman by creating the GPL license the way he did has no respect for anyone using it by forcing them to allow their work that they charge a fee for to be given away after it has been bought. So in theory they could sell one copy and then that copy could be re-distributed to everyone else for free. How socialistic.

      “… but stealing our hard earned creativity to profit from is just not right.”

      You are allowed to keep images and css under a restricted license. Only the actual PHP code needs to be GPL. But even though you are allowed that, WordPress.com demands you put the whole thing under GPL if you want to sell on the official WordPress site. Wow, is that ever a socialistic slam down. It has been established that images and css can be off limits to GPL but WordPress.com won’t allow it. So they contribute to this “theme giveaway” since images and css almost all the time are the most valuable part of the theme.

      “… but stealing our hard earned creativity to profit from is just not right.”

      You are right in a sense that it is stealing. But it is granted through the license. That’s what you get with a socialistic license. Socialists hate Capitalism so that is why this “theft” is allowed in the GPL. Normal people like you and I see that it should be stealing but the license says it is not.

  2. Natetronn on 23 September 2010 at 7:51 pm said: Permalink

    Wootheme’s support is awesome to say the least. You are not going to get that kind of support or any support for that matter with these types of quote-un-quote deals. What you will get is access to outdated themes with no access to updates. Updates like the recent shortcodes which make life for you and your clients much more easier. This is one of those cases where if it sounds to good to be true….then it probably is. Don’t waste your money!

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