You might remember us (me, mostly) giving Brian Gardner a hard time about his decisions regarding the Revolution Theme, a successful premium WordPress theme, and his move to Revolution Two. Older customers got in the middle, and we talked about that in an interview.
Well, now it seems as if WooThemes is doing something similar. In a late “we’re 1 year old” birthday post, they’re offering The Original Premium News Theme for free, which was the first premium WordPress theme released by Adii, one of the people behind the WooThemes project.
So won’t the people that paid money for that particular theme be a bit pissed off that now thousands of blogs might use it?
I asked Adii that question, and had an interesting discussion about the matter in fact. This is his statement regarding releasing The Original Premium News Theme:
We don’t believe that releasing a year old theme for free infringes on our users’ rights, as they have not only bought a theme from us, but also all the goodies that goes along with that purchase (in terms of support, tutorials, theme-specific customisation help etc.). We have also been in touch with all of our users and worked out an acceptable situation internally.
Fair enough, I guess. Personally, I’d be a bit pissed off if I bought a theme because I didn’t want my blog to look like everybody else’s, and then suddenly anyone can download the theme for free, but maybe that’s just me. Also, I don’t know what the “acceptable situation” is, so it all boils down to individual cases.
Still, it is interesting to see another premium news theme suddenly ending up for free download. This raises some questions as to how certain a buyer can be that his premium theme of choice will stay premium in the long run. After all, buying a premium themes (and design in general) is all about getting something that is fairly unique and not too widespread.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.