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Can I use free wordpress theme as a base for my own project?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by instant_kill, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. instant_kill

    instant_kill Newbie

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    Hi guys,
    I want to create my own wordpress theme with my info as an author, so when people try to find which wordpress theme used on the website - they would be able to see my info.
    since building a theme from 0 would be a long and tedious work, I decided to use a free wordpress theme as a basis, and customize it with child theme.
    since ive seen many websites based on free wordpress templates with customization, I was wondering if such a thing is possible legally.
    my question is,
    would it be legal to change the picture and details of the original creator of the template to mine after I customize a template?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I used to do something similar with my business site; I originally used a free theme that I modified as a child theme (adding my own details as the author, since there were several changes I made).

    I think as long as you're not trying to sell the theme, you should be fine.
     
  3. instant_kill

    instant_kill Newbie

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    thank you for your reply mate~
    well this time im not planing on selling the template, but what if i do?
    I need to know how to check if its a legal thing to use a free theme --> customize --> add your own details on child theme
     
  4. Larry Igna

    Larry Igna Junior Member

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    Free or not free, themes come with a license that tells you pretty much everything you need to know.Most free themes don't want you to change copyright in the footer, for example.So i assume they won't be happy with your modifications either.
     
  5. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I think if the theme is a GPL theme, then you can " copy, modify, and distribute the code for free or a price", or at least that's what I read about the GPL themes on ThemeForest. It's like what Larry said above, it depends on the license that comes with the theme.

    Perhaps someone else who builds free themes can chip in on this.
     
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  6. Larry Igna

    Larry Igna Junior Member

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  7. instant_kill

    instant_kill Newbie

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    Thank you larry!
    I'm gonna read about the gpl licenses.
    do you really think that there is a chance that the creator of the template will complain about me?
    what usually happens is such cases? you think that they would sue me? or would they ask me to add credits?
    I'm really confused, I've already build a costume template using free theme as a base, took me lots of time and effort to make it,
    how safe will it be to use it as a corporate website for client of mine? - (not planing on selling it)

    what about payed themes from themeforest?
    If i payed and bought a template legally, is it legal to change the details on child theme?
    should it be written on the license?

    thanks again guys!
     
  8. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hmm I don't know for sure but I'm guessing there might be some issue. Maybe you can find a free theme and ask the author.

    If there is an issue, what about using a framework and creating theme from that, I imagine there would be less issues there.

    Or pay a designer to build a theme for you - you could get it done for not much and then more chance of it getting shared if it's been professionally designed.

    Ps great idea for getting a lot of backlinks if you can pull it off.
     
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  9. BigLeague

    BigLeague Newbie

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    Building a theme from ground 0 isn't as bad as it may seem. If you're able to change a free theme enough to make it into a new theme you would likely be surprised how easy it is to make your own from scratch.
     
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