Expired Purchases or Downloads

I’m sure this has been talked about before however I feel it’s important to continually voice concern over what seems to me is a very frustrating issue.

If I (or any individual) is to choose to download and search for WP themes via themeforrest, and is also choosing to do the right thing and paying for each licence rather than downloading a free torrent / pirated version, the LEAST we can expect is that Envato will ensure that links to download purchased theme files are available forever.

I purchased a couple of wordpress themes some years back. They would still work perfectly for a few small sites I need to create, mainly for personal use.

[Wordpress theme via themeforrest]
“Download not available
Item removed by either staff or the author
You may still download your License certificate & purchase code (text) for this item.”

This just isn’t good enough. What am I meant to do with the cert?

So if I’ve lost my copy of these theme files from when I originally bought and downloaded them, I’m forced to go and search for them on the internet. Often finding the very pirated version that I paid envato/author money for so I wouldn’t have to download it.

Furthermore, if there was an update released to legit buyers and you didn’t download it in time, you may be stuck with an outdated version with no way to legitimately download the latest version of the product you bought before it was taken off the market.

I think envato should provide and manage the downloads and download links of some of these products. At least ensure that buyers are able to choose and download all versions of a previously purchased theme forever, even if the original seller account has been removed. Even if the licence expires, the actual theme files should always be available - this is one of the conveniences that I would expect when actually paying for software / media

Here is why I pay for themes:

  • because it’s a nice, simple central place to manage all the wordpress themes I own (which I wouldnt get if i was searching for torrents)
  • it provides a clean list with download links to the latest themes and updates (again, you don’t always get the latest version or updates if you search for a free or pirated version of the theme you want)
  • the envato wp plugin API
  • i never have to worry about losing the files or licences, it’s all managed for me in my account online

So as you can imagine, if the seller can simply remove the theme from the market after you’ve bought it, there aren’t so many benefits left. One could likely look back and think it would have been easier to just torrent it in the first place rather than make the purchase and then be forced to go and torrent it anyway once it’s no longer on the market.

Of course, this is an issue and yes, it’s brought up repeatedly on the forums. However…

Here’s the problem. Part of the reason Envato is such an attractive marketplace and has such high quality content is because authors retain full rights to their work. If an author takes down their item, Envato has no more right to distribute it to you; that would be copyright infringement.

This is why Envato tells you that you need to keep a copy of downloaded files for safekeeping, and that they could be removed at any time. I would recommend storing your theme files on a cloud provider such as Google Drive or OneDrive. Their free plans will more than suffice! :+1:

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