Important Changes To Our Exclusivity Policy

Those are both covered in the new policy…

  1. Envato authors of WordPress themes and plugins are permitted to offer lite versions (a version with reduced/limited functionality) of their exclusive themes and plugins for free on

Apart from these key exceptions, there are no other circumstances in which you can make your exclusive items (or related items) available outside of Envato without breaching this exclusivity policy.

So the answer to your first question is yes, as long as they’re free. And the answer to your second question is no.

@jamesgiroux Just need a clarification on item support exclusivity?

According to the new policy we can sell various services for an exclusive item outside Envato, provided the item itself has been purchased from Envato and is not included in the service.

We have customers who purchased from Envato but their initial support period expired. They now find the support renewal expensive, yet still need various things which can be provided outside Envato for a smaller fee.

So after the included support expires, can additional item support be sold outside Envato?
Can someone from Envato confirm this?

Policy reference:

You’re free to offer publicly available services and productized services in relation to your exclusive items outside of Envato, provided that the services do not result in the delivery of those items or an effective substitution, as per the Service Delivery Variants restriction above.

Non-delivery services include things like training on how to use your item, support services that go beyond any item support services that you’ve agreed to provide via Envato and installation and customisation services in respect of an item for which a license has already been purchased from Envato.

Thanks a lot for clarifying everything. Have a great day there.

I’m sure James will add that to the list of questions to address, but I’m 99% sure that based on the excerpt you’ve quoted, that would be a no.

If the support the client requires would normally be covered by purchasing additional support via Envato… then that service which you want to provide directly to the client, isn’t a support service that goes beyond the item support service that you’ve agreed to provide via Envato.

That’s a controversial issue.

If a buyer (with an expired support) goes somewhere else (say, to Fiverr), he/she can get some help anyway. So why should Envato forbid providing further support by the author outside the Marketplace?

Moreover, I cannot find any information regarding the issue in the policy. I don’t think Envato obliges all exclusive authors to provide additional product support only via Envato.

Yeah, probably best to wait for James on this one… maybe not as clear cut as I thought!

@jamesgiroux Honestly, it all sounds like Uber vs drivers… I mean, all your latest policy changes are too complicated + the author margins are lower, traffic is decreasing, Envato Elements is coming, etc.

Most of us feel like slaves more than partners to the Marketplace.


Our engineering and product teams are always looking at new ways to conveniently present items to customers. Lately they’ve been focused on a few other areas including guest checkout, improving SEO and optimising search results pages. They may seem like small things but the goal is to do everything we can to bring more and more traffic to Envato Market and convert it to customers.

Exclusivity is an option for authors. No author is required to go exclusive but many do in order to take advantage of lower author fees. In exchange for those lower author fees, Envato can drive more traffic to Market because certain product families are exclusive. We’re spending more on marketing now than ever before to continue to bring in customers. We believe this is the most valuable thing we can do for authors.

Historically, exclusivity has only covered items associated with an exclusive account, sorry if that wording wasn’t clear.

Not sure I understand the question here, can you please clarify?

Envato only earns when authors earn. Without authors earning, Envato couldn’t exist. The goal of Envato is to create a sustainable marketplace for authors, for the long term. This requires the flexibility to change and adapt as the industry and economic conditions change, to build new ways of earning for the future of authors and Envato too.

Authors do not have to sell with Envato. They choose to sell with Envato because we have built a platform with a targeted audience of buyers looking to purchase the items authors sell. That’s a very compelling reason for many.

This is a great question and one we want to explore further. I’ve asked our team to weigh in on it and we’ll follow up with an answer.

For now, free, lite versions of WordPress themes and plugins can only be distributed through

Due to the way our system is set up to work, this is not possible. An account is exclusive and the items sold through that account are exclusive until such time as an author decides they would like to remove the item completely or change the exclusivity status of the account.

If the external developer/creator built the add-on/variation without your involvement (e.g., without your authorization), there is no problem. The external developer/creator can continue selling the add-on and you’re not in any way obliged to get involved. The point here is that authors of exclusive items cannot collaborate with (e.g., authorize) third parties to create items sold or distributed off Envato that would be considered part of the exclusive item’s product family.

Rejected items that are part of the same product family are now included in the exclusivity policy. They cannot be sold anywhere else.

Because Joomla is available through ThemeForest this item must be sold through ThemeForest in order to maintain your account’s exclusivity.

I think you’ve captured one of the sentiments here. Authors across the board invest in that traffic through their author and buyer fees. Authors who try to get around the system to pull purchases away from Envato’s platform mean less earnings for the entire community long into the future.

As long as your plugin is named and/or branded differently to your theme, you should be fine.
That’s correct. As long as Easy Photography Portfolio is not sold exclusively on CodeCanyon, you can do whatever you want with it.
No issue with you selling an item outside of Envato as long as the name Easy Photography Portfolio isn’t one you’ve used for an item you are selling exclusively through Envato.
No violation of exclusivity as long as you don’t use the same name for a plugin or extension as you do for an exclusive item on Envato.
No violation of exclusivity as long as the new plugin is not required by your exclusive item and would be seen as being part of the same product family.
As long as an item is not being sold exclusively on Envato you can do what you want with it.
That’s fine and doesn’t violate exclusivity.

Envato is investing in many new ways for authors to extend the earnings they can make from a single customer while also introducing new ways to earn recurring revenue. We’re continually working to create a sustainable ecosystem for authors. Authors earning through Envato is our primary responsibility and we’re working hard to ensure that that is possible for the long term.

The policy states that:

“…you are not permitted to offer publicly available services or productized services (including SaaS versions) related to your exclusive items outside of Envato that would result in a customer getting access to your item or a substitutable end product based on your item, in circumstances where the customer has not purchased a license on Envato. For example, you can’t include your own exclusive theme as part of a “MyTheme Website Solution” service available through your own site. You can only offer these kinds of services to customers who have purchased a license from Envato for your exclusive item.”

Would the SaaS service make the item available to whoever used it?

More customers usually means more earnings for authors and that’s something I think we can all agree is a good thing.

The sufficiently different principle still applies to exclusivity in that if the two items could be sold as separate items on Envato, then you should be fine. If however, they are so similar that one might easily see them as being basically the same, it would likely be in violation of the exclusivity policy.

If you are using the same product name for all these items they are considered one product family. If you have one item on VideoHive and the other two with the same name off of Envato, and you are an exclusive author, this would be considered a violation of exclusivity because you are using the same brand/product name in two separate places.

You can still offer services you just cannot call it the same thing as your brand or product name which is exclusive to Envato. For example, if I am selling MyItem on ThemeForest and I want to create a management service, I need to call that management service something completely different. I cannot call it “MyItem Management Services” because “MyItem” is exclusive to Envato.

As long as you are not using the same product name to tie them all together, and they wouldn’t be considered the same item on Market, this should be fine.

The logic behind this is that exclusivity should mean exclusive. The product name or brand carries weight and has value. If that brand is exclusive to Envato by the choice of the author, then it would make sense that you couldn’t get anything like it anywhere else.

For a different example, this is similar to how Netflix signs exclusive rights deals with content producers. The value to Netflix is that you can only find certain content on their platform, if you could get it anywhere else, that would make the exclusivity of that content less valuable and the platform itself less valuable.

If the support services you’re offering are not the same as what’s available on Envato then you can offer them. If however, the services are the same as what’s available through the item support renewal then you cannot.


Great Policy, Thank you!

Thanks for the answers, I hope you can clarify the follow up as well

The policy states that:

“…you are not permitted to offer publicly available services or productized services (including SaaS versions) related to your exclusive items outside of Envato that would result in a customer getting access to your item or a substitutable end product based on your item, in circumstances where the customer has not purchased a license on Envato. For example, you can’t include your own exclusive theme as part of a “MyTheme Website Solution” service available through your own site. You can only offer these kinds of services to customers who have purchased a license from Envato for your exclusive item.”

Would the SaaS service make the item available to whoever used it?

No - item will be available only via Envato market. For example i have “MyTheme” that is sold exclusively on Envato. I want to create a saas plugin that will provide some extra complicated features for y$ per month(doing that for 2 reasons - my competition will not copy the code and the features are too niche&complicated to be released in the main product for free). The plugin will work only for my theme(maybe others in the future) and buyers will get some extra features but not the main products - the theme, Buyers will not be able to use the plugin unless they have a license code.

I understand i cannot sell that separately as MyTheme Addon x ? Is this correct ?
I understand i can sell/ advertise that under a different than MyTheme ? Is this correct ?

Releasing this add on will make my product more desirable and is not a way to “trick” the system. All it;s buyers will already have the license . Indirectly it will generate more sells for me more % for envato.

Also you should consider letting Saas services out of this license(or give special permission) since you don;t have the way to let me sell this service on this market ( as a monthly fee) . Once you develop a similar system nobody should have a problem joining in. Otherwise you kind kill the creativity and willing to do something new (at least on my case).

Thanks again

I’m planning to open a site with simple form and upload field , where all authors can gift their rejected items to Envato , since they cannot sell or give them freely elsewhere :sob:

Envato punishing small fishes , they better to catch big fishes.

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I presume you are talking about elements for which you do know are not avialable to all, invite only. Hosting is also invite only… new policy actually prevent us to market in various ways but does not give to majority the meens to expand revenue.

Again Envato made a statement and that was your post James that stated that we have to take care of our own marketing. So what now… we have wp org, which has a 6 month approval process and payed adds for which majority do not have enough funds to make a dent.

And again its not logical to let lite on wp org and prevent it on our own sites… why o why… what is the difference. And one more question. Envato has to rely on authors reports to maintaine rules on Envato market that are being violated on a huge scale and now how o how will you enforce that.

The main point here is that few of the big players found away to exploit Envato as Envato is exploiting our traffic for their other ventures and now we have to all suffer.

Please reconsider at least to let us offer free stuff which are apart of our product family but not on Envato market, on our own sites as lite versions, html, psd templatea etc.

This is a huge blow to authors marketing efforts which are used to bring traffic to Envato not take it away as few big players do.

Envato has huge issues with exposure and really bad tools that do not provide sufficient means to market.

And to tell us exclusivity is a choise is very well, lets put it nicly, not politicly corect thing.

Sorry for the spelling, typing from a phone.



I am not here to debate because it would be useless. Rather read the new policy silently, accept it politely, change my business model and get to work.


Hey @jamesgiroux ,

This will most probably not affect us here at Meks as we are 100% exclusive since the day one, but there is a single question which came up, just thinking out loud. Have you, as Envato, had a chance to think about why authors do what they do? I mean, if people are selling some stuff on their own there might be a good reason behind that approach, right?

So, instead of rolling out new kinda restrictive rules, is there a possibility to offer a better deal to authors so they naturally choose Envato’s offering? Or, you already had some conclusions about this and you are almost sure that these new rules will lead to a mutual benefit for both Envato and authors in the long term? If so, can you please share it?

Bojan from Meks team


OK. In other words: Can i still use my non-exclusive stock footages (selling on many marketplaces) in my exclusive after effects projects as a part of it.

Like in this one:

Ok, so what exactly do you consider as the same Product Family?
Let’s say I have a recipe WordPress theme, that is powered by a recipe plugin. I’m selling that theme on ThemeForest (let’s name it Awesome Recipe Theme) and I wrote a recipe plugin that obviously can be used with any theme, not only my theme, and I want to sell it on my own site. Let’s say the name of that plugin is “Yet Another Recipe Plugin”. Am I allowed to sell it on my own website?

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Envato: “Let’s find a way so that every product family thing is restricted except that Single Letter W theme.”

I am sorry, but this is what I am reading. They started this thing, and you should start from them before affecting other authors.

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Thank you for the explanation.
So basically, for us as theme authors the new exclusivity rules don’t really change all that much :slight_smile:

Have a look at the questions I asked and the answers. If your theme is called “Recipe Beast”, then you can use “Awesome Recipe Plugin” without a worry. If you name your plugin “Recipe Beast Engine” - I think that’s where the “product family” concept comes in.

I feel like Envato is acting the same way as Internet Explorer was in its heyday - rolling out new features very slowly, only features that benefit them and do not care or listen to the developers (authors). Hope a “Chrome” is coming soon, just to push them to be the Envato we all want them to be.