So I’m doing some consulting for a client and they just cut a check to a developer for $15,000 for a fairly static website. Upon being paid in full backend credentials were provided and after snooping around because I didn’t understand why they paid this much I was able to discover that this is a Themeforest template designed by one of the more popular theme authors in the Envato marketplace. The developers scrubbed the entire theme to remove any mention of the original theme name or author, all php and css files were updated… the theme’s code has no mention of the original theme… the only way I figured this out was by looking at the theme options demo import. They didn’t replace any of the images and by googling what the site name on one of the images I discovered it was in fact a theme.
The agreement they signed never indicated they were using an existing theme, they say they will design and develop a CMS using Wordpress. I’m wondering what you guys think of this. They changed the theme name, removed any mention of the author and made it look like they designed it themselves… is this a violation of the licensing agreement with Themeforest? I have no doubt my client will seek litigation to recoup a good chunk of what they paid, I just wonder if this is something commonly done by developers to hide the fact that they’re using a theme?