Paid Scripts – Forced Advertising

January 6, 2009 in Web Site Marketing by SupremeCenterHosting  |  No Comments

copyrightI am going to get right down to it… when a script or template developer compels customers [who pay license fees for the script or template] to advertise the developers website for free is disreputable. There is a slew of website application developers and website designers, who I might add, are charging a hefty some for their work, expecting you to freely advertise their websites, products and/or services. Some developers, such as the slimy Evil Greedy Overlord of CRE Loaded, code advertisements right into the application. So in the end, not only are you paying for the script and/or template, you are also paying the developer to advertise for them… for free! Sounds a bit ass backwards… doesn’t it?

If you look at some of the more popular and expense scripts, you can pay upwards of $600 or more for the exclusive right to advertise for the developer. They have you by the short and curlys for the mere reason that the developer coded the script you purchased and he owns that code… not you. There is no legal standard as far as licensing goes so the copyright holder can hold you over the colas and there is little you can do about it, other than to not purchase the wares peddled by these unprofessional, money hungry burglars. I say that is a good first step.

When we custom code a website for a client, there are no strings attached. When the project is finished you don’t owe us anymore then was quoted. We don’t expect a link on your site to ours. Linking should be optional and up to the domain holder. Sure, we would love a link to our site but we would never force you to link back. As a matter of fact, you would most likely find a link to your site from ours, as it is a way for us to showcase what we have done for previous customers – and we don’t expect anything for it.

Due to time restraints, I recently was about to purchase a template from Themes Arena for our blog, that was until I noticed the designer states:

“This license entitles you to use the theme on one domain / website. The copyright information in the footer must remain intact.”

I asked Jauhari from Themes Arena the following questions:

ME: “The cost for the single user license is $54.95, which entitles the me to use the template on one domain. So what in reality is the license for and why the free link back to Themes Arena?”

JAUHARI: It is because with single user license you can use only for 1 domain and you can’t be able to remove the link back. This premium themes mainly offered good administration and design customize without breaking the codes.

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China, Jauhari? You never answered my question… why the free LINK back to Themes Arena?

ME: “If I am paying for a license, shouldn’t that also relieve me of the link back requirement?”

JAUHARI: “This is standard license in almost Premium Themes available on the net, for single license that needed to keep the copyright, excluded the developer license.”

So what you are saying is your GREEDY? Or, are you saying that if other website designers started jumping in front of moving cars you would also? I never questioned the copyright, just the free LINK.

ME: “Do you think it is fair to charge customers a fee for your time and effort and then force them to provide free advertisements to your site?”

JAUHARI: “If you need to remove the link you need to bought the developer license.”

Jauhari obviously translates a copyright notice or license into free advertising too. Hello? That’s not the purpose of the copyright or license. A copyright gives the author [or creator] of an original work exclusivity, usually for a limited time. It also gives the copyright holder the right to be recognized for the work, to decide who (if anyone) can perform it or modify it to other forms and to profit financially from the work.

According to the U.S. Copyright Office:

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

* To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
* To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
* To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
* To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
* To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
* In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

In addition, certain authors of works of visual art have the rights of attribution and integrity as described in section 106A of the 1976 Copyright Act.

Granted, the copyright holder can ask for whatever he wants as compensation for using the copyrighted work but I don’t think it gives the copyright holder the right to take advantage of people. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, right?

What I am trying to point out is that there are a number of people [and companies] on the Internet that take advantage of consumers. Charging extreme sums for templates or scripts while expecting that the customer continue to reimburse the designer or coder with free advertising, ad infinitum, is taking it too far and as a business owner, I find that disreputable and unnecessary.