[wp-forums] Comment about [sticky] Posts requests for theme decoding in here

Otto otto at ottodestruct.com
Fri Jun 25 14:53:06 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 5:16 AM, Chris Olbekson <chris at c3mdigital.com> wrote:
> I understand how this thread:
> http://wordpress.org/support/topic/388507?replies=108 is very helpful
> to users by protecting them from all the spam links and what not but
> it is also encouraging the use of pirated themes.  Most of the decode
> requests I went through were from premium themes that are posted all
> over torrent and download sites.  Some of the themes are GPL so I
> guess they have the right to do whatever they want with the them, but
> some of the decode requests are for code from non GPL copyrighted
> themes.  The users of these pirate and warez download sites don't just
> happen to stumble on them.  There are some who seek them out and even
> make requests for them then we go and sanitize the theme for them and
> they get to use a $70 or $80 premium theme for free.
> I also understand that we might not even be able to tell what the
> original theme was by only seeing a small portion of the code so that
> is another issue.  But bottom line we can be fairly certain that the
> theme either came from the repository and got modified or it was
> ripped off from a theme company.

Umm, no. I disagree entirely.

First, if a pay-theme is obfuscated in this manner, then we need to
know about it in order to recommend people to stay away from it. No
reputable theme author would do such a thing.

If the theme has been ripped off and reposted somewhere else with spam
inserted like this, then people are putting themselves at risk by
using it. They may not know better. We need to be able to help them
remove that problem and also to try to get them onto a freely
available and safe theme.

But mainly, if we say that we won't help people fix these broken
themes, then most of these people will simply continue to use the
theme, as is. Switching themes is not considered to be a viable option
by most of these non-technical people. They possibly spent a lot of
time looking for a theme they liked, and whether or not it's safe was
not a decision vector for them. You can tell them it's not safe now,
and they'll ignore you and continue to use that unsafe theme because
they like the look of it.

No, decoding bad code for users is a vital service that needs to be
allowed to continue. Otherwise, you'll just end up with people running
unsafe code.


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