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Author Topic: Can I do this?  (Read 3431 times)

Offline #Default

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Can I do this?
« on: September 09, 2019, 01:51:54 PM »
Hello, I want to know if I can modify themes from a Theme creator that already shut down his website, long ago.
This website closed like 3 years ago, now there is not any website or webmaster active from this site.
I have all the premium themes they released (i had subscription) and I can modify, enhance and make almost a brand new looking theme and upload it here, for free obviously.
Thanks for read.

Offline Illori

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 01:54:43 PM »
you can modify a theme all you want for your own use. you need to determine if the theme has a license and if it is valid for you to modify and distribute them to others. a lot of old themes lack a license, as a result you cannot distribute them.

Offline Kindred

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2019, 03:35:43 PM »
... and, if it was a premium theme from a site (e.g. you had to pay for the theme) then the answer is most likely no. You can not modify and redistribute the themes.
Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

Offline #Default

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2019, 03:38:31 PM »
kinda sad, I just had that question because I modified one of that for my own personal use, and was wondering if is ok to release it since the website and group is already out of the web, not any member of that website still working or doin themes anymore hehe

Anyways, I can also make some brand new themes based on Core or even start from scratch

Thanks!

Offline Kindred

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2019, 05:01:32 PM »
If you are basing the themes on Core -- don't even bother.  Core was outdated a decade ago... it overuses tables and is nearly impossible to make responsive.
Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

Offline ARG01

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2019, 01:46:34 PM »
May I ask what theme creator you are referring to? if it was Dziner Studio which closed 3-4 years ago, you can still use and modify their premium themes for personal use, and even remove the copyright, which is suggested since the site no longer exists, and I can personally confirm this. However regardless of modifications, you are not allowed to offer any of their 'premium' themes based on their code, for public use.
No, I will not offer free downloads to Premium DzinerStuido themes. Please stop asking.

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Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2019, 05:33:11 PM »
I know the history, but don't entirely agree with this.  I can understand that paid subscribers would have felt screwed if premium themes had been released when DS shut down, but it's been years now, SMF is moving from 2.0 to 2.1, it's a shame that the themes are not available for upgrade and public distribution.  A lot of good work gone to waste. :(
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 06:21:09 PM by Sir Osis of Liver »

Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2019, 05:42:18 PM »
It's Bikken and MayDay's work, so their call. And they were always easy-going about anyone doing anything with the free themes, provided Dziner still got credit in the footer. 

Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2019, 06:00:44 PM »
But why keep the premium themes bottled up after all this time?  I believe ARG offered to take over dev and support when they shut down, but was refused.  It's a waste, and really for no reason.


Offline lurkalot

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2019, 06:17:34 PM »
I agree it's a waste, there was some really nice looking themes. 

I have to admit thought, I always liked ARG's themes more.   8)

Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2019, 06:38:49 PM »
But why keep the premium themes bottled up after all this time?  I believe ARG offered to take over dev and support when they shut down, but was refused.  It's a waste, and really for no reason.

I don't know. :) But I always got on well with them, so am not inclined to argue the point. It might be worth asking nicely again if anyone knows how to contact them, but they're probably unlikely to change their minds.

Offline ARG01

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2019, 02:52:29 PM »
But why keep the premium themes bottled up after all this time?  I believe ARG offered to take over dev and support when they shut down, but was refused.  It's a waste, and really for no reason.

I did offer to purchase the domain and themes rights. However they stated their desire was to simply allow DS to fade away with dignity. Ironically, for a short time the domain led to a porn site.

I agree it's a waste, there was some really nice looking themes. 

I have to admit thought, I always liked ARG's themes more.   8)

Thanks!

It's Bikken and MayDay's work, so their call. And they were always easy-going about anyone doing anything with the free themes, provided Dziner still got credit in the footer. 

I was told directly by maYday that they prefer anyone still using their themes, to remove their copyright if desired to avoid it linking to any future site which may end up with the domain. Btw, I still have contact with Bikken and maYday from time to time.
No, I will not offer free downloads to Premium DzinerStuido themes. Please stop asking.

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Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2019, 05:56:33 PM »
Ah, good to know about them wanting copyright removed. I did check their old domain a while back and it was all about escorts in Vegas.

If I do update one of their free ones (have been idly thinking about a responsive Outline) I might just credit them as Bikken and maYday.

How are they going? If you bump into them again, tell them I send my regards. :)

Offline ARG01

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2019, 07:40:32 PM »
Ah, good to know about them wanting copyright removed. I did check their old domain a while back and it was all about escorts in Vegas.

If I do update one of their free ones (have been idly thinking about a responsive Outline) I might just credit them as Bikken and maYday.

How are they going? If you bump into them again, tell them I send my regards. :)

Last contact they were both doing good. It's been a while but I'll send an email this weekend to see how things are going. I haven't done much with SMF lately but have been thinking about a new responsive version of the DSV4 for my weather group website.
No, I will not offer free downloads to Premium DzinerStuido themes. Please stop asking.

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Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2019, 07:43:52 PM »
DSv4 was a nice one. Although one of my all-time favourites was the original DSv1. I still think that one is a classic.

Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2019, 08:01:44 PM »
Hey are the Dziner free themes still available?

Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2019, 09:41:13 PM »
I have several of the free themes if you want them.


Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2019, 09:50:32 PM »
Funnily enough I have 1.1.x versions of the free themes, but not 2.0.x versions. Must have been because I was running a 1.1.x site at the time so didn't download the 2.0.x versions. Which is odd, because I have 2.0.x versions of the premium themes* but I've never run those live.

*I was part of the Dziner support crew for a while, so downloaded copies for support purposes.

Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2019, 10:11:22 PM »
I have a lot of 2.0 themes, but they're not organized by source.  Did customizations with these three.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 07:19:53 AM by Illori »

Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2019, 11:09:41 PM »
Thanks. If you spot any of the others, I wouldn't mind copies of those too.

I did make an eight variant multi version of Mystic Jade, but that never made it past an RC1 version. I have an idea I was busy with other things by the time RC2 turned up. :D

If I was going to resurrect it, or the Outline multi, I'd probably re-write a fair amount of the 2.0.x markup anyway.

Offline Illori

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2019, 07:20:18 AM »
themes have been removed as we have to follow the license that contains within.

Offline Arantor

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2019, 07:27:58 AM »
I'd be open to supporting themes for 2.0 and 2.1 if that were an option, I still have an archive of everything (including the free themes).

Anyone interested in making themes that resemble the originals for 2.0/2.1, there's an archive of screenshots - https://smfthemedemos.levertine.org/index.php?media/album/smf-dzinerstudio-themes.3/ - that people can look at for inspiration.

Offline ARG01

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2019, 12:10:07 PM »
Hey are the Dziner free themes still available?

Not sure? The only themes I still have are the premiums and Inferno and X-Mas.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 12:27:11 PM by ARG01 »
No, I will not offer free downloads to Premium DzinerStuido themes. Please stop asking.

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Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2019, 03:18:59 PM »
themes have been removed as we have to follow the license that contains within.

Yes but it's a bit of an odd situation with their free ones, because they never had any objection to people making and distributing customised versions of them. It was usual to ask first, just as a courtesy, but they were always fine with it as long as the quality was decent, and as long as their copyright in the footer as retained (which apparently they no longer want, due to hookers in Las Vegas, etc).

I'd still have a couple of customised Dziner themes here except that I made them for 1.1.x and 2.0 RC1, and those versions are no longer relevant, so no point cluttering the theme site with them. But I'd have no qualms about submitting updated 2.0x versions if I get around to making them.

Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2019, 11:11:08 PM »
I've kept the copyright on forums still running DS customizations, including one of my own, just removed the link.

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2019, 01:10:10 AM »
Yes but it's a bit of an odd situation with their free ones, because they never had any objection to people making and distributing customised versions of them. It was usual to ask first, just as a courtesy, but they were always fine with it as long as the quality was decent, and as long as their copyright in the footer as retained (which apparently they no longer want, due to hookers in Las Vegas, etc).

I'd still have a couple of customised Dziner themes here except that I made them for 1.1.x and 2.0 RC1, and those versions are no longer relevant, so no point cluttering the theme site with them. But I'd have no qualms about submitting updated 2.0x versions if I get around to making them.

Sure, but since their written consent is not there anymore, we just have to follow their license. We've done the same a few times and we'll still be doing it.

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Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2019, 02:25:14 AM »
OK, so just as examples, say I did decide to do updated versions of Mystic Multi and Outline Omega, with the 2.0.x or 2.1 codebase and (probably) with a fair amount of custom markup (since it seems I can hardly ever resist that).

These would be updated versions of themes which were already on the Theme Site. They are not currently available for download, but that's because I removed them from the list of available themes myself, due to them being out of date. The SMF team never removed them, and IIRC they were still publicly available after the Dziner site closed down.

Obviously I originally had permission to make and distribute these, or they would never have been accepted for the Theme Site in the first place. Although they were based on Dziner themes to start with, so still credited Dziner as per Bikken and maYday's wishes at the time, they also contained a lot of markup and CSS that I had written myself, and images that I had made myself.

Would hypothetical updated versions of these themes currently be acceptable on the Theme Site?

Offline d3vcho();

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2019, 07:53:01 AM »
I'm not sure of this one, but the license says the following:

Quote
Unauthorized Use
----------------
You may not place any of our products, modified or unmodified, on a disk, CD, website or any other medium and offer them for re-distribution or re-sale of any kind without prior written consent from DzinerStudio.com. Please contact us if you require more information.

If you still have written consent from DzinerStudio, there shouldn't be any problems, but the license is pretty clear and we don't really want to mess with it. We obviously can't contact them anymore, but the copyright and license still valid even though they're closed.

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Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2019, 06:54:35 PM »
Yeah that's fair enough. I understand the position. I'm just curious as to what the situation is with people who just want to do things they had permission to do anyway. There were quite a few reworkings of free Dziner themes floating around at the time.

Outline is a good test case. Most of the variants in my old multi version don't even contain any Dziner images. The theme retains the Outline name, because that was the original starting point, and obviously that variant still contains some Dziner images. But if reworking the theme for an updated codebase, most of the original images would now be deprecated due to the availability of CSS3. Which of course means the original CSS would be deprecated too. The famous Outline header could be done as one div with a bit of border-radius and a CSS3 gradient, instead of the original three divs with three gifs, etc, etc.

But the rest of the variants don't contain any actual Dziner input, as far as I can recall. The images were all made from scratch. There may be some segments of the markup and CSS I retained just because it was there and it worked (can check against an original) but you know what I'm like with markup and CSS. If any original bits are still there it's because I had no reason to change them, not because I couldn't, and I'd probably have different ideas now anyway.

So it comes down to "Outline" being basically the header logo, which is classic maYday, and the overall look, although I imagine Bikken would have had some input there. Presumably they chose the name jointly (can't remember how that worked). But then that's another grey area, because theme names have never been reserved. If someone wanted to make a theme with the same name as another, there's no rule stopping them.

This is not really that extreme an example either. If anyone was updating one of their old variants of a free Dziner theme they would probably approach it in much the same way. If starting with the 2.1 codebase you'd naturally just roll your own.

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2019, 07:12:18 PM »
I still have most of their premium and free ones but Inferno is my favorite one. Great boilerplate. Dang, I miss their work.

Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2019, 07:37:14 PM »
Yeah well there's another catch. If you're using Inferno as a boilerplate, is this technically redistribution of a modified Dziner product?
This stuff can get completely bonkers.

Offline Arantor

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2019, 08:01:20 PM »
Then you have my world, I ported Peacock at some point to StoryBB but I’m not sure how much of the original code is left since all of the PHP and CSS got rewritten... it’s still “enough SMF” that you could stretch the point about the clause of not porting it away from SMF, and I never released the ported theme.

Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2019, 08:06:44 PM »
Meh. Licensing. We should stick to easy stuff like sending people to Mars. :P

Offline Antechinus

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Re: Can I do this?
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2020, 04:19:32 PM »
Hey I just found out I still have written permission to do Outline variants. I was digging around a bit, because I'm currently trying out variants on the base files of my mutant Curve revamp, and I found this:

Quote from: Me
Got a question for you, Bikken. Friend of mine would like me to do her a pink version of Outline. Now I know it's cool to modify a theme for use on my own site, but in this case I'd be modding it for someone else (even though I'm a member there) and passing the files on to her.

Are you ok with this? I'm happy to leave the copyright as is.
Quote from: Bikken, in the next post
Sure, go ahead antechinus.

So apparently I'd be able to resurrect the infamous Outrageous theme (that being the scary-for-blokes pink version of Outline) because of the written permission to make and redistribute, but not ok to resurrect any of the other Outline variants because written permission (even though I had it) is no longer in evidence (having gone down the gurgler with most of the old Dz site).

Which is funny because Outrageous actually contains reused Dziner images, whereas some of the others don't (their images were made from scratch by me in Photoshop) but as long as they're called "Outline variants" they would technically be covered by the restrictions of the only existing Dz license.

For example, I'm tempted to resurrect Midnight Sun v2 because frankly I still really like that one, and with a bit of updating/tweaking I think it would still be a good thing to have. That is based (loosely) on the original Outline structure, and contains no other Dz content, but still gives them credit for the original idea. The copyright code was:

Code: [Select]
<span class="smalltext">Midnight Sun by <a href="http://www.dzinerstudio.com"><b>Antechinus</b></a> | <a href="http://www.dzinerstudio.com">DzinerStudio</a></span>';
So if that gets called, for argument's sake, an "Outline variant" then it becomes one that I don't technically have permission to redistribute. OTOH if it gets called "an original theme that uses similar structure for getting rounded corners to all themes of the pre-CSS3 period" then it would presumably not be a problem, particularly in view of the fact that it wouldn't even use that structure anymore due to the common use of CSS3 these days.