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Can buying a licensed theme lift my suspension for using an unlicensed one?

Homycorner
Visitor
1 0 0

I purchased my shop from third party shopify experts, then shopify sent me a message after 7 months that I use an unlicensed theme, so I want to know If I got suspended and after one week I decide to buy the theme, will I have access to buy the theme and get unsuspended?

Accepted Solution (1)

Kimi
Shopify Staff
1511 169 261

This is an accepted solution.

Hi, @Homycorner and @petgrocer.

 

Thanks for reaching out about your concerns.

 

Generally speaking, if you've received a notice for an unlicensed theme you'll need to resolve the issue prior to the date noted within your notice. Not doing so may result in a follow-up email or a DMCA notice. To resolve the issue, normally a store will need to either:

 

  • Purchase a valid version of the reported theme.
  • Or completely delete the theme from their account.

 

Was the Shopify Expert or Partner you were working with a registered Shopify Partner?

 

If so, there are best practices to follow for Shopify Partners and Experts when building a store using a third-party theme, which I'll detail below.

 

If code work on the third-party theme is needed:

  1. The Partner should add their credit card to the store's billing information.
  2. The Partner will invoice the client for the cost of the theme. Please note that this invoicing is done external to Shopify.
  3. When the development store transfer is initiated, the Partner's credit card information will be removed automatically.

 

If code work is not needed, however:

  1. The Partner can then install the theme as a trial and customize as needed.
  2. When the store is transferred, the merchant can then pay for and publish the theme.

You can read more about this on our help guide here.

 

For more information, themes are meant to be for single-use only, so a Partner or Expert can't purchase a theme on one store and to then install that theme on another store. We've outlined this in our Terms of Service on Section 9.4 here, and it's important that Partners and Experts follow specific steps to provide a paid theme for their client or store that they're working on. So if you suspect that a Partner or Expert working on your store has been distributing themes without a license, your next step here is to contact our live support team so that we can further investigate the situation from our end.

 

To get in touch with our team, you'll need to login to your store via our Help Center here. Once logged in, select a topic that best fits your query or situation. From there, you'll be taken to a page with a list of relevant support articles, and you can scroll to the bottom of that page to select your preferred contact method with our team.

Kimi | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Replies 12 (12)

petgrocer
Trailblazer
246 2 376

I wonder if this is another 'business model' by Shopify. Get the third party expert web devs to buy a theme license that is not transferable to the stores they build, they don't tell the customer because they already built that cost into what they charged us, then Shopify says oh hey, pay another $530 for your own license months or years after the fact. Same thing just happened to us. We are going after the terrible shopify web designer for a refund on that.  

Kimi
Shopify Staff
1511 169 261

This is an accepted solution.

Hi, @Homycorner and @petgrocer.

 

Thanks for reaching out about your concerns.

 

Generally speaking, if you've received a notice for an unlicensed theme you'll need to resolve the issue prior to the date noted within your notice. Not doing so may result in a follow-up email or a DMCA notice. To resolve the issue, normally a store will need to either:

 

  • Purchase a valid version of the reported theme.
  • Or completely delete the theme from their account.

 

Was the Shopify Expert or Partner you were working with a registered Shopify Partner?

 

If so, there are best practices to follow for Shopify Partners and Experts when building a store using a third-party theme, which I'll detail below.

 

If code work on the third-party theme is needed:

  1. The Partner should add their credit card to the store's billing information.
  2. The Partner will invoice the client for the cost of the theme. Please note that this invoicing is done external to Shopify.
  3. When the development store transfer is initiated, the Partner's credit card information will be removed automatically.

 

If code work is not needed, however:

  1. The Partner can then install the theme as a trial and customize as needed.
  2. When the store is transferred, the merchant can then pay for and publish the theme.

You can read more about this on our help guide here.

 

For more information, themes are meant to be for single-use only, so a Partner or Expert can't purchase a theme on one store and to then install that theme on another store. We've outlined this in our Terms of Service on Section 9.4 here, and it's important that Partners and Experts follow specific steps to provide a paid theme for their client or store that they're working on. So if you suspect that a Partner or Expert working on your store has been distributing themes without a license, your next step here is to contact our live support team so that we can further investigate the situation from our end.

 

To get in touch with our team, you'll need to login to your store via our Help Center here. Once logged in, select a topic that best fits your query or situation. From there, you'll be taken to a page with a list of relevant support articles, and you can scroll to the bottom of that page to select your preferred contact method with our team.

Kimi | Social Care @ Shopify 
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

petgrocer
Trailblazer
246 2 376

Hi Kimi,

 

Your link to see if the web dev we used is a proper Shopify partner or not just goes to a page about how to become one. It is not sending us to a link of a list of partners we can cross reference against.

 

When I called in, and in the forums, this is not a new problem, so there is either missing communication to the developers, or miscommunication about it? Either way, it's a pain point for people and it would be ideal to have a way we can report developers to Shopify, so Shopify can clarify with THEM to ensure they stop doing this to clients.

Kimi
Shopify Staff
1511 169 261

@petgrocer 

 

There are a large number of Partners on our platform, so we don't have a shareable public list of all registered Shopify Partners. Many of our Partners will have our branding in the form of a logo or banner on their website however, to help brand themselves as Shopify Partners. As for our Shopify Experts, we do have an Expert Marketplace available, which includes all of our currently registered Shopify Experts.

 

As mentioned in my initial reply, our live support team can be contacted if you'd like us to look into investigating an issue with a Shopify Partner or Expert (such as the distribution of an unlicensed theme). For ease of reporting, we also have this form, which merchants can fill in if they believe a Partner or Expert is acting against our Program Agreement or Terms of Use.

Kimi | Social Care @ Shopify 
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 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
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Beckyagregg
Tourist
4 0 4

How do I talk to a live person (not chat) so I can get my issue resolved?  I have the same issue.  I'm attaching a screen print of the to and from info.

Untitled.jpg

Kimi
Shopify Staff
1511 169 261

Hi, @Beckyagregg.

 

If you'd like to speak with one of our live support team members about your case, this would be via live chat as we're currently prioritizing this channel due to the visibility it gives us into a merchant's journey to date, while allowing us to connect merchants with other resources and teams and needed.

 

To contact our live support team, you'll need to navigate to our Help Center here, then type contact support in the chat box. Follow the prompts given by the virtual chat assistant, then you'll be connected with one of our live support team members who can further assist.

Kimi | Social Care @ Shopify 
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 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

Beckyagregg
Tourist
4 0 4

I have spoken with a person through chat.  I was told they're looking into it, but haven't heard back.  I have also switched to a free theme until it gets resolved.  However, this is something that has obviously been going on for some time, so I feel like some insight to what is causing this is something you could at least  address. I would like to know if anyone here has gotten this issue resolved, and if so, how was it resolved. 

 

The "Expert" who purchased and installed the theme on my shop is telling me that she purchased the license before installing the theme and it was legit.  Then apparently Shopify did an update and is now requiring that we purchase a new license.  That just doesn't make sense.  She assures me that she's telling the truth.  Why wouldn't Shopify have communicated any theme changes via email or something?  Why would they just accuse us of using an unlicensed theme and threaten to take our shop down if it isn't resolved?  It's as if I did something illegal!  Can you tell me by my screen print if that email came from a valid Shopify source?  None of this make any sense to me.  Referring everybody to the chat just makes it more frustrating.

SyedUmer12
Visitor
2 0 0

same problem here

L-Complex
Visitor
2 0 1

We received an email about the issue on a Friday night, 24 hours later our shop was down. We purchased the theme a year ago legally via the app store with our freelance Ux developer. Now we had to purchase again, and after 40 hours our shop is still down. This is not acceptable and not an appropriate handling, as clearly there are communication issues from Shopify's side. If there is an issue, at least give customers appropriate working days, to solve the issue.

Kimi
Shopify Staff
1511 169 261

Hi, @L-Complex.

 

Thanks for joining this thread and providing us with context of your situation.

 

I understand how unexpected it must have been to receive the notice on your end, and for your storefront to be inaccessible during this time. If you've successfully purchased a valid version of the theme via the Shopify Theme Store, typically this would resolve the issue and automatically unlock the storefront in question.

 

I see you mentioned that this isn't the case for your situation, however, and as much as I'd like to look into this further for you I won't be able to via the Community Forums due to security and privacy reasons. We do not have access to accounts or support tickets via the Community Forums, so account-specific situations like this would require the help of one of our internal support team members. 

 

So from here, please contact our live support team by logging in to your store via our Help Center here. You'll need to select a topic, which will then take you to a page with a few relevant support articles. If you scroll down on that page, you'll be able to see the 'Get Support' heading where you can select your preferred contact method with our team. Our live support team will be able to assist you further from there.

Kimi | Social Care @ Shopify 
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 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
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SyedUmer12
Visitor
2 0 0

My theme was unlicensed and now the store is unavailable, i removed the theme completely and install a free theme but still its not working, the store is still unavailable. Please help me

Ollie
Shopify Staff
2411 454 407

Hey @SyedUmer12.

 

Thanks for reaching out and bringing this to our attention. 

 

Since we do not have store or account-specific access to information from the Community forums, we are unable to view the specifics. With that being said, it would be best to speak directly with our live support by navigating to the Help Center

 

When you arrive at the Help Center, you will need to make the virtual assistant aware that you would like to Speak with support and you will be connected with a Support Advisor accordingly.

 

Let us know if you have any questions. 

Ollie | Social Care @ Shopify 
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog