Stock Photos For Templates

Please let me apologize in advance if this question does not belong under this topic or forum and if the question has been asked. I've searched the threads but have a little trouble with search on this forum and couldn't find the answer.

I'm wanting to implement the supporter plugin and have people who "support the site" can create their own wp website on the site. I have the domain mapping integrated into the mu setup.

So my quesion is, regarding stock photo licensing and template licensing. I would like to create templates for people to choose on the site. If there is a purchased stock photo - the photo is logically located in one location, on the server, but since it would appear in multiple sites and domains, what is the licensing implications of this? Same goes for purchasing templates on sites like ThemeForsest - does a Multisite Mu with domain mapping enabled count as a "distribution" type of situation and what does the licensing look like for that? Does anyone have any experience with this type of situation?

Thanks for any thoughts ya'll might have on this!


  • drmike
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    the licensing implications of this

    Really depends on the one doing the licensing I would think. Much like how there are different levels and interpretations of GPL. For example, with phpNuke, they require a link back within a copyright notice be shown to all visitors who visit an install and they have a very specific opinion from the (I believe. It's one of the groups) EFF saying that it;s required. Buy yet with the wordpress folks, it's not required and they say that the GPL doesn;t require it. (I don;t know where it is now. We stopped using phpNuke years ago. If you think wordpress is a security nightmare....) edit: Also with phpNuke, when ever someone contributed code, it was marked as such within the code. With wp, that's not done.

    If there is a purchased stock photo

    You would have to ask the one doing the image licensing as everybody's contract is different. They may have a one site requirement which may mean to them that only a single domain is licensed for usage. They may even consider a subdomain to be a different site. Domain mapping throws it up into the air because even though it's a different domain, the site could still be considered a part of the whole.

    As to the premium themes, I'm just going to turn you back to them. Back in the old wpmu days, we had some theme developers who got bent out of shape stating that their works could not appear on any wpmu install unless each and every usage was paid for. I don;t recall who specifically stated so but it did tick off a few folks.

    Hope this helps,

  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero

    Although we haven't licensed photos for use in templates, we've licensed a lot of stuff from Fotolia. Their pricing is very reasonable, though I don't know how your usage model would alter the pricing. You can check them out at:

    (Not an affiliate link...not even sure if they have an affiliate program.)

    Regarding ThemeForest, they have explicitly outlined their WordPress multisite policy somewhere on their site. (Can't find the link, sorry.)

    For making the theme available on WPMU, they require purchase of an extended license, which is 50x the price of a single license. So a $35 theme would cost $1750 if you want to use it on WPMU. To clarify, this applies if you want to make the theme available to users on your multisite installation. If you simply want to use the theme on the main site without making it available to others, a single license is all you need.

    We've contacted them and asked them for a more down-to-earth model for WPMU, especially since many other theme providers allow unlimited sites with a standard or single license (GPL, etc.). They replied that the extended license price for WPMU will not change.

    Hope this helps,


  • drmike
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Not a problem. We had a lengthy tread about this on the old mu forums but it got removed because folks started dropping in affiliate links.

    I was thinking Themeforest was one of the folks who had a strange policy but didn;t feel like going to look. Some developers are more down to earth and just ask you pick up a developers package for, say $150.

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