This article is most relevant to items on Envato Elements that relate to open-source platforms, such as CMS Templates.
Certain themes, plugins or other items on Envato Elements are for open-source platforms. These platforms include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and a number of others, most of which are licensed under the General Public License (GPL).
Items involving open-source platforms are sold under a split license. The terms of any open-source license will be included with the item (as a .txt file or, in some cases, embedded as part of the item itself). For any parts of the Item subject to the open source license, those open source license terms will apply to the extent that’s determined by the open source license terms and the nature of the Item, and the Envato Elements License applies to the rest of the Item.
What does using the GPL (or other open-sourced licenses) mean?
If you want to use something that is subject to an open-source license, that license must also be included with the item when it’s distributed, since it also governs any further use of the part of that item that's distributed under the open-source license. For a contributor, this means that when they upload their item, it should include a text file containing the open-source license. For other item types or other open-source licenses, the license terms may be embedded as part of the file itself. The important thing is that contributors to Envato Elements must include all relevant license terms as part of the item files.
To make this process easy for contributors we have made GPL and Open Software License (OSL) text files available, as well as a useful Read-Me to include with the license. When a contributor uploads the item files they can simply include these text files.
If a contributor is releasing a theme or plugin for a platform that is licensed under the GPL, the PHP code and integrated HTML of the theme or plugin must be distributed under the GPL.
How does this relate to the Envato Elements license?
The Envato Elements License for themes or plugins covers all the components of these items, except for the specific components covered by the open-source license. This is why it’s called a split license: because different license terms can cover individual components that make up a single item.
To use the GPL as an example, the PHP component and integrated HTML are covered by the GPL. The rest of the components created by the contributor (such as the CSS, images, graphics, design, photos, etc) are covered by the Envato Elements license.
What about other assets and other open-source licenses?