Today I got a number of messages from a person who wanted me to take action against the owner of a site which is using one of my website templates on one of the subdomains of the site. It was a person representing an online radio station named The Waiting Room which was upset with something related to the podcast service Podbean. Podbean has a news blog (I assume, I can currently not access it so I don’t know for sure what the news section is) which is using one of my templates and therefore includes a link to andreasviklund.com in the footer. This link made The Waiting Room contact me, requiring me to make Podbean contact him/her/them about some kind of contact issue. The message was sent through e-mail, Twitter and posted on my Facebook page, and it looked like this:
Now, as clearly explained on my contact page, there are a lot of websites built using my template designs – and I can never answer for any single one of them. I can answer any question related to andreasviklund.com, and to the original template designs. But expecting me to assume responsibility for what people unknown to me do, only because they have used one of my templates at some point, it way out of bounds.
After a brief exchange of messages on Twitter, I recieved a deadline. I have been given 24 hours to comply with the demands of The Waiting Room, despite several attempts to explain that I am not able to help and that I am the wrong person to contact. Since I did not get any further explanation of what will happen after this deadline passes, I will have to consider it a threat – and I do not accept being threatened when I have done nothing wrong. It is simply unacceptable, and it forces me to write this post to make sure that my friends and readers know what is currently happening.
I deal with misunderstandings like this every week, without having to go public with the stories. So far I have always managed to sort out the misunderstanding. At one point, I had to write a blog post to get my point through (“The curse of a free website template designer”) – but in this case and at this point the situation is currently not sorted out. I will update this entry when needed. Until then, you can follow the discussions on my Twitter feed.
Update: I have now confirmed that the news blog which connects me to Podbean is using Ainslie Johnson’s WP-Andreas09 theme for WordPress. Its design was originally based on the andreas09 template, and as mentioned in a previous post the theme is used on hundreds of thousands of blogs and websites all over the world. The Podbean news blog is one of those blogs, and it makes my point very valid. I can answer for any question related to the original andreas09 CSS template design, but expecting me to take responsibility for the actions of the owner of a random website that uses a WordPress theme version of the template, that is simply not right.
Here is a screenshot of the Podbean news site:
This article was written by Andreas
Web designer, writer and the creative engine behind this website. Author of most of the free website templates, along with some of the WordPress themes.