Envato Earnings Apps, File Piracy, and Keeping Your Account Safe and Secure!

There’s been a lot happening on the marketplaces of late, and today I wanted to touch on a few important issues and get some feedback, from you, the community.

Firstly, for those of you who don’t know me, My name is Cyan and I’m the Envato marketplace manager. That means I’m the person who’s in charge of the day to day running of the marketplaces as a whole with the help of the awesome site managers, reviewers and moderators.

Lately we’ve noticed some brilliant new author apps popping up, and some talk on the forums of files being distributed without author permissions. I want to talk a little about both of these issues. Additionally, I want to tell you about some things you should be doing to promote maximum account security.

Envato Earnings Apps

Recently the marketplace forums have been buzzing with different apps designed to help authors keep a better track of their earnings. Initially we were planning on designing and releasing one of our own, but then we saw these and figured we probably couldn’t really top them!

Before we get 100% behind these apps though, there is one major issue we need to fix.

The big drawback to an outside app is that if it requires your username and password it can pose a significant security risk. Theoretically if anyone other than you has your account username and password they could log into your account and wreak all sorts of havoc – the worst being trying to get your hard earned cash delivered to their account.

So while I’m sure in this case the developers of these apps have the best of intentions, Envato cannot vouch for the security of your account if you use these apps at this time.

Happily, the Envato developers have a solution! They are creating an API which should be released in the next two to four weeks. This API will allow every author to use the many brilliant apps being released without compromising their password!

So while we cannot stop authors from using these apps, I would strongly encourage you to not use any apps that require your password until the API is released and implemented.

This is not to make life difficult for the creators of the apps or for authors, but rather because it does pose a SIGNIFICANT security risk. Any time you give your password to any other party it seriously compromises the security of your account, and in turn, your earnings.

So we need your help!

The developers are busy at work on the API and want to hear from those of you who have developed an app (or wish to). They want to know what would help you make the best app possible. That way they can release an API which gives you exactly what you need, PLUS allows us to promote it because it’s nice and safe for our members.

You can contact Ryan Allen at ryan AT envato DOT com to discuss your app and what you need to make it safe and super useful.

On a side note – we’re super proud and excited that these apps are popping up. We see it as a testament to the growth of the marketplaces, and are frankly flattered that such talented people are doing this sort of work to help the authoring community. Thanks to all of you for your hard work!

File Piracy Concerns

Some of you may have seen concerns on the forums about files for sale on Envato being distributed on shareware sites.

Unfortunately, as the music, film or television industries will attest, there is no easy way to stem the problem. The answer is mostly continued vigilance from us and from you.

So what is Envato doing? We have staff that trawl through the commonly offending shareware sites and have forged relationships with them to ensure any Envato content that is uploaded is quickly and efficiently removed. We are also exploring other ways to minimize the illegal sharing of files through new technologies.

We also rely on you. Every time the support team gets a tip-off from the community they can take appropriate actions. To those of you who have reported illegal file sharing we would like to thank you – you are pivotal in minimizing the damage this activity causes.

More importantly many of you have asked how these files get distributed.

Unfortunately any merchant will attest to the common problem of PayPal fraud. In this case, the Envato marketplaces has to contend with stolen Paypal accounts being used to purchase multiple items on our marketplaces before we can be alerted. Unfortunately, these files are often then distributed on shareware sites.

However, authors should be aware that in these cases Envato absorbs all costs. So even though PayPal will seize back all fraudulently deposited funds, Envato still pays authors their earnings from any fraudulent purchases. We hope in this way to minimize the impact this activity has on our authoring community.

So the long and the short of it is that realistically this problem is not going to go away. Just like those individuals who don’t pay for their music, movies or TV shows, there is a small percentage of people who just don’t believe they should have to pay for your hard work. But while an unfortunate reality, that does not mean we should make it easy for them! So please continue writing to us any time you see Envato files pop up somewhere they shouldn’t be, and we’ll keep on fighting to get them taken down… every day. :-)

Keeping your account safe and secure

As I mentioned earlier in this post, rule number one for keeping your account safe and secure is to NEVER give your password out to anyone.

No matter how hard we try, and what security measures we put in place (and there are a lot of them), if you give your username and password to outside parties you’re courting troubles. Beyond this, it is always wise to change your password regularly.

If you have a simple password, make it harder. Think numbers and cases. Make it unique to Envato and not the same one as your hundred other online accounts (as you never know what their security might be like).

If you do all that you will have gone a long way to keeping your account as safe as houses.

So there you have it! If you have any questions about any of this, add them to the comments or write to support, who as always will be happy to help however they can.

Thanks for selling with us and making Envato what it is! :-)


  • Marko says:

    Thank You Envato.

  • Nachtmeister says:

    You should look a noobr.net

    They offers some ressources for free that from sites like elegant themes (you know, elegant themes subscription costs around 19 dollars in year). So It could be they also offers Files from you. Keep an Eye on it. ;)

    Thank you Envato.

  • MrHillman says:

    I am not an author but I think that its brilliant that, in spite of fraud you still pay the commission to the author, congrats on that.

    As far as the file sharing goees, I think that this will prove difficult and impossible to stop. If the Film and Muisic industry cant stop and it, and some companies have even given up the fight, and try to use it to their advantage.

    As a buyer, I know for one that anything I buy is kept for me and only me, I wont let them pirate get hold of my gold…..hmmmn….that rhymes!

  • ^ Thank you for your efforts :)

  • Jarel says:

    Thanks Envato! :D

  • This is the kind of hard effort that Envato is known for! I feel the love! I’m in the right marketplace! Looking forward to that API of yours. Thank you guys for kickin’ ass!

  • Drew says:

    I am just absolutely thrilled about the API being released, that is going to be awesome to be able to develop some apps for it. Can’t wait!

  • BazDeas says:

    API sounds great! I hope someone will create an application to monitor sales and comments on all your themes. Instant notification wouldn’t hurt either.

  • Lahdekorpi says:

    Uuh, I’ve been waiting for an API :)
    I’m currently using my own PHP-app to retrieve sales and other information to a RSS-feed. Even tough it’s on my own server, I’m not 100% satisfied with my password being stored without any hash.

  • I think the best way to fight pirated content is by having your live preview not have any commented code and put into javascript output. I’ve seen this done on one theme, although I do not remember which one.