While in a session at WPChat.com last night, I talked with a few members of the WordPress community regarding what constitutes theme piracy as well as the role the WordPress.org support forums should take regarding commercial theme support. While I’m still not 100% what is piracy and what is not, I know for sure that the theme repository should not provide support for any commercial theme. However, upon further discussion, it appeared to me that it seems to have reached the point where perhaps the best course of action for the WordPress.org support forums as they relate to themes is to only provide support for up and coming developers or only for themes that are hosted within the repository. Supporting only themes that are within the repository should limit the amount of threads popping up asking for help decoding themes. Also, the notion of whether a theme is pirated or not is thrown out the window because you’ve eliminated support for everything but these two items.
The catch 22 in all of this is that the WordPress.org support forums exist to help and educate users where need be. Enacting the provisions set forth above would shut out a lot of users from receiving support. The provisions would also not solve the underlying problem of encrypted themes being used by hundreds of WordPress users. However, with stricter guidelines for theme support, perhaps the educational benefits would finally sink in to those who fall victim to using one of these encrypted themes.