While the design is free to use, its terms require a backlink at the end of the page, which indicates that the design was by W3layouts.

Andhra startup W3Layouts accuses BJP of using its web template without credit
Atom Website Monday, March 25, 2019 - 11:37

An Andhra Pradesh-based technology start-up has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of using its web template to get its own hacked website up without giving them credit.

More than two weeks after being hacked, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) website on Friday came out of its "maintenance" mode with just one static page.

In a blog post, the Nellore-based startup called W3layouts said that the BJP IT cell has used their layout template in the restored website.

“W3Layouts - We are a small webshop Startup based out of Nellore, a small town in Andhra Pradesh. We build free premium quality HTML templates where anyone can download our designs and start their website. BJP’s official ​site has been down​ for a while. Yesterday, we were happy to see that they were back, especially when we were told that they chose to use one of W3Layout’s Template,” it wrote in a blogpost on Saturday.

The design used by BJP was "Peek" - a "Landing Page Bootstrap Responsive Web Template" built by W3layouts.

"While the design is free to use, it includes a backlink. A small link at the end of the page, which indicates that the design was by W3layouts," the startup wrote in the blog post late Saturday.

"We, at W3layouts, were initially happy and excited that BJP IT cell was using our template, then devastated to see our work being used by BJP removing the backlink without paying, and giving no credit whatsoever to W3layouts," the startup posted.

The website of the ruling party went into the "maintenance mode" on March 5 after being hacked.

The startup also brought the issue to the BJP's notice via Twitter.

After the tweet went to the BJP, "they removed the code where ever w3layouts was mentioned".

"While the visible backlinks were removed, it was clear that BJP was still using the W3layouts code as it was evident in the source code of the page," informed the startup.

According to the terms of its personal and commercial license, one is not allowed to remove back link to w3layouts in template unless the company/organisation has paid for the template.

The BJP's Twitter handle was yet to post a reply.

W3layouts builds free premium quality HTML templates where anyone can download its designs and start their website, with due credit.

W3layouts’ templates are provided under ‘Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 unported’, which states that while a user is free to share and adapt the template in any medium or format and even transform and build upon it for any purpose, even commercially, appropriate credit must be given. A link to the license should be provided and changes made must be indicated.

The startup, through Twitter, was trying to reach out to BJP. “We took the issue to BJP’s notice through twitter as we are not able to find the communication details of BJP’s IT team who handles bjp.org,” it said in a blogpost.

It reportedly didn’t receive a reply and four hours after its initial tweet, BJP added w3layouts to the footer, and were reportedly changing it every few minutes.

“Meanwhile cleaning the css and other places where ever w3layouts is mentioned. But w3layouts author information is cached in archive.org,” it wrote on its blog.

However, after pointing this out, W3Layouts claims that BJP removed everything that belonged to w3layouts from the website and ‘decided to spoil the good-looking webpage by removing our code’.

The start-up said all it wanted was a "thanks for the template".

With IANS inputs

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