Certain free word-press themes tend to hide encrypted code throughout the theme files that restricts any changes to the footer. Any changes to the footer will result in the entire site being disabled and the following message will appear.

This theme is released under creative commons licence, all links in the footer should remain intact

There are several blogs which discuss whether it is ethical to edit the footer if the author does not wish it. Ethical or not it certainly is legal under GPL license that wordpress has adopted. In this case because templates installed under wordpress, the GPL will override any licenses that the template author chooses to implement.

Having said this, I’d  like to state that i’m not contract attorney or attorney of any kind, and the comments are based on my readings and personal opinions. I do belive that the template author should be credited, but that does not mean that the entire site footer should be held hostage.

The solution

The solution is very simple. Using dreamweaver or your favorite editor, search the theme files for the following text.

str_rot13

Once this is found, delete the entire php code segment surrounding it. It should look something like this

<?php eval(str_rot13('shapgvba purpx_s_sbbgre(){vs(!(shapgvba_rkvfgf("purpx_sbbgre")&&shapgvba_rkvfgf("purpx_urnqre"))){rpub(\'Guvf gurzr vf eryrnfrq haqre perngvir pbzzbaf yvprapr, nyy yvaxf va gur sbbgre fubhyq erznva vagnpg\');qvr;}}purpx_s_sbbgre();'));eval(str_rot13('shapgvba purpx_shapgvbaf(){vs(!svyr_rkvfgf(qveanzr(__SVYR__)."/shapgvbaf.cuc")){rpub(\'Guvf gurzr vf eryrnfrq haqre perngvir pbzzbaf yvprapr, nyy yvaxf va gur sbbgre fubhyq erznva vagnpg\');qvr;}}purpx_shapgvbaf();')) ?>

Repeat as many times as found. It’s typically found in header.php and function.php. Once this is done, find the the call to

check_header();

and delete as well.

presto!! the footer.php file can now be modified as necessary. Remember to credit the theme author and wordpress.