Fiverr Forum

Art Copyright: I drew it, he colored it, who owns it?


I drew a picture, and wanted to get it colored so I could put it on my website. I hired a fiver artist to color it for me, paying $20 for the service. I did this through a portrait painting gig, though no portrait was painted, just my picture colored in.

he now tells me that if I want to use the picture he colored for my website, I would have to pay him for the copyrights. I own the copyright for the original picture, of that I have no doubt, do I now have to pay him extra for the rights to the colored version?

the portrait gig I used to interact with him does state a copyright purchase, but I did not use his service to paint a portrait, only to color my picture, and I did not just give him the picture and tell him to color it however he wanted, giving specifications to what I desired in it. I am new to fiver, & I am Not sure what rules there are concerning this. I drew it, he colored it, who owns it?


you own it, i would proceed to use it. The service was coloring the photo in. That’s what you paid for. He is going to re copyright something that you created? it doesn’t work that way. just like if you paid him to crop the photo. just because he cropped it, doesn’t mean he owns the copyright to the newly cropped photo. Times must really be hard if a seller is doing that just to get some extra money. Tell that seller to get real.


Reply to @kjblynx: copyright doesn’t work that way. He owns all derivatives of his work. A person cannot modify his work and claim it as his own, this was a ordered to color in the photo, just like if he wanted it cropped or modified in any other way. The seller is just wants more money clearly when they should have just charged more in the first place.


to be clear, I put out a gig request for this job to be done. He answered the gig request, we worked out a price, and he directed me to the portrait gig, and directed me to purchase x4 quantity of the gig to pay for his services. The gig has the option to include a sale of the copyrights, but again, I was not paying for a portrait, and was directed to the gig by the artist after having worked out a price for the work.


Reply to @customrapsongs: I’m not sure about that. In terms of a derivative work, it could be debatalbe…we have not seen the work…here read this

If the seller modifies it, that becomes a new piece of work and since we have not seen it, perhaps the color was substantial.

And what about different countires, they each have slightly different laws

It says from the US copyright office:

A typical example of a derivative work received for registration in the Copyright Office is one that is primarily a new work but incorporates some previously published material. This previously published material makes the work a derivative work under the copyright law. To be copyrightable, a derivative work must be different enough from the original to be regarded as a “new work” or must contain a substantial amount of new material. Making minor changes or additions of little substance to a preexisting work will not qualify the work as a new version for copyright purposes. The new material must be original and copyrightable in itself. Titles, short phrases, and format, for example, are not copyrightable.

Having not seen the photo, is the coloring in little substance or much more dramatic? that can be debatable.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


he only mentioned the copyright issue after he had completed the work, 2 days late.


Reply to @scryer: But if you were directed to the gig to pay, and there was an option for the sale of copyright, it may have been a good idea to clarify that point.


Reply to @scryer: also, when yo put our your gig request did it state that you would be using the image commercially?


Reply to @scryer: sir, just block the seller and continue to use the work YOU PAID FOR. Don’t even worry about it. Copyright does not apply in this situation since you paid him to color YOUR photo in. you have NO contract with this person. The original deal mentioned no such thing. The guy is a scam artist.


Reply to @customrapsongs: aren’t all paid gigs bought on Fiverr a contract of sorts? Why else would Fiverr have automatically added a rights extra to Illustration gigs?


wow. he is try to own the copy rights of the art that is created by you! is he paid some money to you for owning copy rights of your image? NO! so how he can own the copy rights? there are too many images and art on the internet its mean we can own the copyrights by re-coloring these arts? No. copyright douse not belong too color, Its belong too design, so you designed it and you have copyrights already.

keep using it without any hesitation. If he still sending you “funny messages” send him answer in his way. Tell him that you added a small “.” (dot) on this pic and now copyright are again yours, the original art work owner :smiley:


Reply to @abidagfx: Thats what i say!


Reply to @abidagfx: love your strategy :slight_smile:


Reply to @sincere18: The ToS has always been the primary contract until very recently. Fiverr apparently added this odd copyright extra on only the one type of gig and they did so without even notifying sellers it was there. The ToS already specified that buyers own the copyrights to what they buy on Fiverr UNLESS the gig description (not the extras) state otherwise. As far as I know, the copyright extra that Fiverr put on Illustration gigs applies to commercial use which would often imply resale of the product. The extra is vaguely worded and in a global market it has very little legal application. It’s a blatant excuse to charge the buyer more which also pays Fiverr more.

Fiverr is on shaky legal ground with the attempt to add the copyright extra on those gigs. It certainly does not imply that the seller would suddenly gain rights to use the entire product when the buyer created part of it. If the buyer chooses to cancel they are out from under this and all they lose is time. They could work with a seller based on messages that would set the terms rights prior to ordering. On the other hand, if they choose not to buy the copyright extra and they use the colored product at the price they already paid, I doubt the seller or Fiverr could do anything to stop them. This whole issue is ridiculous.


I think the mere fact that he told you the price beforehand which was supposed to be the “total” cost, and then with two days of delivery late tried to slap on an extra charge for commercial license for something he simply colored says it all. I’d take it up with customer service.