Buyer Gave me voice over with copyrighted material


So recent buyer wanted to get an animation done, so he gave me a voice over audio, but I see that he used a very famous song with the voice over, should I warn him about that ? is it the voice over seller fault or the buyer’s fault? or should I pretend nothing happened and use that?


If the buyer is willing to use that copyrighted voice over then you can use it. It’s not your fault :+1:


It’s not a problem for you.
You don’t know who did the mix and what would be the use for the video/audio.
If it’s a project for internal usage, there is no problem in using any type of music or material.
If he is planning to use it in public media or youtube, he is taking consequences.


Sorry, if you profit from reproducing the song (which is what you’re doing) you are guilty of copyright infringement too. Let me put it to you like this… if you owned the song would you take legal action against EVERYONE who profited from it’s use?

fyi- Fiverr has a registered agent with the US Copyright Office. AND under the TOS, Fiverr has the right to reveal your legal name to any government entity requesting it. Having a username doesn’t grant you indemnification, nor anonymity. This actually happened with Fiverr Sellers and Amazon a few years back regarding the selling of bogus reviews.

Of course, it’s doubtful the record label would come after you…but, as creative people, we should respect each others work. Karma baby, Karma.


You are not legal counsel. You assume he has gotten clearance, if not he is liable, not you. This is one of the most misunderstood things about VO. Would you also be responsible to review the contract between the producer and the VO artist to verify whether they paid for commercial rights? Of course not. You are insulated as you are just a contractor. Like I’ve said before, to suggest otherwise would be like saying that the line cooks at a restaurant are liable financially if the owner doesn’t pay the food vendors. As if they’re supposed to be the police.
Only the one coordinating and paying for the project is liable.

And record companies would not be the ones to come after the producer. It would be the publishers, BMI, ASCAP, SESAC. Labels have nothing to do with these issues.


I have a different take on this and would be completely honest with your client, since you are producing the video.

In the end, if his video gets rejected by YT for example he will come running to you.

Honesty goes a long way. Perhaps he will really appreciate it and you can offer him a music track from your library as an alternative.


Good suggestion, even as a disclaimer. “I notice you are using “Thriller” by Michael Jackson in the track. I assume you have your clearances in place. If you need help with additional music selection, let me know.”


He is only responsible for the animation, not the soundtrack, what have could been changed after he delivered the video.


Under US law, if you reproduce another artists work (soundtrack, VO, photograph, etc.), even as a compilation for an animated video, you are infringing.

However, I suspect the worse that could happen is the Seller would get a cease and desist letter, even that is highly unlikely.

Just Google US Copyright Office for their site, and read the laws yourself to end any confusion.


Agree, but again, this only applies to the producer/owner of a project. Or do you think the busboy in the restaurant is liable for the owner not paying the butcher. The C&D letter or lawsuit goes to the owner of the business, there are no actions against every employee and contractor that the owner hired to do a job.


I know enough about copyrights. No need to google it.

If anybody is infringing IP, than it is the buyer at the moment where he uses the material in any other form than for private use.

The seller only provides in this case the imagery and is not responsible for the soundtrack the buyer uses for whatever use.

Besides the fact that it is also possible that the buyer has licensed the song in question, the seller of the animation is not responsible for anything other than what he delivers to the project. If he had the obligation to enforce the law, what he hasn’t, he would also need to ask for a copy of the usage right of the voice over, a copy of the usage right for the script a.s.o.

The only thing what he can do if he feels uncomfortable, is to attend the buyer that he has to make sure to license the song if it is not solely for usage at home.


And I can add that in the US, every TV and radio station has a BMI/ASCAP license in place, so that means you can use any music you want in any form, because you already have expensive blanket licensing in place. Ad agencies do one off licensing for their projects, but when they hire folks for a job, they don’t provide the contract between themselves and the publisher for every employee to vet. That would add a month and about 100 lawyers to every job…the producer, editor, janitor, craft service employees and editors are fine with your clearances, but the receptionist, has a few questions. This is not how any professional project has ever progressed.


You got me at ‘receptionist’, lol.

It’s in the Netherlands and Belgium the BUMA/STEMRA and in Germany the GEMA.
I remember when I had a radio show in the late 90’s, we always had to keep track for them what music we were playing.


Oh yeah, I remember we hated BMI logging week. We had to hand write the name of every song we played along with the writers names. Now all digital of course.