Fiverr Forum

Buyer is demanding for illegal work - Any Suggestions? Innocent Seller needs the Forum members help!


I have an active order right now with one of my not so very old customer. (Note: This is her 2nd Gig)
This is the Gig: "be-your-social-media-profiles-superintendent [links not allowed in this category]

My job is to manage her social media channels on a monthly basis. She recently suggested me to use one of her competitors Instagram Photos and use it in her Instagram account without their knowledge and without giving them any credits.
Of course my first answer would be definitely a big NO!

She said:

I’m just saying there are ways to do it and it’s being done already. Its not that I’m over here making it up. Let me know if you are able to get images from them or if there is a better way to get them.

I suggested her that it’s a direct theft type of scenario. As a social media manager, my responsibility is to show my customers the right path. She is not ready to give them credits. I told her that i will contact the person who is in charge in their company and offer something like monthly payment or a one time payment so we can use their pictures in her Instagram account. She is ready to pay them a one time payment for unlimited access.


  • The competitor will accept the one time payment offer and she can use their pictures.

  • The competitor will not accept this offer and she cannot use their pictures.

  • The competitor will not accept this offer and she would still use their picture without letting them know and she will lead them her into a legal case of digital theft (assuming the competitor will charge a case against her for a digital theft)

So… what should i do? Any idea on how much should i offer their competitor to use their pictures?
Thanks in advance to all the replies. I really appreciate.


Wish I could help. Ask someone in your industry.


Well, i haven’t met anyone who is from my industry with much experience on this forum. I am the only one. :joy:


Yeah, what you do is complicated.


Here’s what comes in my mind

  • I think you should dig some “royalty free image websites” and ask her if she’s ready to use them with a little tweak in images.

  • Take one time money from your buyer and pay the competitor monthly in parts.

  • Buy some good images from shutter stock.

This is what I can think of sorry.


Hm, yeah, you know that your ‘no’ is the right immediate answer yourself. Your idea to ask the owners of the right to her photos is the good and right one, of course, but I fear I´ve no idea at all what sum one could offer and really, if it´s a direct competitor,

I imagine they’ll just say no, unless the sum might be big enough for them to accept it and go on and get other images themselves perhaps, I can´t imagine they’d want to use the same pictures either way, since people who see both wouldn´t know who is the originator and who the copy cat.

Asking doesn´t cost anything, of course, you could ask them how much they would accept as payment too, then you´d either get a categorical ‘nope’ or would know how much and could tell your customer.

One thing to keep in mind though is that if they say ‘no’ and she goes and uses the images yet, don´t know if she can do that herself or needs you for it, or asks someone else to do it when you don´t comply, since you asked them, they might have an eye or two on her channel and would see the images then and, well, you know.

So,I think before you ask them, make sure that you tell your client that if/after you’ll ask them, they might well have an eye on her channel, and that it would be very unwise to violate their copyright/IP at any later point. If she does it still, without your participation, then it´s her problem, not yours anymore, not even ‘conscience-wise’.

Disclaimer: I don´t know anything about your industry either, just my take on it. :slight_smile:

edited because: Dicalaimer…how the hell did that happen lol and good luck for your heading!


You are right. [quote=“miiila, post:6, topic:156469”]
If she does it still, without your participation, then it´s her problem, not yours anymore, not even ‘conscience-wise’.

Well thanks very much. Now i know where i am heading… :smile:


From experience, this isn’t a good idea. I did this for a similar client who now expects this extra service every time. Just lay this on the ground as copyright fraud, say no and deliver only what you say you will in your gig.


Yes I agree with @cyaxrex report and move on.


interesting question. I do know that in my field for example, if a producer came into a studio and was having an audio track built for a film they were producing, and asked the technicians to place a copyrighted song, Let’s use “Revolution” by the Beatles for example) in the film, the technicians have no legal responsibility to question that. The assumption is that the producer has licensed through BMI or ASCAP the rights to use that music. Just as the technician would not ask to see the model release or performance contract of each cast member appearing in the film.

The idea is that the producer of a project who directs the actions of others in their “employ” bears the ultimate responsibility. It is certain that the copyright holders of the Beatles tune would send a cease & desist letter to the producer, and never even give a moment’s thought to the technician or recording studio who fulfilled the order of the producer.

Now whether it is a violation of fiverr’s TOS is also another discussion. I suspect it is.


Please while quoting this bit from my post, don´t forget my " you know that your ‘no’ is the right immediate answer yourself.", “I think”, “Disclaimer”, “my take” and such, y’all, it wasn´t legal advise, I don´t know enough in that field. :wink:

Violation of Fiverr’s ToS, interesting discussion, really. I don´t know either. But, for instance, when people ask on the forum if it´s okay to have multiple accounts, which clearly is against Fiverr’s ToS, and we tell them ‘no, it´s not okay, it´s against ToS, go read them’, isn´t that enough, would we have to report them to Fiverr?
I don´t think so, it´s Fiverr’s responsibility, they can read the forum threads as well, they monitor inbox conversations for words that might indicate breach of ToS, once I tell someone I won´t email them or give them my email because it´s against ToS, I see my responsibility and concern ending there, but again, it´s just my immediate thoughts, I might be wrong.


No argument there. Your post was a great discussion starter. In the end, yes follow your gut. Do you really want to work with someone who is willing to steal from someone else? How long before they do it to you.

Great point. :slight_smile:


I personally wouldn´t like it when someone steals and uses any of my photos from my social media account. I experienced that once, someone stole my food photo (it was a sushi photo) from my FB and used it to review a restaurant (in another country) as if that person has been to that restaurant. Really annoying. I then changed the setting of my privacy, so only those who are friends with me can see the photos. Everyone who is friends with me on FB, I know them in real life very well and they wouldn´t do such thing to me.


I spent felt ages to go through all the FB settings, to even know all that I by default allow everyone. :eyes:


@miiila My FB setting used to be all could been by public. One day I was so bored that I was surfing the internet all day stumbled upon a lot of things and found one of my food photos has been used by some stranger to review a restaurant. I was shocked and pissed. It didn´t cost me anything (at least that person probably thought I have taken a good photo), but it was still annoying. Since that, I changed all the settings and make sure nothing can be seen by public.


You should do what’s right.