Fiverr Forum

Buyer wants me to use images he found on web...isn't this copyright?


A buyer wants me to make t-shirts based off images he found on the web with various sayings. Isn’t there some kind of copyright infringement there?


Searching on the web and providing you images are not always copyright! there are millions of commercially available images out there, so you better ask your buyer, “those images are commercially usable or not?” :slight_smile:


They’re definitely not, I reverse image searched and they came up right away. 3 are of celebrities and one is of a painting which is why I’m hesitant. The buyer is trying to argue that you can buy shirts with these images all across the web and in stores. But wouldn’t that require buying the rights?


Yes, you’re quite right, and they’ve probably paid a hefty amount for the privilege.

If you use found images that you know are copyright, then you and your buyer are open to all sorts of claims.

Run away as fast as you can!


Hi Maggie,
At this point this is more of an ETHICAL question, is it not?

Since the buyer is the one supplying the image and not you, so, do you:
a. Provide the service and earn money, claiming you are not responsible for source of image
b. Decline the service due to your due diligence performed on the source of the image


Yes, I would have to agree with djgodknows. :wink: If buyer provides images, it’s not your job to check if he have bought licence to use them, this is his job and his problem if he did not. :wink: You are just providing design work and this is your responsibility. So no offlinehelpers, I don’t believe that she can be open to any claims. :slight_smile:

But yea, there is ethical question here of course. :wink:


From Fiverr’s terms of service:

Fiverr Customer Support will cancel orders based on, but not limited to, the following reasons:

Users supplied or included copyright/trademark infringing materials as part of the Buyer requirements or the seller’s delivery.


"Wait none of them are copyrighted haha, They are images. No one has taken a copyrights too. There are tons of shirts with the images on them."
They don’t seem to understand that all images hold copyright. I tried to negotiate saying I could create their original idea. Should I just cancel the gig all together?


Please see my post above from the ToS - it basically covers both the buyer and the seller, so yes - I’d ask customer services to cancel the order.

Good luck!


I always do A. and let them know they are responsible.


Yes but on the part of your client, not you. If someone hired me to use the intro loop to “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson under a voice over, it is assumed that the producer (buyer) has locked up the appropriate releases and licensing. As talent, it is not my place to be the police on this, as I am not in the liability chain.


I had to put on my lawyer hat and think about this. And you are correct.

You have no liability as far as I can tell. You would legally be an agent of the buyer and hence anything you do on their behalf is the same as if they do it themselves. It’s been a while since I studied legal subjects and I’m not a lawyer and might be wrong. The subject of agency is a complex branch of tort law.


tell them if there will be copyright issue they will be responsible.


I would send everyone a disclaimer somewhat similar to the following which I copied from the Vistaprint site— do not simply copy this, put it in your own words:

You are solely responsible for your use of Content in combination with any other images, graphics, text or other materials you incorporate into your Products. You agree that you will not include any text, image, design, trademark, service mark, or any copyrighted work of any third party in your Products unless you have obtained the appropriate authorizations from the owners. You warrant that your Products do not infringe upon any rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy, and will not libel or defame any third party, and that you have all required rights or permissions necessary to incorporate third party material into your Products. By placing an order on this Site, you warrant that you have all necessary permission, right and authority to place the order and you authorize Vistaprint to produce the Products on your behalf. You grant Vistaprint the right to copy, modify, distribute, use, create derivative works of and vectorize any content you have uploaded for the purpose of fulfilling your order and/or marketing products or services to you. Moreover, you warrant that you have sufficient rights to permit Vistaprint to copy, distribute, use, modify, create derivative works of and vectorize any uploaded content for the purpose of fulfilling your order and/or marketing products or services to you.


Quite perceptive of you. I never understood folks who want to play police in matters like this. Imaging working as a cameraman on a TV show, you show up for work and as filming begins, you say “OK people, first I need to see your union cards, and contracts with the producer to make sure all is in order.” Then the audio folks do the same and the craft services folks, and electricians…etc

The producer assumes all risks and the employees/agents in their employ simply do what is directed. If there is a mess to clean up later, legally, that stops with the producer.


That might be true, but when you take Fiverr’s ToS into account…

…the order could get cancelled after you delivered the work, meaning that you’ve done it for free.

It’s risky to accept to work on something like that.