Fiverr Community Forum

Buyers not paying for commercial rights

Hey all, what can we do about buyers who ignore requests to pay for commercial license fees? I have a buyer who paid for the word count for my voiceover project, but won’t respond to my add-on request for the commercial rights. I don’t want to affect my cancellation rate or deliver the project late, but I also don’t want to deliver a project to someone who hasn’t paid for the proper usage rights! Can Fiverr please do a better job of vetting the buyers’ intents before allowing orders to go through, or at least allow sellers to rebut an order if the payment is incomplete? That would be much appreciated.


We’ve had this same problem last week, with a buyer who went off the radar when we asked them to purchase Commercial Usage. We were faced with either giving them the work and ignoring the fact that they hadn’t bought Commercial Usage, or cancelling. We chose to cancel. It isn’t fair on us, or our other buyers, to do otherwise.

It could be coincidence, but in the 5 days since, our orders went from 2 or 3 a day, to none. We seem to be getting back to normal now.

One thing that helped us was talking about the Commercial Rights more. We include information about it in our Gig Description, our FAQs, and a final time when the buyer completes their Order Requirements. We’re even thinking of putting a PDF together about it and adding that to our profile.

This isn’t fool-proof. Some buyers will fail to read any of these. But many buyers seem to, as we saw a marked increase in the number of buyers adding the rights themselves after we implemented this.


In my requirements I now require a purchase of a commercial licence unless it’s for sole use. Which they almost never are. When they say it’s for internal use I will require it either way. Depending on the content of the script is how I push it


Thanks Steve, and thanks @cubittaudio, I have added some very clear requirements in my order section and also in the gig info section. Hopefully this solves this problem for the future.


Unless it’s for your Grandma , you will require a licence :wink:


Do you require a license even for things like voicemail outboxes and company training videos?

Yes, 1000,s of people will listen to that message .
Company Product


If they won’t pay for it and stuff goes through, there’s DMCA takedown…

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You know, I have to say it I think the VO crew has a bit of an ego.

Pro writers write content which gets read thousands of times. However, we have to live with commercial rights transferring to buyers automatically.

I’ve got articles which have been delivered to clients and received 300+ comments in less than 24-hours. Why do you get paid a bonus for your voice, yet I don’t get to apply rights to my wordsmith work?

To be honest, this is why I don’t offer voice overs on my video gigs. It takes hours for me to create a video. Then revisionistas come along and request several revisions. Then I have to add the VO artist revision cost and commercial licence into my pricing and as a result, my gig pricing becomes prohibitive to buyers.

In my mind, a commercial licence should apply to TV and radio rights. Because of the pervasiveness of Youtube and other platforms, web-based commercial rights should be capped at something reasonable. I say this as while you may get someone put a TV ad on Youtube, you will rarely get a Youtube ad featured on TV.

Of course, if that’s the market you are targeting, go at it.


There’s a simple solution to this… raise your prices so that the price of the commercial license fees is part of the gig cost.


I’m sure the same people that started the Academy Awards started this silly VO usage rights thing.

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You can do that, but that higher price keeps buyer s away. You could say this also for people who give you a bum script and they don’t pay for proofing. You can’t simply absorb your extras into inflating your base price. It’s a leveridging tool like everything else.

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Not if you’re good at what you do, and you effectively market and promote your services to the right people. Yes, the cheap buyers will probably avoid you, but the buyers who care about quality are still likely to consider you in their hiring decisions.


First of all, “a commercial licence should apply to TV and radio rights”. No, that is called “Broadcast Rights”, which voice talent on Fiverr can also offer as a gig extra. Broadcast Rights only apply when the client will be paying for “air time” on radio, TV or even “pre-roll” internet ads (the ads you see before a Youtube video).

Commercial Rights generally have to do with the sale of a Product or Service - on any media platform. The following is in my gig FAQ:

“Commercial Rights are purchased when the voice over will ultimately be used to sell a product or service. They also extend to internet videos and other means of income generation. These rights are your legal protection from being sued or having a Digital Copyright Takedown Notice filed against you.”

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I’ve raised the price of my voiceover gig to include commercial rights. So far, I think it’s been a success. There are fewer undesirable messages and people who are serious still message / order.

I would advise to anyone with a writing gig who feels like it’s not fair they don’t get to charge a surcharge: charge it anyway! Don’t undervalue your work. When you’ve got talent, maybe people pay for it. And they will!


And this is why I don’t buy voice-overs on Fiverr. 99% of anything bought on Fiverr will be resold or used to sell a product or service. Writers and most other sellers do not charge extra for commercial rights. If they did, every gig would feel like a bait and switch operation. "Sure, I’ll write you a $20 article. However, if it will be sold by you or published anywhere with the aim of monetizing a website, that will be $25 extra."

It is also confusing for buyers, given that Fiverr TOS states that all copyright transfers to buyers when an order is complete.

There are platforms which vet voiceover artists and check the quality of a VO before it reaches a buyer. There I can pick up a 1-minute VO for a flat fee starting at around $35. When I have bought VO’s on Fiverr previously, it has honestly felt like a rip-off. (Though, not in all cases.)

I find a seller offering VO work at $35. If I want to do anything with the VO I receive, I have to buy a price matching commercial rights extra. Then when I receive finished work, it often features background noise and parts where I can hear where a seller has edited in a revision. (Prior to me asking for any.)

By this time, I’m often $70 down and I feel like screaming. I know not all VO sellers are like this. However, I have only found 1 on Fiverr who offered flawless quality first time around and didn’t spend more time moaning about all these extras they need than they did trying to ensure a half decent delivery.

In the end, I gave up on offering voiceovers with videos altogether. That said, one of my clients found a flat rate $5 seller recently, who dig a great job.

If I was a VO artist, I’d build everything but broadcast rights into my gig pricing as it is displayed to buyers. I’d also deliver some kind of certificate when people purchase broadcast rights extras. If a $30 VO needs a $30 license to be used in any meaningful way, price your VO at $60. To me, everything else just seems disingenuous.

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…unless the seller states otherwise, and lists their own copyright terms in their gig. Don’t forget this part – it is listed within the TOS after all. :wink:

Hello, Here as a buyer. might be interesting to hear things from my side. I have bought probably 10 voice over gigs on fiverr so far. In general love the website and it gives me easy access to talent which is great.

I think I have been pretty lucky with some voiceovers but definitely not all. I would say about 60% is actually usable. I tend to stick to the people that have brought quality in the past.

Now on the side of commercial rights I find it a bit annoying that everyone is charging prices in a different way. some have up to 200 words some only 50 and pay ever 25 words going up etc. Then you also have the commercial rights which is sometimes very reasonable and sometimes just does not make any sense. 99% of the buyers will buy a voice over for some sort of commercial use. As a buyer you want to see straight up. this is what I need and this is what it will cost me.

Now people advertise with 5 dollars and then when you actually want to use it you will have to pay 45 dollars. most of the time when I see a too complicated price structure I’m just out.

Its ok to value talent at a normal price and commercial rights should be included I believe.

You may find this annoying, but this is how business works. Any seller can charge any price that they know their target customers will be comfortable with.

This is called up-selling, and there is nothing wrong with it. Every business brings people in with a deal, and then offers to add additional services onto the order to earn a little more money. It is up to the buyer to choose to accept the up-sell, or move on to a different seller/business.

Sellers can price their services however they wish. Some sellers include commercial rights in the price, others offer them as an order add-on. Neither seller is wrong. And you, as the buyer, have the right to choose which of those sellers you wish to work with.

Capitalism is all about freedom of competition. There is no competition if everyone is forced to have the same prices, and the same price structure.


It’s very easy to avoid those things. it’s just about market strategies. simply do this:

Include the price of commercial rights in your gig, I mean to put everything in a single package, and that way the customer will buy everything together


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