Fiverr Community Forum

Can a buyer use your work before the order is accepted by them?

So I have a lady buyer who is making a youtube video with me. The video order isn’t approved by her yet and is still under 2nd revision. I saw my first draft posted on her YouTube channel. That to without the Fiverr watermark on it. (Yes I have enabled the Fiverr watermark on my videos) How did she manage to do it. Should I call her out? Is there a term or condition under Fiverr which doesn’t allow this. This means the Fiverr watermark protection isn’t legit at all. How do I protect my work in future.


Yes the buyer isn’t supposed to use the work (eg. they’re not supposed to upload it to youtube) before the order is complete, since it doesn’t belong to them before the order is complete.

I don’t think the watermark actually changes the attached videos. It does watermark images.

From a help page:

The watermark will only appear on the following image file types: JPG, JPEG, TIFF, BMP, and PNG. It will not appear on images attached within ZIP files.


I can see the watermark from my side when I deliver my work. When I submit the order. Even my previous client have seen it on their videos. And have asked me about it.


It’s only in the video preview that it shows the watermark I think (I think it’s just web coding to overlay it). It doesn’t change the attached video files as far as I know. So I think they could download the attached .mp4 file before completing the order and it wouldn’t have the watermark.

You could try downloading the attachment you delivered (eg. the .mp4) and seeing whether that has a watermark. I don’t think it will.

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No, they’ve not accepted the delivery - therefore the work isn’t theirs at this stage.

To be on the safe side, I would screenshot the video on her site, just in case you need a bit of evidence for customer support at a later stage.

But let’s try and be fair to your buyer…

You might find that your client is just being a little excitable and getting ahead of herself.

Or she might not understand that the work isn’t technically hers yet.

I personally wouldn’t rock the boat with this one, but instead see what happens over the next day or two. Hopefully she’ll accept the revision and all will be fine.

You might find that if you try and call her out (particularly if she’s made a genuine error of judgement) it might unnecessarily sour relations.


I disagree. If she takes something she hasn’t paid for and sees she gets away with it, she isn’t going to become an ethical buyer. She’ll become an even more unethical one.

In any case I don’t feel anyone should again work with people who mistreat them. This isn’t a misunderstanding because it’s common sense that you don’t take a freelancer’s work before they get paid. She’s an exploiter.


Agreed, @humanissocial

The OP should point out to the buyer that the video doesn’t belong to them until paid for. And if necessary the OP can make a DCMA request to youtube to take it down.


I also find it problematic that the buyer doesn’t know this ToS. Working with people who don’t understand the ToS or disregard them is so risky – on top of the inherent disrespect.

It seems there should be better protection for both parties as I’ve just been trying to find out what protection there is for sharing business ideas with prospective developers and it seems there is none.

Well, technically she did pay for it, the money is yet to be released to the seller but she did pay and she may not see anything wrong with posting it to her YouTube.

I think it could go both ways, but at this point we’re just assuming what she may or may not do, so I think waiting a bit more to see how this plays out as suggested by @english_voice may be a better move.

You’d still to appeal to that in 2 days, so why not wait…it may just sort itself out.

Yes but she knows the seller doesn’t get paid and she also knows she could also get a refund and get it for free as she was able to access it without completing the delivery.

Either that or she doesn’t know or care about the ToS.

Both of those are nasty situations and inherently disrespectful to the seller.

Those are all assumptions. We don’t know if she knows the seller doesn’t get paid until she marks it as complete, we don’t know whether or not she read/understood the terms of service, and we don’t know if she’s setting up a scam here.

The point is that OP could try and predict what may happen, or they could just wait to see how this plays out. They would still be able to do report the buyer, write to CS, if it’s necessary in a couple of days, so why not just wait? It won’t change a thing other than maybe not being needed at all.

As pointed above, have a screenshot taken of your video being used, make sure to cover your basis, but calling out the buyer on what they may or may not do in the future doesn’t seem to me as their best move.

Exactly. My point is that every possible explanation is undesirable. There is no possibility that this was just a mistake unless she doesn’t know or care about the ToS, which is just as undesirable.

The actual explanation is irrelevant to my point and to the assessment of the situation. What matters is that there is no explanation that makes her a decent client. They’re all bad and that’s what I’m saying.

To be fair the OP did not ask whether or not their buyer was “undesirable”, they just asked if their buyer was allowed to use the work before accepting the order, and how they should proceed about it on THIS order.

If their buyer is knowingly doing that or not they would still have to work out a solution for, again, this particular order…and waiting a couple of days to see what happens is smarter, mainly because it would make no difference to the matter, and if that’s the case what makes you think that acting on an assumption today is better than reacting to a fact a few days down the line?

The buyer files for a cancellation? Get in touch with CS and show them your buyer is already using the work.

The buyer closes the order? Get paid and move on with your life.

If OP finds this buyer to be “undesirable” to work with that’s a different issue, that they can later address, but at this point it makes no difference for this order.

Anyway, I think the OP has enough information to make a decision, so no point in keep going on about things not directly related to the issue.

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Completely same experience with me one day ago…the videos is not accepted by buyer and just showing"delivered" but she send me a yt link of my sent videos on her youtube channel…

This can be used to cheat sellers…not?

Yes it almost got me a heart attack. I politely told her yesterday to wait untill the order was complete and then she could use it anywhere. Since it’s a seller protection policy. And she understood. I am happy she agreed and wasn’t to upset about it.

You definitely have to communicate these things if they are bothering you to the buyer and also be careful about it. Thankfully I am learning this bcoz of Fiverr. It could totally happen to anyone.


I too agree that maybe she liked my work and was eager to share it. But I told her politely to wait for the order to be completed and then use it. & thankfully it worked. You practically dont have any control over these thing. Fiverr clearly doesnt provide any immediate support to us in these cases. And the last thing they would do is ban the account. The best thing we can do is communicate it carefully to the client. Make a policy list and share it to the client prior or at the beginning of the order.

Right. And it’s implied in everything I wrote that I was answering his question: yes he should call her out on it and yes it is a breach of ToS.

So I shouldn’t give people advice on how to avoid this in the future? Okay noted… If OP knew this he wouldn’t be asking these questions would he?

Well I never said or implied that, so… Quite a leap you’ve made. I said every possible explanation was undesirable, not in this case he should fo that or that case he should do this.

I’m not going on about it. You misinterpreted what I said in a long post. I corrected you. And knowing she is immoral and thoughtless regardless of why she did what she did (see, I’m not assuming – all explanations mean she is this way) is directly related.

Is there a way to know the terms and conditions which lists the point of not posting. Can you share a link if possible?

It might be this bit. It doesn’t say “complete” but it does say “and subject to payment”. The seller hasn’t been paid until after the order is complete. They should really make it even clearer by saying “complete” there.
Ownership and limitations: When purchasing a Gig on Fiverr, unless clearly stated otherwise on the Seller’s Gig page/description, when the work is delivered, and subject to payment, the Buyer is granted all intellectual property rights, including but not limited to, copyrights…

Buyer shall be subject to full payment for the Gig and the delivery may not be used if payment is cancelled for any reason.