Fiverr Community Forum

Commercial rights - how does it work?

The question is:

If I buy commercial rights, does the seller have to issue me any kind of license confirming the fact that I bought the commercial rights? Document, internet form, bridged agreement?

That is, I pay 10 for voiceovers and get an audio file. And another 20 for commercial rights … and I’m not getting anything. How can I verify that I have commercial rights?

Another question - what if, for example, I order content that is subsequently used for commercial purposes, but does not acquire commercial rights, what are the consequences in that case?


Does this snippet out of ToS help?

Voice Over Commercial Buy-Out

When purchasing a Voice Over Gig, the Seller grants you a perpetual, exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide license to use the purchased Voice Over (except for commercials, radio, television and internet commercial spots).
By purchasing a Commercial Rights (Buy-Out) with your order, in addition to the basic rights, the Seller grants you with a license to use the Voice Over for any corporate, promotional and non-broadcast purposes. Corporate, promotional and non-broadcast purposes means any business related use for the creation of, or to promote a for-product profit or service (with the exception of paid marketing channels), such as (by way of example): explainer videos posted to company websites, social networks or email campaigns, audiobooks, podcast intros, and strictly excludes any illegal, immoral or defamatory purpose.
By purchasing a Full Broadcast Rights (Buy-Out) with your order, in addition to the Commercial Rights, the Seller grants you with a license for full broadcasting, which includes internet, radio, and TV “paid channels” including (by way of example): television commercials, radio commercials, internet radio, and music/video streaming platforms, and strictly excludes any illegal, immoral or defamatory purpose.

This Buy-Out is subject to Fiverr’s Terms of Service. There is no warranty, express or implied, with the purchase of this delivery, including with respect to fitness for a particular purpose. Neither the Seller nor Fiverr will be liable for any claims, or incidental, consequential or other damages arising out of this license, the delivery or your use of the delivery.


What’s your intent of even asking?

Call me paranoid but are you about to rip a voice artist off by not buying commercial rights when you know you should?

Because that is how it sounds and feels to me.

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Thank you, the question is somewhat different:

“the seller grants a license” - does the real grant of a certain license mean? Document or file that I can use as confirmation of its existence? What does this license look like? where can I get it and how can I transfer it or use it to confirm its presence if asked by a third party?

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Actually, thanks for raising a really good point which made me think about how I will deliver my audio files.

I’ll include a commercial / broadcast license along with the audio files as you’re right to ask how you prove you have purchased the rights.

I think a certificate from the seller should suffice. My username grants their username X on order number Y etc and will keep our respective details out of the loop so it’s all in the Fiverr household and fits happily with terms.

Goes to the Fiverr main site searches for “Certificate Design”…

Any other voices doing, or thinking or doing something similar?


if i’m correct the order page is supposed to act as you’re proof. if you buy commercial rights, it will be there

i usually don’t receive any other kind of licence. that being said, i did once, for a logo, and it was complete and utter nonsense. but i still have commercial rights at least, because it came with the tier of gig i ordered. i say at least because i could probably argue that i have full rights because of how the gig was set up, but yeah if i printed that “licence” out it wouldn’t be worth the paper it was printed on

but yeah, in a case where you buy commercial rights though a gig extra, it should show up on the order page for the gig you bought it for, and that’s you’re proof, and for voice overs you pretty much have to do that so should be straight forward

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These sorts of usage license contracts are done in one of three ways:

  1. a huge boilerplate legal document vetted and adjusted by lawyers on both sides as is common in the big end of town.
  2. similar boilerplate contracts passed in the mid-level of the business but vetted and altered by no one
  3. a simple email or similar note from the creator stating what can and/or cannot be done with the work

I don’t like to quote on anything without a clear understanding of expectations. Once the customer has shown the usage of the work, like is this film going to a couple of little festivals, Cannes main screen, Coke advert, Hollywood A release… I can clarify the work required and the value of it

Creative work should not be valued on a per hours basis - and that is probably the way you want it as 20+ hours at specialist wages is not cheap so if you assign Credits (rights) the creator can be paid less up-front and then be sent some of your profits over time. Asking for full rights is dumb as it means that you need to pay assumed value over 3-5 years which is 3-4 times what you would otherwise pay up-front. All whilst ensuring that the creator hasn’t a care in the world how well your project does - crash & burn for all they care as you paid em already. This is why professionally-minded creators don’t work this way (and similarly buyers should not ask).

To answer the second half - what if you change usage? Easy, contact the creator and get a new agreement. It may include cost as you changed the value of the work. Not doing so is stealing. How would you feel if you got paid $5 for a family slide night and then it is there as Superbowl Half-Time for Amazon and not only is your name not on it but they are making millions from a misrepresented agreement? Yeah, I’d have Jeffo in the Red Room with 50 Mr. Greys for that and he’d expect it so never do it in the first place.


@tiakovolana is correct, it shows up in your order page, so I don’t bother creating any other certificates, myself, as a personal preference.

To address the OP’s concerns:

As mentioned above, when you purchase commercial and/or broadcast rights, it shows up in your order page so you don’t need any additional documentation.

As for what the consequences are for using something that you didn’t purchase the appropriate license for, or refused to purchase the appropriate rights for, the seller would be in his/her rights to report you for Intellectual Property Claims infringement.

You might wonder how they would ever find out, but it is possible in this day and age where you can find just about anything and everything with a google or youtube search.

You can check out Fiverr’s TOS and Intellectual Property Claims Policy for more information, and I’d highly recommend familiarizing yourself with those.

Now, if you’ve purchased something that you didn’t originally include appropriate rights for, you can go back later and request to pay the rights for. It can either be added onto an order that’s still open, or the seller can send you an extra, or they can send you a custom offer specifically for rights to a previous order. That way, you’re covered.


Rip off, really?
Let me clarify you with something: when you pay a creator, be it a music writer,a designer or a voice artist or even a programmer to do a job, you OWN everything that is made from that job. Period. You can do whatever you please with the resulting work, commercially or otherwise, for as long as Fiverr’s TOS don’t claim ownership or copyright of things made through this website.
This “commercial rights” thing is just a very large BS rip off from fiverr, and nothing else. There is no legal base whatsoever for it.
This is equivalent to hiring someone to do a makeover of your house, and years later, when you wish to sell your house, you need to pay “commercial rights” to the remodeling person or company??? Hahaha, it’s just ridiculous.

I recommend that you take a bit (or lot) more time reading The Law.

The way you paint it here, if you come work for me for 5 mins, I pretty well own YOU. That went out with the Magana Carta.

Well it didn’t really but the idea that this sense of ownership of other people as ok did. It took many hundreds of years to get a lot better, esp seeing there is always some wannabe Dictator trying to own everyone.

This sense that if you pay a $1 you own everything is at best one-eyed, but in reality dangerous for the person who thinks it.

Yes law is clear that a delivered product or service for pay must be fit for purpose which means that if I dig a hole in your back yard I can’t come back and fill it in just because, but if I made your Logo, unless you specified (and paid accordingly) naming rights always return to the creator. Nike own the swish but the person who had the idea can say so, the person who drew it can say so as much as they please so long as they don’t impede Nike’s usage of the swish.’

Work made for the Jones for a slide night is worth significantly less than the very same thing made for Coke to transmit to everyone in the world and must be valued accordingly.


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not quite

first of all that’s not how the law works at all. you automatically own the copyright to anything you created. this is what when you buy a DVD, you don’t own the movie itself, what you’re effectively buying is an open ended licence to watch the movie, which would expire if you sold the DVD ect ect

normally, if i drew a picture and sold it to you, you would own that physical copy or whatever i sold you, but the copyright to that art would stay with me

so on fiverr, when you buy something you usually do get complete ownership by default, as per fiverrs T&C.if a seller offers “commercial rights”, and you don’t opt to buy them then you have a DVD, if you do then you have a DVD that you can use on in commercial, however the seller retains the copyright, unless you buy “full rights” instead. and that’s how it should be. (it’s less how it should be when the sellers are unclear about what you’re getting, but hay…)

lastly, on fiverr voice over work has it’s own, bespoke set of rules, which means that you need that commercial licence, or else what you have is a copy of your advert which you have no more right to share then you’re abba records

you can sell your house without paying the remodelers, since A), they probably don’t own any copyright on any aspect of their work and B) if they did, you would simply be selling your physical copy of that work

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It is sad that people want to see other people as cogs in their life and not fully real people in their own lives.

Most truly wealthy people understand that their backline, the reason they have their success is because of other people. Robbie Williams would be who dat? if it weren’t for other people, not only the people who saw his potential, but the people who make & mix his music, and we cannot forget the people who chose to be his fans. None of those people are forced to be there. If they were, it wouldn’t really work.

The mindset that we see here too often is that all of those people are in-essence tools of the person which is not wise seeing if you need Creatives (and you do if you are here) then you need these people to be personally engaged in you, your project and therefore your success. That is not you-alone success, but a shared success.

Richard Branson is known for supporting his people. Richard Branson is known.


That is not correct my friend, and not how the law works.
The creator has the copyright of anything he makes except when he is being paid to do so. Upon payment, the ownership belongs to the payer.
Mind this very suttle but very important detail: In fiverr you’re not paying to own a copy of the work, you’re paying to own the original. In fact, if it were otherwise, you would need “commercial rights” in every single job on fiverr. Why don’t you need commercial rights for a logo design? Or a webpage development? Because that’s not how it works.
The DVD analogy doesn’t make any sense, because you don’t OWN the movie, only a copy. And therefore you have a copy licence you need to respect. Which has absolutely nothing to do with work on fiverr.

The author of the work initially owns the copyright. However, ownership of the right may be transferred to others. If the work is created by an employee, the employer is considered to be the author and owns the copyright as a work for hire.
As the owner of the copyright, the author has the exclusive right to make copies of the work, display and perform the work publicly and to distribute copies of the work to the public. These exclusive rights last for the life of the author plus 70 years. The copyright in a work made for hire, however, lasts for a fixed term of 95 years from the date of the work’s creation.

I insist, this is just Fiverr’s BS to have increased revenues. Also, I’m not undervalueing the artists price, in fact I’m telling you that the final price of the job should already include the copyright transmission.

work for hire is usually if you’re employed by a company. say, you’re a cartoonist for a newspaper, the cartoons you make belong to the company be default

if, however, you’re self employed, and the newspaper commissions cartoons from you as they need them, then by default you own the copyright to that work, though you can transfer those rights to the company

sellers on fiverr are freelancers. a buyer does not pay the seller a monthly salary, but only pays for the work they commission

fiverr say that by default, a gig is to be treated as work for hire, or the seller transfers ownership to the buyer. however, if the seller offers commercial rights as a gig extra, or simply says they retain intellectual ownership in the gig description, or if they are a voice over artist then default freelancer rules apply

in practice, if you have full rights the works yours. if you have commercial rights then you get to use it as you see fit, but the seller still owns the copyright and can resell the work for future clients or as prints or whathavyou. If you don’t buy commercial or full rights, and it’s not a gig where you automatically get full ownership then you don’t get to make money from the work. So when I have a logo made I always make sure I have full ownership, which usually involves ordering from gigs that don’t offer commercial rights. that’s also why I don’t use tailor or fiverrs logo maker

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There is far too much fear-obsession over ownership.

Making a Logo for Coke:

  • If I am on Staff the work is definitely owned by Coke. That is the essence of Work For Hire
  • If I am a freelancer Coke probably stipulate upfront that they get the whole thing and pay accordingly. I agree or I don’t agree and get the job or not. They want me to say yes so they pay properly (i.e. not $15, $50 or even $500) so I am happy to do their logo and hand it over.

In both cases, I can always say “I made that logo”. Unless they also asked and I agreed to sign a ‘gag order’ in which case any sane business will pay even more money seeing bragging rights are gold in the creative world so not being able to say “I done that”, is limiting future work which is the business damaging the freelancer so they compensate accordingly.

A wise business like Coke knows that exclusivity is important in a logo but not necessarily in a piece of music (note they often use hits or songs that sound like they could be hits seeing no one want to pay) so they make it clear what the terms are and pay accordingly.

A Brief from Coke would never read like a BR here that goes

For $5 you will make me a clone of a John Williams movie score and I will own 100% of everything so I am king and you are the sucker

and yet on Fiverr, and in other freelance spaces, we see ~10 of these each per day.

Ownership is not the necessity that people misconstrue it to be (unless they are actively trying to be mean). If I write a cool song that a record label thinks might go #1, they ask me to license it’s usage to them so they can put it on the radio, make a video and get it selling like hotcakes. They pay me well for this. Maybe not 80% of their take as they have a lot of expenses to get it to #1 but enough that I am happy to do it, not just once but again.100% of nothing = 0, but 20% of a million = hell yeah!

In the case of my logo, once the license agreement is there, I cannot do things to damage the usage of the work. So no matter what the terms of making a Logo for Coke, I can’t sell it to Pepsi or the Army for The Liberation of Satan as that is injurious to the purposes for which the work was commissioned.

However, if it is a piece of music, I can do whatever I like that is not in conflict with the terms of the contract that was agreed, paid, and fully honored by the purchaser. That means that technically I can sell the same piece of music to Enya, Ramones, Cannibal Corpse, and P!ink. they can all be having hits with my same piece of music. That could be fun LOL

If you don’t want to pay to prevent that, that is on you, not on the person who is just making a living from their skills.


for me ownership would be important for anything directly relating to branding, especially logos, which is why i wouldn’t touch tailor with a ten foot barge pole. the idea is rather then pay up front for a logo, you instead rent one from them, which is cool except to make that work,

  1. you do not own the branding of your own company

  2. you’re not allowed to edit your logo in any way once you’ve customized it on their awful browser software, it’s impossible to make anything that doesn’t look terrible without some external editing, and if you want a slightly different orientation for different circumstances, you have to rent another logo

  3. anyone can use the same clip art and the same elements that you use

  4. frankly, you can come here and easily find a better logo for $5 with none of these issues (assuming you can make simple modifications yourself) and full ownership

so from my prospective they are not fit for purpose

ownership is less important for other things

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