Fiverr Community Forum


Ok, I just learned something fricking incredible that shocked me!!
I have this artist who is doing great painting for me in 24 hours. They aren’t of great quality but as landscapes they are fine and I asked for commercial use as it is for a boardgame.

Anyway, I got 3 jobs and asked for 6 more. There is one of a dark fantasy forest and as I show it to a colleague I see a ©M… on the bottom right. WTF???

I had approuved the delivery already and I ask what that ©M is doing there, her answer: “Oh it’s Photobashing”. Photowhat???

In fact the artist took parts of other images from the internet and cut parts of 3 or 4 pictures and put it together as one composition, couple of brushes and sent it to me. Yep, that how she did it soo fast so well.

Now I’m stock. Is that legal? can I get in trouble? She gave me commercial rights, so what could happen. Is that a “new” painting or it copyright infringement.

I’m really woundering about this website. more then 50% of the artists that I contacted are faking something and the problem is that I’m going to print commercial with it.

Any data on the subject?

thank you!


I’m not a lawyer or expert on this subject, but here is my 2 cents.

I think the answer is in the details. If the images from the internet were just copied and pasted, then you probably don’t have the right to use them for commercial use without the original owner’s permission. However, if the end product you received is a creative transformation that is different enough from the originals than the end product you received is unique and you should be fine.

I don’t believe there is a specific line between copying and transforming so you would have to evaluate this on a case by case basis. Worst case scenario, see if you can contact the original owners of the images and see if they will give you permission to use their work.

Hope this helps!


Plagiarism definitely isn’t allowed. Read the ToS and report this to CS.

Fiverr makes me laugh. They don’t vet people for plagiarism and market the platform is the cheapest way to get work done and then they wonder why so many of their freelancers are scammers…


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Photobashing. It is a perfectly valid technique in the computer graphics industry especially when you need things done quick, so it’s not as shocking as you think it is. As @chalmersbrown pointed out, if the end product is different enough from the originals it should be legal under transformative use.


not to be contradictory, but i’m pretty sure you don’t own the commercial rights to that. in short it would be like making a compilation CD of different copyrighted songs and calling it you’re own album, or using footage from the star wars movies to make you’re own story. fine, if you’re just doing it for you’re own amusement, not fine if you’re reselling them and with “commercial use” for a board game. think of those knock off video games that almost always use stolen artwork on their packaging. smells scammy to me, and leaving the copyright mark of the original is sloppier then whale fanny to boot

you say you’re making a board game, do you have a lawyer you can consult? if not, i would ask customer support for their opinion if i were you

if they used royalty free images i suppose you might be fine, except they forgot to rub out the copyright symbol <.<

that’s what i think anyway


Photobashing is indeed a legit technique most often used for games concept art. And just to clarify, it takes time and effort too. It’s just a bit different set of skills comparing to traditional painting. So don’t feel scammed in that regard, seller still did a bunch of work on your project, it’s not just a money grab.

Conserning legal use, the short answer is “it depends”.
Firstly, in many cases it can be considered as fair use. Look it up if you want to check whether your specific case falls under that category.
Secondly, they could’ve used images with open permissions. Like creative commons licensing and such. Or images purchased by them on microstocks (not likely the case, considering the ©)

not to be contradictory, but i’m pretty sure you don’t own the commercial rights to that. in short it would be like making a compilation CD of different copyrighted songs and calling it you’re own album, or using footage from the star wars movies to make you’re own story. fine, if you’re just doing it for you’re own amusement, not fine if you’re reselling them and with “commercial use” for a board game.

That is actually not entirely true. You can’t legally grab other people’s songs, but you can use little snipets of them to get a different sound out of existing song, that is very much a thing. Also the Star Wars opening was used in dozens, if not hundreds, of commercial movies and games. That would be called a parody and parody falls under fair use.


This is a very grey area. Imagine a collage of magazine bits that make up the image of a face. You can’t make out what was originally in the magazine so does the copyright still exist?

The same can be said for photobashing. How much of an image is too much? It’s very difficult to say really.

1 Like

That si not true. Any usage of sample from other people’s song is subject to written permission from the artist, and possibly a comission or percentage of the income, credits etc. People have lost milions only because the song is similar to other song, using a sample is even worse.

I don’t see how would that be different for photos.

There is a lot to be said in discussions like this one, but learning everything there is to learn about copyright when you are doing creative work IS A MUST.

@zylaris if it was not specifically written in the gig that the artist is using “photobashing”, you have been scamed and need to report to CS.

The only way someone can sell you a photobash is to make one from photos that are license free or photos for which the artist has the right to use AND WRITE IT in the gig that it is that kind of product you are buying. Otherwise, it’s a scam.

1 Like

The key word in your post is SIMILAR. The key word in mine is DIFFERENT. Intentionally doing something very similar to existing piece of art/intellectual property is indeed plagiarism.
Taking small pieces of existing content to create something entirely different to the point those snipets are barely (or not at all) recognisable is fair use. And you can see that legally done everywhere in any kind of art.

Of course, that has been used extensively throughout the history and will be used, but you need to be clear about teh legality of it all, whether you have the right for that or not. Today, for using other artist song or work of art, you need to get approval. It is simple as that. If the artist died more than 70 years ago, then it is public domain, you can use it freely. But if not, you are just opening a door for a possible lawsuit.

You cannot just search for other people’s work on the net and use it without asking a permission. You say different is the key word, but how different will it be? If it is obvious that you are taking from other artist, you are exposing yourself to possible litigation.

Now, there are artists who will not sue you. Or you can change the work so much, that its hardly noticeable, as you say. Thats another discussion. Of course, you can do that, many people do it, but it is not legal if the artist hasnt died more than 70 years ago and you don’t have the permission for it.

For this case, if it is obvious that the guy is using photobashing and the buyer did not buy for photobashing it is not only a scam, but also an open door for litigation.

Please look up “fair use”. A lot of people actually don’t know about it and have a missconception of copyright system.

1 Like

Great example.

Here is what is written on music in the wikipedia article about fair use:

Before 1991, sampling in certain genres of music was accepted practice and the copyright considerations were viewed as largely irrelevant. The strict decision against rapper Biz Markie’s appropriation of a Gilbert O’Sullivan song in the case Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Bros. Records Inc. [28] changed practices and opinions overnight. Samples now had to be licensed, as long as they rose “to a level of legally cognizable appropriation.”[42] This left the door open for the de minimis doctrine, for short or unrecognizable samples; such uses would not rise to the level of copyright infringement, because under the de minimis doctrine, “the law does not care about trifles.” However, 3 years later, the Sixth Circuit effectively eliminated the de minimis doctrine in the Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films case, holding that artists must "get a license or do not sample".[43] The Court later clarified that its opinion did not apply to fair use, but between Grand Upright and Bridgeport , practice had effectively shifted to eliminate unlicensed sampling.

Yeah, and if you care to go deeper into that rabbit hole, you’ll find out that this descision from 2005 is conciously ignored by many courts, especially in the US. And the defendants still can claim fair use to their defense if their art can be considered as such.
In fact, it is partially in the quote:
The Court later clarified that its opinion did not apply to fair use.
You’ll see that any similar court case specifies, that the problem is recognizability, not the use of small pieces per se.
You also must note that not every use of other’s music is sampling. Sampling implies using the exact same recording, but if you go ahead and record your own version of a piece of someone elses intellectual property you are a lot less likely to get into any legal trouble (but of course, you would still need author’s permission if it’s recognizable).

In either case, I assume you are not going to ignore the whole article on fair use and only cherrypick one example that sort of is, but not really, in line with what you’ve claimed earlier. And now we can both agree that photobashing CAN be a fair use. Whether it is in this particular case we can not know, unless OP wants to share all the details.

Yes, lets not get deeper into the rabbit whole.
I will just add, to finish:

You need to finish that phrase, after the comma. Today it is much different.

Now you are justifying how to get away with plagiraism :slight_smile:

Anyway, my advice, if you do photobahsing, please let the buyer know of your way of working. I was a victime to a logobashing recently. Because I didnt know about that, the guy took several graphic icons from here and there and put it inside one logo, changed it a bit, and thought I will not notice. I didn’t, he got me there. I couldnt give any review, since I didnt notice right away. I found out much later. And I am not much informed how it works in logo world.
Yes, maybe they have been license free, but I specifically asked for something more original. I would prefer that the artist would tell me “i do not do original logos for that price, I only do logobashing” instead of manipulating me. I hope you get what I’m aiming at.

1 Like

I wholeheartedly agree on that part. Seller should not in any way decieve buyer into thinking they are purchasing something different.
Gig name and/or description should mention the methods they are going to use and make it very clear. Also they absolutely should price their offer accordingly.
Concerning photobashing services, I would also expect a detailed clarification on the legal side of things and the sources of the original images.


If I were to use photobashing, I would’ve only done so with either my own images, or CC0 (public domain; free for commercial use, no attribution required) images where they don’t put in the copyright symbol. Even some brushes on the internet would require credit, so you’ll have to consider that into account as well.

This is the main issue which could get anyone riled up.


sorry I created a similar post on the subject. I found out this morning that another job of 250.- USD was a photobashed one. It is several days after accepting it and I wasn’t even aware of it. I was interested in knowing what I could do. I send messages on the other ones but still got no news from Customer services. On this last one, I asked the seller for the original file that I didn’t have and the wizard is all made. I can see the pixels around as it was cut but he refuses to let me know where it came from, he simply offers to remake the wizard. He admited being photobashing. Can I still get a refund if the job was accepeted?

Thank you!

1 Like

You need to tell us what is stated in his/her description of the GIG.

Without knowing what he/she is offering we can not say is he/she fraud.

But you do have right to get your money back from CS if he/she violated the description of her GIG.

I’m in contact as we speak and he says that the wizard is from his own work but he can’t find the original file. meaning that he cut it from a previous job but can’t find it when he made it a few days ago.

1 Like

Oh, and what is CS saying to all of this?

Report him.

Get your money back. I am so angry.

An artist who cant “find” the artwork he used in last 7 days?

I still have the first circle I attempted to draw in inkscape 2006… It is on CD somewhere, but it is saved.

Can you please share the wizard image? Let me see can I find it.

1 Like