Hi…can anyone clarify how a seller on Fiverr is able to sell stock photos from Shutterstock, istock, etc…? There is a seller that sells 25 stock photos from any of those sites for $5, (you would go to shutterstock, istock, etc…andpick out the photo I.D and send them to the seller, who will provide you with the photos). Is that legal? If a buyer purchases those photos from that seller and uses the photos on their business website or in videos, are they at risk? What about licensing?
Okay…I just got a response from the seller who is selling copyrighted Shutterstock photos. People can apparently go to Shutterstock and pick out any 25 photos and she will give them to you for $5. When I asked her to provide me with a license/documentation for the stock photos she is getting for me from Shutterstock so I can legally use them and be protected if someone comes after me to sue me for using their copyrighted pictures, she stated:
"When i download the images, there isn’t any file or document with the license included with the images. Don’t worry! If you buy from shutterstock you only have the images too and you can use them legally."
Uhhh…what??? So…she cannot provide me with anything that will protect me! This sounds like she is illegally reselling all those copyrighted photos/images which is forbidden by Shutterstock. Why is Fiverr allowing this???
Yes! This is why these types of sellers should be “flagged” and put on “hold” until they can supply legitimate documentation that the “stock” photos from the major commercial stock photo/image companies they are selling can be used by buyers as they choose. Fiverr should have some warnings, guidelines and protocols for buyers regarding these types of sellers and restrict them unless they are legitimate. If left as is, I could see Fiverr getting some very, VERY BAD publicity and buyers becoming very wary about purchasing from sellers on Fiverr because they could be held liable. I am curious what the rest of the community thinks about this??? And…can Fiverr chime in on this issue???
Some of the royalty free photos are allowed to sell, provided that the seller has purchased them by legitimate means. If not, then maybe it will be harder to see how to use them.
Note: Just to be clear, yes there is such a thing as cheap or free stock photography and images. And a person can also create original images and sell them using the generic term “stock” as long as they are the creator/owner.
The issue I think we are dealing with here is when someone claims to be selling images from major commercial stock photo/image companies at prices far below the price offered directly by the source, and without the specific restrictions noted in the licensing ToS at the original commercial site. In THESE cases, I think it is fair to be suspicious about the legality of the offer. Especially when the buyer MIGHT face legal consequences for using them.
The specific commercial stock image companies mentioned above have price charts showing prices far above the fee asked by the Fiverr gig re-sellers, and with restrictive use policies not mentioned by the Fiverr gig sellers.
Reply to @ryuken: How can I be sure the seller purchased them legitimately? Shouldn’t they proivde me with a letter or proof that I got them legally? This seller just tells you to go to Shutterstock, etc… and write down all the I.D. numbers of the 25 pictures you want, and she will get you all the pictures for $5. How can I be sure I won’t get in trouble with copyright issues if I use them on my business website or in a video?
Stock Photo/Image companies are quite specific on this. A buyer can buy the right to use an image as PART of a project, but usually can’t re-package and/or re-sell unaltered images.
If you buy this gig and use these images, then the original source COULD question you about how you got the rights to use it. They PROBABLY won’t, since they sell these over and over again to various graphic artists for use in projects. They know that the those artists/designers will likely in turn “sell” the resulting project to a customer, but the original purchase agreement almost never alows re-sale of the unaltered image – just sale of a product (book cover, poster, calendar, etc.) made with the image.
But your question is good. You don’t even know if the gig seller at Fiverr is even really BUYING/LICENSING the images from the Stock company in the first place. They may just be doing screen grabs or stealing images through a fake account or from a corporate account where they work. If you buy and use these, at least make a screen grab of the gig offering and sales receipt. If your use is challenged later, you can at least claim you bought them in “good faith” which might limit your damages. But how will you ever be able to find the gig seller to share the blame? A buyer of stolen property does not always get out of the situation cleanly once the truth is made known.
Unfortunately, the only way to make the gig even seem legit is for the seller to make a clear statement like, “The images you recieve through this gig are legally licensed from a major stock photo seller and I have the right to sell them to you for you to use as you chose.” But since no stock photo company really offers those terms, it would be a lie to claim that. So anyone buying this gig is probably either:
a. unaware of standard policies in stock image law
b. getting lied to about what they are buying
c. perhaps even TRYING to indirectly steal images themselves by “buying” them this way
(Note: Yes, some few stock photo/image sources do offer “free” images, but even those few don’t allow commercial resale of their unaltered images.)
Reply to @artemist: Thanks for the detailed reply! I don’t know how Fiverr is able to control the sellers that do this type of thing…and putting buyers at risk. Perhaps there might be a way to flag these types of sellers unless they are able to supply documentation that they are selling photos legitimately and provide a written document with their legal name and contact information. Do you think it would be helpful if sellers and buyers sent customer support numerous requests to address this issue?
I agree with the “temporary hold” suggestion. There are too many questionable gigs that might or not not be legal to just make snap judgements.
If Fiverr had a “flagging” system for gigs and Forum posts that would get these items looked at quickly, then they would not just be there tempting others to buy them or copy them.
But instant deletion is not always the best cure, since some things might look shady but are actually just clever but legal techniques. Give those posters a chance to defend themselves (out of sight of the general browsing public) then re-activate them if they pass actual inspection.
If anyone else has used the seller who is offering the stock photos and asked how they are able to sell these stock photos legally… could you post the response here? It might help us understand how this is able to be done. I have not yet received a response when I asked about licensing or copyrights and if I can legally use those photos for a website or video. So, needless to say, I am concerned that buyers may unknowingly be put at risk. I have not received any responses when I asked for documentation that the photos can be used as I choose, other than the seller stating that she “never had any problems yet” with people using the photos she supplied.
Just another related note, and another reason to distrust this kind of gig offer.
The standard ToS at Fiverr says that the gig seller gives the gig buyer the copyright on all itams sold, unless it it stated differently in the gig description. Of course this is impossible in “sales” offering images from commercial Stock Photo/Image companies. They don’t sell their images at all – they just license them for use with specific limitations.
Any updates on this guys?
There are several who are offering these. Some say they have a licence to do so. I brought one, now I’m regretting it.
I contacted Shutterstock and they DO NOT allow this at all. There is no license for these “resellers” to resell photos/videos legally. They are asking for the links to the resellers who are doing this on Fiverr (or anywhere else) and to report it because it is illegal. I am sure the other photo companies don’t allow this either and don’t give out a “license” to resell their photos. Be very careful because if you are caught using photos without proof that you obtained them legally, you could be fined or sued. If there are any resellers who say they have a license, ask them to send you a copy of it, and for licensing rights to the photos. If they can’t give you licensing rights to all of the photos you are purchasing they are lying. If they send you something that looks like a license, they may have inserted falsified names, addresses, account number etc… so it looks like a legitimate license,…but is fraudulent…like they did for me! I called Shutterstock to confirm the seller had a license from the scanned document she sent me that looked like an official license from Shutterstock, but it was fake. They could not locate her name, address or account number. So, buyers…BEWARE!
I see several other “resellers” on Fiverr and I would be very wary of them.
Reply to @toydistrict: I contacted Shutterstock and they DO NOT allow this at all. There is no license for these “resellers” to resell photos/videos legally. They are asking for the links to the resellers who are doing this on Fiverr (or anywhere else) and to report it because it is illegal. I am sure the other photo companies don’t allow this either and don’t give out a “license” to resell their photos. Be very careful because if you are caught using photos without proof that you obtained them legally, you could be fined or sued. If there are any resellers who say they have a license, ask them to send you a copy of it, and for licensing rights to the photos. If they can’t give you licensing rights to all of the photos you are purchasing they are lying. If they send you something that looks like a license, they may have inserted falsified names, addresses, account number etc… so it looks like a legitimate license,…but is fraudulent…like they did for me! I called Shutterstock to confirm the seller had a license from the scanned document she sent me that looked like an official license from Shutterstock, but it was fake. They could not locate her name, address or account number. So, buyers…BEWARE!
I see several other “resellers” on Fiverr and I would be very wary of them.
Hello everyone, so if this gig seller changes something on the picture, it’s a product already, right? There is alway a shady way to go around.
Yes looking for a logo can be a painstaking task, I have purchased many logo ideas and when for example you give them some input of what you want the logo to look i.e. a car I have received 2 or 3 with the exact same stock picture. What do you expect for $5 I guess!
You can download stock images on shutterstock and istockphoto with very cheapest prices ($0.20 per stock) by online tools http://getty.is