Fiverr Forum

Warning about stock photos sold on Fiverr


Some sellers offer gigs in which you can get really cheap bundles of stock photos, vectors, graphics, and other content. In some cases, these gigs are completely legit. If a seller is offering their own work, buy it and enjoy the good deal you’re getting.

However there is another kind of gig frequently available, one in which the images offered are sourced from stock image agencies like Shutterstock and Thinkstock. These images are being illegally resold. Under the terms of the licenses issued by Shutterstock and Thinkstock, images cannot be resold and the license to use the images is invalid when someone resells images like this.

These sellers will tell you that you can use the images commercially. If the images came from Shutterstock or Thinkstock, you absolutely cannot use them commercially, or at all really. Please beware that you are putting yourself at risk if you use these images. You may think you have a proper license to use them since you paid for them, but you do not.


I hope this message gets around. It´s sad to see a good community like fiverr, not shutting these people down, the buyers of the images/vectors have no legit right to use what they buy, and could end up in some nasty trouble.


In case of doubt, here’s the licence information for FRAGGLESROCK buyers:

Point 2.2 says, inter alia: "A User may not download Licensed Material and share such Licensed Material with a non-User or act as a designated downloader who shares Licensed Material with non-Users."

This is the FRAGGLESROCK Licence Use terms of service: “” specifically point 7: "YOU MAY NOT Resell, redistribute, provide access to, share or transfer any Image … "

Sheriff’s Note: Off Fiverr links that are not allowed.


Reply to @kjblynx: I have read rules that the images you use as your cover photo and the gig gallery must be those you own, but I couldn’t find anything on the site regarding the items you were selling. Can you give me a link to that please?

And regarding the gigs and monitoring for stolen content, some areas are more prone to this than others, digital products being more at risk than services. EmberStudio was in touch with Fiverr about a number of these, most of which are still there, some of which are still “Recommended”.

I think if you monitored new sellers more closely than established ones, some categories more than others, and had software to filter out “high risk” listings you could minimize the amount of stuff that had to be looked through.


I must say I am a disappointed with Fiverr in this matter. Not only is it not okay to let these frauds sell things they don’t own – they allow them to mislead us buyers into thinking everything is alright when buying a gig like that exposes us to huge legal risks!

Thanks for warning us, emberstudio!


Fiverr has not shown any interest in dealing with this problem. Guess the only thing to do next, is to make buyers aware since they have the power to shut the thieves down by taking their business elsewhere, which is what I’m urging all buyers to do.


Having done a blog post a few days back on this issue from the buyer’s side (urging them not to support image thieves), I’ve done another post trying to provide the guide for stock image sellers so they can do it legitimately.

My blog link isn’t allowed (was removed from the post I made to announce it) but just Google

jo ann snover blog digital bristles

and you’ll find it

I think that the marketplace should have some rules and educate sellers on what’s OK and what’s not, but in their responses to Mike (EmberStudio) they’ve taken a very hands off approach, so I’m trying to fill a gap here. Hope it’s helpful


Reply to @kjblynx: It isn’t always that simple. I can easily identify most of the images being resold, but I find them on multiple sites sometimes - Shutterstock, Fotolia, Thinkstock, etc. If I don’t have a personal connection with the artist - and when I do I always notify them so they can send a DMCA takedown notice - I don’t have a way to get in touch with them via the agencies.

The agencies have been notified about Fiverr gigs - and unless they know it was originally bought from their agency (which they can’t unless it’s exclusive) they don’t do anything.

Without knowing which agency, when I see gigs with stock images from multiple photographers offered from a seller in a different country from any of the photographers. I know it’s not legitimate and Fiverr could make rules saying this isn’t allowed.

It’s possible it’s a lack of understanding of the license terms - hence my blog post noted below to show sellers what you can and cannot do when selling stock images and illustrations.


Reply to @kjblynx: Just to follow up, I did report two of the gigs offering bogus images to Fiverr support. I got a reply that they wouldn’t let me know the outcome because of privacy issues, but the gigs are both still up this morning.

There is zero doubt in my mind that the gig with the Shutterstock home page for its gallery image where the text asks the buyer to provide image IDs or a lightbox of desired images is violating the Shutterstock license. I gave support a link to the Shutterstock license and pointer to the place where it says you may not resell images.

Not sure what more I can do. It has been reported both to Shutterstock and Fiverr…