Fiverr Community Forum

Why only illustration gigs have Commercial Use License?

this gig extra does not have any sense… Why only illustration gigs have this gig extras ?

And what with: cartoon and caricatures, logo design, book cover, social media design, and other even gigs in other categories…


I’m on the fence about “Commercial Use.” On one hand, it seems like a cash grab on the part of the seller and Fiverr.

On the other hand, especially in cases of illustrators and musicians, it’s “standard practice” on the internet at large. I’ve stumbled across a lot of musicians who have created music that is free or cheap to use if you are just putting it in a training video or making a personal project. But you have to pay more if you are going to use the song to make money.

Makes sense, because as I mentioned above, in the “pro” world, if they produced a song or had one of their songs used in an advertisement, TV show, or movie they would receive money every time it was aired publicly or purchased. Since that probably isn’t going to happen (because no contract like that is in force here at the Fiverr level) it’s a way to say, "Hey, you are going to make money using my product. It may even make you a LOT of money. Since I’m not going to see a dime of that, how about you pay me a little more up front and we’ll call it even?"

At the same time, I worry if I leave the extra there, it will scare away potential buyers. Let’s say I have a buyer who has a short script they wanted me to do for their new iPhone app. But, they are two college kids in their parents basement so they can’t afford the commercial license fee. They skip me and find someone who doesn’t charge.

Then you have the people who don’t pay the fee but use it commercially anyway. If you then find out, what do you do? Technically speaking you are supposed to send a cease and desist (from a lawyer) and follow up with legal proceedings. If you don’t, that could pose a problem down the line. if, down the line, you end up filling a cease and desist and legal proceedings to this person or any other person, and the defendant finds out you that passed on doing so previously, that sometimes can be enough to get the case thrown out. (You set a precedent of not protecting your copyright. You didn’t care before, so why do you care now?)

UPDATE: In the above scenario, I believe you would have to be caught “ignoring” violations multiple times for the case to be thrown out.

NOTE: I’m not a lawyer, just throwing out my little knowledge I’ve cobbled together from my internet research (which is ALWAYS reliable…coughnotcough) and discussions with my lawyer buddies. Get advice from a real lawyer on your specific situation.

Sorry for the long post but I’m curious about the “what if’s.”

Apparently they are expanding commercial use to other categories. Music and Audio is getting it now. I can’t speak for other categories.

I am curious how a voice over gig works with Commercial Use fee. Because a lot of the time the script is written and therefore owned by the buyer, but the performance and audio files are “technically” owned by the seller. (Handing over rights at the time of the sale notwithstanding.)

I would imagine it’s OK, since in the professional voice over world, actors receive residuals for their work (if they are in the union). If residuals are not a part of the contract, then the initial fee is higher to compensate. In fact non union tend to receive higher initial service fees (remember I’m talking pro here) because residuals aren’t a part of the package. Sears is willing to pay a non union actor $100,000 a year to narrate their commercials because it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than paying a union actor $50,000 in fees but $950,000 in residuals.

Anyone out there know the ins and outs of this commercial use for VO?

The commercial use “feature” is one of the silliest things I’ve seen added to Fiverr. As @theslackjaw said, it is slowly being rolled out in other categories. The buyers I have seen write about it on the forums are understandably upset at the fact that it’s a change, it’s unstable, it doesn’t match what is in the regular ToS and in many cases it crosses questionable legal ground. I used to see the occasional seller write in their gig description that certain rights were not included and refer buyers to a gig extra for those rights. At least that matched what the ToS said which had something to do with rights belonging to the buyer unless otherwise specified in the gig description.

It appears to be simply another greedy excuse to charge buyers more for something they used to get by default with most orders. Fiverr gets their 20% if it’s used and the seller is left with the headaches. I hope if it is rolled out to my gig categories it remains optional because I think it hurts sales and offends current repeat buyers.

Reply to @theslackjaw: Commercial usage is standard practice with voiceovers and has been around for many years. It’s all based around usage, you are correct that the seller owns the copyright to the recording once it’s saved in a known format, same as the buyer owns the copyright to the script once they saved it in the applicable format.

Then you have buyouts which can be anything up to 100% of the original fee to own all copyright, so basically the seller gives up his/her copyright.

Commercial use on fiverr will give a licence to the buyer to use the recording for commercial use, business presentations, radio ads etc. The seller retains full copyright and is basically allowing buyer to use the recording, bit like hiring a car. Hope that all makes sense, it’s early and I have had nowhere near enough coffee yet :slight_smile:

More on the commercial use licence…as a voiceover on fiverr for the last three years…I just can’t justify this $20 dollar charge to clients who are still with me from those early days…so for me it’s easy I just ignore it and if asked, say I don’t use it.

Reply to @stuartjsmith: Thanks for the info! I figured it was something like that but when it comes to copyrights and such I tend to try and tread lightly and carefully as possible.

As long as the stop making the addition to gigs automatic, I’m okay with it (I saw a lot of complaints about it automatically showing up and affecting gig revenue and reviews). I have two different writing gigs. One is commission, where I keep all the rights to the final story and can publish it (buyers get to be my patron!) and one where I ghostwrite and give all rights, including commercial, to the buyer upon delivery of the work. I don’t need their commercial rights since I’m already covering that, so I will be annoyed if it suddenly shows up.