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Commercial rights for Voice Over

Guest voiceoverphil

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Guest voiceoverphil

Well once again, in my effort to build a Fiverr Voice Over empire, I need some assistance from the community. This will be a long post, but I think it might help me and others clarify how we offer and how much we charge for commercial rights.

A few days ago I was asked about commercial rights on a custom offer. The prospective buyer had a project of over 10000 words that he was planning to use in a product that he would be selling indefinitely. He asked if he would need to pay my commercial rights fee for each 250 words. I thought about it, and said yes, because he would basically be buying several gigs and would then need commercial rights for each.

I don’t think I’ll hear back.

Now I’ve done smaller projects for similar use and sold rights for much more on other platforms rather than request royalties.

I realized I needed a better understanding of commercial rights than my current one, which was:

Commercial rights for internet, non-paid distribution.
Full Broadcast for paid internet, social media, tv, radio, etc.

I went to the Holy Scripture of Fiverr, aka TOS.

Here’s what I found:

  • By purchasing a “Commercial Use License” with your order, the Seller grants you a perpetual, exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide license to use the purchased delivery for Permitted Commercial Purposes. All intellectual property rights of the purchased delivery are hereby assigned to you. “Permitted Commercial Purposes” means any business related use, such as (by way of example) advertising, promotion, creating web pages, integration into product, software or other business related tools etc., and strictly excludes any illegal, immoral or defamatory purpose. This License 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.

I put in bold “Integration into product” because that is the issue in question.

Now I know I was on the right track, at least as far offering the right license. What I don’t know if how others are selling it. I charge $15 for a commercial license for a single gig, $50 for full broadcast rights. Given the size of his script, the cost of each 250 word gig and corresponding license came to over $700. Again, on some platforms that is a good deal. But I am new to Fiverr, so I need some help.

When you other sellers have a gig, and someone orders multiple gigs in one order, do you sell commercial rights equal to the number of gigs? Or would you sell one license for the whole thing, regardless of the size?

When you have a buyer ask for, let’s say 7000 words broken into 8 .mp3 files, do you sell 8 licenses because it is 8 files, or because in my example that would be 28 gigs (250 words per gig X 28=7000 words total), would you sell 28 licenses?

My leaning is that as the length of the project increases, so should the cost of commercial license. We as VO artists are surrendering our right to claim royalties for the project, and this is the compensation in exchange for that surrender. However, industries change.

Help me out. If you sell commercial rights to your gigs, VO or otherwise, how do you interpret compensation for the rights? Did I miss something in TOS about the topic?

Please and thanks!

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  • 1 month later...

If you did not write the script, do you own the commercial use license? (e.g. can you use the VO commercially?) If you do not have the right how can you grant it? If you do own the commercial use right, I wonder if you need to obtain the consent from the script writer/owner for distributing the content.

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The license cost should be the same for 100 words or 100,000. You are already running the meter on word count.

The license cost should be the same for 100 words or 100,000. You are already running the meter on word count

That is how I do it - one project, one license.

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  • 3 years later...

A little secret. There are no rules or standards for commercial/broadcast rights outside the union. In fact, in non-union VO, you are doing work for hire. This means, they bought it, they own it, they use it however they want, forever. The option to charge extra is a fiverr bonus with no legal value. Enjoy the option to charge extra and make your own rules about how and when you do.

Anyone who tells you otherwise should also provide guidance on what to do if a customer doesn’t pay the extra fee(s) and uses the VO as if they did.
Lawsuit? Let me know how that works out.
Block the buyer? Sure, they can buy from someone else.
Report the buyer to fiverr? I look forward to those results as well.

Feel free to disagree, but please provide specific examples of your results.

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  • 4 months later...

Why would someone buy a piece of art made for a book but not get the commercial license? What good is the art if not licensed to be used in a book you plan to sell? I see generally 3 price points, the cheaper without commercial rights. What are people purchasing the non-commercial rights art for?

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