Jump to content

Fiverr seems to have added a new rule about outsourcing


uk1000
 Share

Recommended Posts

There's probably quite a lot of sellers who sometimes outsource. Fiverr didn't really have any specific rules against it.

They've added a new rule here about it here:

https://www.fiverr.com/community/standards/intellectual-property

Quote

Incorporating other sellers' work in your delivery versus profit Arbitrage

Sellers are welcome to incorporate purchases which they have all required rights to, in their deliveries. For example designs as backgrounds for music videos, images for websites, images for presentations, etc. With that said, by no means can purchases be delivered “as is” with no significant added value or transformative use, under the misconception that it is the seller's original work and in order to gain profit from price differences.

So it seems like for all the sellers who outsource certain gigs sometimes and sometimes use the delivery as-is (without adding anything to it), eg. to profit from the price difference (eg. they outsource it at a lower price than the price their buyer orders it from the original seller at) they're probably going to have to add some text saying something like it may be outsourced (eg. in the gig description) or they'll have to either stop outsourcing or add enough value (changes) to it themselves.

Also maybe they should have given specific rules about revisions for outsourced work too.

Edited by uk1000
  • Like 17
  • Up 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting, @uk1000!

This is part of Fiverr's efforts to protect the work of designers, artists, writers, and creatives:

https://www.fiverr.com/community/standards/intellectual-property

Quote

Fiverr values individuals' hard work and creativity. As a platform that supports designers, artists, writers and creatives around the world, it is of the utmost importance to us that original work is presented and delivered at all times.

I think the main points are in these words here, saying that sellers cannot resell another seller's work "as-is"...

Quote

...under the misconception that it is the seller's original work and in order to gain profit from price differences.

So clearly, an artist can't take the work of a cheaper-priced seller (in its "as-is" state) and deliver it to a buyer as their own work. This makes sense. This prevents sellers from stealing another seller's work.

However, it seems like sellers will now have to be completely transparent if work is being outsourced - so just stating it on their gig page or FAQs is not going to cut it. Sellers will also need tell their buyers if part or all of the work is being outsourced for each order. Previously sellers didn't have to do that. Now it looks like they might have to.

For those who already work in teams - the fact that you are working in teams should be clear anyways.

But for sellers who usually do their work solo and only outsource occasionally, to handle order overflows, I'm not sure if they would want to have that stated on their gig. However, if they remain true to the working-solo image, they might have to start turning down orders, and that could affect their gig's performance as well. So I'm not sure what the solution is for them.

I have gigs where I operate solo (and am looking to outsource for overflow needs) and where I operate as a team (with video editors, voiceover artists, content writers, and graphic designers). It looks like I will have to put a notice on all of my gigs to make it clear that I might be working in collaboration with other sellers. I only have that on several of my gigs.

I'm curious to see how others interpret this, and how it might affect how they do business!

  • Like 10
  • Up 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, vickieito said:

and where I operate as a team (with video editors, voiceover artists, content writers, and graphic designers). It looks like I will have to put a notice on all of my gigs to make it clear that I might be working in collaboration with other sellers

Though I assume if you did a video but got the voice over done by another seller you wouldn't need to add any new messages in the gig/to the buyer about that since you'd be adding "significant added value or transformative use" to it. ie. you wouldn't just be selling the voice over, you'd be selling a video you created with the voice over as just one part of it. The same should apply if you outsourced some graphical elements to another seller, that you were going to use in a full video that you then created for delivery to your buyer. That would be enough added value and transformative use according to their rules.

In theory maybe gigs should say if some things like voice over might be outsourced, but according to those rules it doesn't seem like that has to be said (if there's enough added value - eg. a full video added to it). If you were just selling the voice over alone then you would definitely need to mention it in the gig I think.

Edited by uk1000
  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sick and tired of people trying to capitalize on me just because I have low prices and want to help others. So yeah, I am all about this as far as I am concerned. Although I am sure 99.9% of those that outsource don't even read the website rules and won't add any disclaimer. And Fiverr has no way of knowing who outsources and who doesn't, unless the person outsources here on Fiverr. Otherwise.. that's close to impossible...

  • Like 13
  • Up 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, donnovan86 said:

And Fiverr has no way of knowing who outsources and who doesn't, unless the person outsources here on Fiverr.

I'd guess that most Fiverr sellers who outsource work will probably outsource it to other sellers on Fiverr. I assume other places would be more likely to have higher prices, which would make outsourcing less viable.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, uk1000 said:

I'd guess that most Fiverr sellers who outsource work will probably outsource it to other sellers on Fiverr.

I guess it depends on the seller and niche. Because I saw a lot of writers that clearly replied in reviews they are a "team" and don't have any buyer reviews. They might still use Fiverr to outsource and don't offer reviews. There are Pro sellers with a team that clearly don't work on everything themselves, yet promote their account and make it look they are the ones doing everything. Which clearly.. they don't.. 

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, uk1000 said:

There's probably quite a lot of sellers who sometimes outsource. Fiverr didn't really have any specific rules against it.

They've added a new rule here about it here:

https://www.fiverr.com/community/standards/intellectual-property

So it seems like for all the sellers who outsource certain gigs sometimes and sometimes use the delivery as-is (without adding anything to it), eg. to profit from the price difference (eg. they outsource it at a lower price than the price their buyer orders it from the original seller at) they're probably going to have to add some text saying something like it may be outsourced (eg. in the gig description) or they'll have to either stop outsourcing or add enough value (changes) to it themselves.

Also maybe they should have given specific rules about revisions for outsourced work too.

This is very interesting.

I translate from Norwegian to English and vice versa. I also translate from Swedish and Danish to Norwegian, but never to Swedish and Danish, since I'm not a native speaker, even though I understand the two languages perfectly fine.

Sometimes, I have buyers who need a document translated to Swedish and Danish as well, but prefer to keep all their Scandinavian projects with a single seller.

In those cases, I'm always 100% open about it being a different translator. In fact, that's a selling point for me in those cases: their content will only be translated by a native speaker.

I'm also open with the translator about the fact that this is work for one of my clients. I know some sellers prefer to not work on outsourced projects, and I fully respect that. 

I assume this would be an allowed case, since the buyer knows that I'm outsourcing the other languages.

I charge a small fee for quality control and management in those cases (20%) so I'm making a small profit from it, but I mainly do it to keep things simple for my buyers.

On big projects (and I mainly work on highly technical/complicated and big projects) I'll always get a rate from my native Swedish and Danish business partners, before offering the work to the buyer. In this case, simplicity for the buyer, added quality control and a single contact point is the added value. 

I'm glad Fiverr is clearing up the use of outsourcing on the platform. This has been a point of contention for some time. 

If you're outsourcing, a way to notify your buyer about it while also making it appear as an advantage, is to word it correctly: 

"Even though I'm a professional web designer, I prefer to work with experts in different fields to achieve the best possible results for my clients. For that reason, I'm going to outsource the logo design to one of our expert partners in logo design." 

Even if you have the "solo image", you can still outsource, because being an expert at everything is impossible, and being able to admit that someone else will do a better job at certain things is a strength, not a weakness, and it doesn't hurt your "solopreneur" image. 

Edited by smashradio
  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, smashradio said:

I'm glad Fiverr is clearing up the use of outsourcing on the platform. This has been a point of contention for some time. 

 

The question is, will those people that outsource clearly state they outsource? A lot of them are making tons of $$ due to the illusion buyers have that all the work is done by them. I am sure some buyers will reconsider if they knew they barely (if at all) touch the product/service before delivery. So yeah, I am sure most outsourcers will just try to find talent off-platform and Fiverr won't know the difference, that's valid for those that are outsourcing here on Fiverr. 

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, donnovan86 said:

The question is, will those people that outsource clearly state they outsource? A lot of them are making tons of $$ due to the illusion buyers have that all the work is done by them. I am sure some buyers will reconsider if they knew they barely (if at all) touch the product/service before delivery. So yeah, I am sure most outsourcers will just try to find talent off-platform and Fiverr won't know the difference, that's valid for those that are outsourcing here on Fiverr. 

I agree. There are other platforms and it will be impossible for Fiverr to control. But at least we as sellers now have clear instructions on what to do if we want to follow the rules. It might deter a few of the dishonest outsourcers out there, but I'm not sure how much of an effect this will have. Raising rates is the easiest way to combat this from happening. I used to get orders from video sellers all the time when I was new. They re-sold my voice-over and made a profit from it on their gigs, but refused to pay for the rights to do so. Always with a stupid excuse like "It's for a student project" or "It's for my sick mother" (yes, this one time I actually got a script for a car repair company specializing in off-road trucks, and the excuse for not buying the rights was his sick mother who needed this voice-over to be happy. After I raised by rates, I made it unprofitable to re-sell my services for these people and they probably found some other newbie they could frustrate. 

  • Like 9
  • Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I don't know how Fiverr is going to be able to enforce this--how they're going to know when a seller is delivering something "as is" that they got from another seller.

I'm pretty sure that I just delivered to someone who comes to me for $5 - $10 commercial voice overs so that they can turn around and resell them for so much more than that. They've asked for free video rendering, syncing, and in this case some effects that the person doing video production does. It feels...disgusting. My 1 star review came from another (liar) seller who was trying to get all sorts of free or deeply discounted things, which is why I raised my prices for a little while.

@smashradio Yessssssss! I just dropped my minimum price and in came the video editors and drop servicing sellers again! To raise it again, or not to raise it again.... Mmph.

 

Edited by mandyzines
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, mandyzines said:

how they're going to know when a seller is delivering something "as is" that they got from another seller.

After a seller (A) delivers an order and if they add attachments to the delivery (which most will I assume), the system could then check the attached files with the deliveries that seller A recently ordered (I assume they could also check the files within an attached zip file), they could then check each file to see if they matched. If any match they would know that seller A is delivering the delivery they received (or at least 1 file of it) as is to their buyer.

Maybe it might be more efficient to create a hash of each attached file (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_function or maybe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerprint_(computing)) (eg. something like an integer created based on the contents of each file attached) then compare the hashes, and only then check the files themselves if the hashes matched. If the hashes and files match you know a file is being delivered as is (without changes from the one they purchased through a recent order).

Edited by uk1000
  • Like 6
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had many questions, so I reached out to Customer Service. Amazingly, they responded in 22 minutes and answered all my questions. That was the fastest response I've ever had!

One of my question was the definition of Intellectual Property. Here's what Customer Service gave me:

Quote

Intellectual property rights are customarily divided into two main areas:

1. Copyright and rights related to copyright

The rights of authors of literary and artistic works (such as books and other writings, musical compositions, paintings, sculpture, computer programs, and films) are protected by copyright for a minimum period of 50 years after the death of the author.
 
2. Industrial property 
One area can be characterized as the protection of distinctive signs, in particular trademarks and geographical indications.  Other types of industrial property are protected primarily to stimulate innovation, design, and the creation of technology. In this category fall invention (protected by patents), industrial designs, and trade secrets.

Based on this, the services that I provide (and may outsource at times) that are NOT intellectual property include:

Data Entry, Resume Updates, Cover Letter Writing, LinkedIn Updates, Proofreading, Editing, Research & Summaries (written in Q&A format), Beta Reading, PowerPoint Editing, & Video Editing

The services I provide that ARE intellectual property include:

Video Creation, Voiceovers (I'm done doing these!), Script Writing, Content Writing, eBook Writing, Worksheet Creation, PowerPoint Designs, Resume Designs, Research & Summaries (written in MLA or APA style)

My other question was on outsourcing. Here are some of the things that were clarified by Customer Service:

1. Sellers are allowed to outsource part or all of a service, but clients MUST be aware of this and give consent. Buyers may not want their information share or outsourced to a third-party.

2. For any intellectual property outsourced, you must have all copyrights transferred to you, with rights to use it for commercial purposes. (this was for voiceovers that I was using for my e-courses)

3. Per Fiverr ToS, sellers confirm and undertake that whatever information they obtain from the buyer, which is not on the public domain, shall be kept confidential and not shared or used for any other purpose other than for the delivery of the work to the buyer.

4. Fiverr doesn't have any additional non-disclosure agreements, but buyers and sellers can enter into NDAs if they want.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/20/2022 at 12:14 PM, donnovan86 said:

I am sick and tired of people trying to capitalize on me just because I have low prices and want to help others. So yeah, I am all about this as far as I am concerned. Although I am sure 99.9% of those that outsource don't even read the website rules and won't add any disclaimer. And Fiverr has no way of knowing who outsources and who doesn't, unless the person outsources here on Fiverr. Otherwise.. that's close to impossible...

If you are so sick and tired of people trying to capitalize on you, you should either increase your prices or state in your terms that your work cannot be resold "as is" and the buyer cannot claim to be the creator. You may not prevent it completely but you're in control of what you provide to others and for what price.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay! I've updated all seven of my gigs' FAQs to reflect how I'm handling my outsourced work (I might add something about NDAs as well):

Will you keep my information confidential?

Yes, your information will never be shared or outsourced without your consent. If consent is given, it will only be shared with those participating in the delivery of the finished product. I will always perform the final check to ensure that quality is consistent and meets the highest standards.

Will I have copyrights to all intellectual property?

Yes, copyrights to all created intellectual property will be transferred to you, the buyer, with the right to use them for commercial purposes. This includes any outsourced work, designs, or other content.

On my end, I have to make sure that the sellers I work with will give me copyrights to all intellectual property so that I can pass it off to my buyers. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, uk1000 said:

After a seller (A) delivers an order and if they add attachments to the delivery (which most will I assume), the system could then check the attached files with the deliveries that seller A recently ordered (I assume they could also check the files within an attached zip file), they could then check each file to see if they matched. If any match they would know that seller A is delivering the delivery they received (or at least 1 file of it) as is to their buyer.

Maybe it might be more efficient to create a hash of each attached file (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_function or maybe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerprint_(computing)) (eg. something like an integer created based on the contents of each file attached) then compare the hashes, and only then check the files themselves if the hashes matched. If the hashes and files match you know a file is being delivered as is (without changes from the one they purchased through a recent order).

Sounds good, but far from secure. It would be easy to circumvent. Change one pixel or alter the file only slightly and the hash wouldn't match anymore, so the system and buyer are duped into thinking they're original or unique deliveries.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting for sure. I wonder if we’ll see a few of those well known TRS Pro sellers that have a team updating their gig descriptions. On the call the other day with that copy seller that did a mil in 2 years they said that they didn’t tell buyers they had a team of writers  (I’m not saying they denied it if asked by a buyer, but they don’t state it, you definitely think it’s being done by the profile owner).

Edited by williambryan392
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, cc_animation said:

It would be easy to circumvent. Change one pixel or alter the file only slightly and the hash wouldn't match anymore,

Yes they could change it slightly and get around that check. Though that check should still work for those who don't change it at all (not all people might change it).

Though there may be times when it could give false positives eg. could sellers deliver image sequences where the first section was totally black and there was nothing in the image headers that differentiated them? Or maybe it's common to have other files delivered that are the same for some valid reason. Fiverr could take things like that into consideration though. Though I expect there'd usually be something in the image headers that would be different.

For the "changing one pixel" circumvention - Fiverr already has a way of determining if a seller's graphics that they use in their gig is already on the web, so it's likely they're using using some system that can tell without it having to match 100%, including it having to be the exact image dimensions. So they could probably use the same or a similar system for checking deliveries for this (checking how close it was without it having to match 100%).

For text they could check words (eg. what % of the document is unchanged based on words it contains). But still, like I suggested, checking the files delivered in seller's delivery against the files in deliveries they recently purchased.

Edited by uk1000
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...