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Copyrights, commercial license and legal responsability in the design field


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Hi everybody!
I would like to share with you some doubt about the arguments stated above. I’ll try to get straight to the point as I have several things to ask that could take me pages of argumentations.
I’ll just note here at the beginning that I’ll do some examples stating “I” just to facilitate the chat but that doesn’t mean I ever did something illegal and neither that I’m trying to do so.
Also, those questions come from concerned buyers that ask sometimes things of procedures that I don’t know specifically.

so, here it goes:

I) Copyright
I’ll start sharing a funny episode that happened to me (for real): I was just walking with my fiancée a sunday sunny day when my artist eye catch and advertisment with some design elements that…just looked like mine! really! I am the artist, I know what I’m drawing and I mostly remember it… I was astonished because I never share this specific design element on the net, this went straight to the printer (since I wasn’t using fiverr at that time). Then my fiancée told me like: "oh cmon…that’s just a hat and a pair of card table! probably someone else drew it similarly! that wouldn’t be unlikely"
this actually marked a point since those were very “easy” elements and not very creative…

so, now I wonder… how can someone sue someone else claiming that this specific vector is theirs? I’m not talking obviously of entire waterpaintings or photo for example, but just of those thousands of vector elements we use every single day.
let me state an example with be the famous shutterstock. I go an the site, check the idea, than copy it in my computer and redraw it on illustrator… I’m able to have the exact same vector. let’s say I’m copying a car. now, this goes on a design of a flyer that arrives on shutterstock desk.

  • how will shutterstock verify if the owner of the flyer have the license?
  • considering that they don’t have it, how can he say that this car IS the same car? that’s just a simple car, right? I could say I just used it to inspire me…which actually really happens in real life…
    also, buying the shutterstock license…should I also share a file with the buyer or the fact that I, the designer, have the license is enough?

anyway, In my case I just let it be…

II) commercial license
Here I just have some questions about commecial license and intellectual property. that’s 2 different things here on fiverr right? some of my clients ask that the design I do for them will belong to them only (which actually is very unlikely that some else would want the exact same thing, or at least this never happened to me).
so, confirm this: when I sell the commercial license, I authorize the buyer to make profit on it. But I’m still the owner of the design right? let’s say I want to start my own tshirt company, do I have the legal right to sell this same design or can I sell the same design to 2 different buyers? is that legal?

also, regarding the fiverr license I sell…does this have a real legal implication? I mean, how can the buyer demostrate that he owns this license?
also, I usually do customer offers for my recurrent clients and I realised that at the beginning I never checked the extra…(“why?, since I’m doing a customer offer?”) I just didn’t thought about this… so basically there are clients which I never gave the commercial license? I just said to them “sure, you can sell this”… the buyers trusted me so never asked for anything but what if someone come back saying: wait! you could say that I didn’t had the right?
this could also work on the other side…buyer who didn’t wanted the commercial license but them start selling the desing… how can I say: you don’t have the license? again, is this fiverr extra option something legal?

this is not very clear to me.

III)Legal responsability
Let’s say that the shutterstock car I was talking before is really identical and shutterstock sue, or want the buyer to pay a fine. Who has the responsability? Me who didn’t respect the copyright or the buyer that selled it? and anyone know what legaly can be done if (like in the case of fiverr) the buyer is in south africa and the designer in the greenland?

also, this can goes on the other way… I sometimes see in the request folder some buyers that request someone to remove a watermark…this is clearly illegal… or to photoshop an image… how do I know if they owns the right of this picture? or if they will use it fairly (for example putting the head of someone on a soldier body…what if I see this picture on facebook like: look at that terrorist soldier!)? is it my concern?

lastly, something which is more like a curiosity. one of my buyer told me once that a seller selled her, or did a design, a picture for her website. the owner catch it and ask her to pay 600$. if not he would have suied her… but… is this legal? to it looks much more corruption than legal procedure…

anyway, If you read until this point I thank you very much for your time and patience!!
Internet is so vast that the legality is found so many times to be bordeline and I’m a little bit confused… so excuse me for the loooooooooooong post.

if you have some informations about those topic thank you for adding them here! 🙂

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