What is the right way to ensure that I am legally protected when I purchase assets or order a gig through third party websites? For example, does the section below from Fiverr terms of service cover all cases in this situation?
"The delivered work shall be considered work-for-hire under the U.S. Copyright Act. In the event the delivered work does not meet the requirements of work-for-hire or when US Copyright Act does not apply, the Seller expressly agrees to assign to Buyer the copyright in the delivered work"
Each item/creation is subject to its' own license and you need to make sure that the license permits you to use whatever you purchased for commercial use and/or that the intellectual property rights/ownership rights have been transferred to you, or that you've received a license to use the item/creation.
In regards to Fiver - the section you mentioned does mean that the person doing the gig is assigning the rights over to you - the only problem is that that person may not be the owner of those rights, meaning that he can't actually assign them to you. For example, if the Fiverr person did something for someone else (and already assigned it to them), and then uses those same materials for you...
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Copyrights for creative assets can be a tricky subject. The truth is, there is a lot of gray area.
Although Fiverr claims that the copyrights for creative work belongs to the client and not the designer, sometimes designers can deliver assets that contain copyrights that weren't theirs to give in the first place. In other words, you can't hand over the rights to something you never owned in the first place.
Occasionally this happens when graphic designers unintentionally use free stock images that are only licensed for non-commercial use for their business clients. If this is the case and you are notified, you must take that image or asset down and cease to use it.
The best way to avoid this is to provide your third party designer with assets you have purchased yourself from a trusted authority such as Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, or Getty Images. Make sure you double check the type of license you are purchasing for your asset fits your needs. For instance, if you intend to exclusively use the stock image in a web article, you would only need an editorial license. But if you intended to use that same stock photo to help you sell your product, you would need a commercial license.
Fiverr in particular has a bit of a bad reputation in the design community because a lot of scammers use it to sell stolen artwork. If the price seems too good to be true, it usually is. However, this can be avoided by researching your designer before hiring them. Make sure they have a portfolio and good reviews.
You can check if your artwork has been stolen by performing a reverse image search on Google. You can do this by navigating to the Google Images website, clicking on the little camera icon to the right of the search bar, and uploading a picture of the artwork. Google will then search the web for similar images. If no exact matches come up, then you are good to go. If you get any matches other than your designer's portfolio, then you do not own the rights to that artwork.
Let me know if you have any more questions or if I can help clarify anything.
You're on the right track. It will be important to review the full terms of service, and especially the clauses relating to ownership and use rights to the work. I'm happy to chat more about it, or do an in-depth review of any terms of service if you need more info!