We purchased a service from a seller/web-developer on Freelancer who goes by the name STALLIONi NET SOLUTIONS @ graphicaa. The seller/web-developer added an image on the new website that he took and use unlawfully without a permission from the copyright owner. The seller/web-developer told us that he obtained all images legally and that he has the right to use them since that was a part of the service and agreement.
Months after the website was launched, we received a legal notice of violation and demand for action and compensation from owner's legal team.
We contacted the seller/web-developer on Freelancer who goes by the name STALLIONi NET SOLUTIONS @ graphicaa. He responded by directing us to ignore the legal notice and stating that he obtained the image from a royalty free website. When we pressed him to provide the URL of the image where he obtained it, he lied and said it was removed. The legal team of the owner conducted an investigation and confirmed that their copyrighted image was never on a royalty free website. The web-developer then refused to pay for the penalty being assessed for his using the copyrighted image illegally.
We field a complaint with Freelancer, and from the start freelancer dismissed it and closed our complaint ticket twice. Freelancer staff exhibited bias towards the seller/web-developer (STALLIONi NET SOLUTIONS @ graphicaa) and conducted themselves as advocate for the seller/web-developer. Freelancer staff refused to provide any reasoning for their actions but refused to follow freelancer’s own stated policies and rules for copyright infringement and dishonesty. We appealed their decision and each time Freelancer’s staff replied with more concerning messages clearly protecting the seller/web-developer and his unlawful actions.
We provided freelancer’s staff with their own policies and rules which include:
"Violations that lead to account restriction"
"Copyright infringement. You are expected to provide non-plagiarized work to project posters and contest holders."
"Violations that lead to account closure"
"● Performing or participating on fraudulent activities" The seller engaged in fraudulent activities by using material that is copyrighted and misrepresenting to us that he had the right to us it.
"● Deceiving other users of Freelancer.com" The seller engaged in deceptive activities by using material that is copyrighted and misrepresenting to us that he had the right to us it.
"● Falsifying identification documents. This involves submission of fake or altered verification documents." When we received the notice of enforcement of the copyright violation, the seller provided false documentation claiming that he found the copyrighted material on a copyright free website. But when we checked and the copyright owner checked we discovered that seller was providing false information.
"● Manipulating the Dispute Resolution System" apparently the seller provided you with false information in their response that you seem to have accepted it. Even though you have not shared it with us, but if it is the same false information he provided us with, then he is gaming the dispute resolution process.
However, Freelancer’s staff ignored all our requests and pleas and sent a message stating that they were invoking “clause 27” without any explanation or clarification and indicated that they are closing the complaint and allowing the seller/web-developer to go on without being held accountable for his egregious conduct and violations.
We are requesting from Freelancer to follow its own rules and policies and conduct itself ethically and lawfully by preventing known copyright violators doing so in the future. Freelancer should terminate the seller/web-developer and punish him with a penalty and resolve the legal mess the seller/web-developer got us in without our knowledge and in violation of our rights and Freelancer’s own rules and policies. Failure on Freelancer’s part to act appropriately will give the impression that it condones copyright violators who sell services on its platform and violate intellectual property rights and cheat its innocent buyers without recourse in violation of its own stated policies and rules.
We are filing formal complaints with the government regulatory agencies in Australia and USA.
There was no reply on my ticket and Freelancer staff ignored the issue and sided with the seller who violated the copyrighted image owned by others and got us into legal problems.
Freelancer failed to address this issue and demonstrated that it does not care if any service provider violates its terms and policies, violates copyrighted materials, engages in deceptive practices.
All buyers who need a service provider selling services on Freelancer will have to be extra careful since sellers and service providers on Freelancer are free to engage in deceptive practices and are not held accountable by freelancer in violation of Freelancer’s own policies and rules.
We will be filing a formal complaint against Freelancer with the government of Australia.