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Should I be adding a watermark on my work?

justin_sarceno
Active Member
Justin S Member Since: Nov 9, 2017
1 of 6

Hello, I am fairly new to upwork and have been working on a couple of video/photo editing projects for various clients. 

 

Should I be adding a watermark on my work until I get paid? A lot of the time a client will be very responsive upfront, but once I submit work for approval (and without a watermark) they will go silent. I already had to wait out 2 weeks to get paid from one person and file a dispute for another that wanted to cancel the contract after I submit final work. 

 

Any tips so that this does not happen is appreciated!

- Justin

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER
2 of 6

re: "Should I be adding a watermark on my work?"

 

No.

 

Upwork allows clients two weeks to review fixed-price contract work. If a client takes that long, or lets you get paid automatically when Upwork releases payment after that time, that client isn't breaking any rules.

 

If you do the work required for the contract, then submit to that the client. A client should NOT refuse to pay or try to cancel the contract if you do the work. If you do the work specified in the original agreement, the client should pay the agreed-upon amount.

 

If a client does not pay you for your work, the work belongs to you. You are free to sell it, or do anything you want with it, including putting the work in your portfolio.

View solution in original post

mradulovic
Ace Contributor
Marko R Member Since: Oct 26, 2018
3 of 6

Hey Justin, I have thought about it myself but the situations you are describing are far worse than anything I encountered here on Upwork, the clients never refused to pay me or tried to take the finished work and run. I don't see any problem with adding a watermark as a safety precaution or sending low resolution renders for review, as far as I know it's not against the rules but some clients may frown upon this practice.

2591126f
Community Guru
Vivek K Member Since: May 28, 2016
4 of 6

Putting watermark solves nothing. The client can still ask for the Original Files before escrow is released. I will personally never release an escrow untill the original files have been released to me. I put money in escrow for actual work and original fles and not some kind of proof of work. Those are not the same thing.

 

On Fixed Price Contracts,Clients have 14 days to review the work. It is not a scam .Freelancers should actually expect to be paid only after 14 days by default, that way they would not feel disappointed. Ofcourse You may or may not like to work with that client in future, that's your right. By the way invoices in Brick and Mortar office usually take much longer than 2 weeks to be paid.


There is actually no incentive for client to withold a milestone as payment is already deducted from the payment method at time of milestone creation. But may be some clients do not like to do extra work and press a button. Some do not even comeback to close contracts and that is a constant point of complaint in this forum . But That is in no way a violation of Terms and does not make it a scam.

 

OP has pointed out that he needed to go for a dispute to get paid on a project. I am of the opion if a dispute (and then arbitration )happens and client has been sent 'only low resolution or watermarked files' client will have an advantage and may well win. But thats just my opinion.

 

As for watermark being a security feature and making it unusable for the client, I am very doubtful of it but let me not get into that debate.I will rather suggest to break work into smaller milestons and thus keep your losses small in case something goes wrong. That, in my opinion, will work better than the watermark.

atreglia
Community Guru
Anna T Member Since: Jan 27, 2017
5 of 6

There is always a chance the client will run off with my work, there is no getting around that. However, I minimize this risk by vetting the client as best I can in the little amount of time I have prior to accepting a contract. Everybody’s vetting technique is different. I personally vet by their history, and/or the quality of their messages if they are new.

 

As far as actual photo edits are concerned, I’ll make one or two critical edits and paste just that area of the image in the message box together with a message indicating that is where I’m at so far. If the client likes, and is on board with my technique, I’ll accept the contract and send a full resolution and unwatermarked image from then on.

 

I haven’t been able to think of a better vetting process for photos, and so far this has worked for me. I can’t really speak to the legality of who owns what stuff. Frankly, I don’t see how I can take someone’s photo of Rover’s head, put it on Sally’s body, then call it my own and put it in my portfolio for the world to see.

atreglia
Community Guru
Anna T Member Since: Jan 27, 2017
6 of 6

There is always a chance the client will run off with my work, there is no getting around that. However, I minimize this risk by vetting the client as best I can in the little amount of time I have prior to accepting a contract. Everybody’s vetting technique is different. I personally vet by their history, and/or the quality of their messages if they are new.

 

As far as actual photo edits are concerned, I’ll make one or two critical edits and paste just that area of the image in the message box together with a message indicating that is where I’m at so far. If the client likes, and is on board with my technique, I’ll accept the contract and send a full resolution and unwatermarked image from then on.

 

I haven’t been able to think of a better vetting process for photos, and so far this has worked for me. I can’t really speak to the legality of who owns what stuff. Frankly, I don’t see how I can take someone’s photo of Rover’s head, put it on Sally’s body, then call it my own and put it in my portfolio for the world to see.

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