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beysvogel
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freelancer sites

Without digging through the loooong contract of Upwork can anybody tell me if it is allowed to be a freelancer of Upwork and a freelancer for a other type of freelancer services?  Thus a member of two sites at the same time?

 

Thank you

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@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Bob,

 

Yes, you can use other freelancing websites. Please note that you're not allowed to advertise other profiles on your Upwork account nor accept jobs you've applied for on Upwork/take clients you've met on Upwork off the platform.


Every now and again I do meet clients I've seen on Upwork also on other platforms and vice versa. I've seen the same job posted on several platforms too. I don't take clients off Upwork but clients are free to post their jobs on several platforms and I am free to quote on several platforms.  It's then up to the client to decide on which platform they award the job. As you are hiding the client I can see identical job descriptions but don't know whether it's the same client or a farmer. And yes, I quote different prices. The platforms' commissions are costs and the costs enter into the sales price.

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I sometimes receive identical invitations on different platforms. Up to now I did not accept any of these invitations, neither on Upwork, nor on another platform. If I receive the invitation of the other platform one hour earlier, would Upwork then refuse that I work for this client on Upwork?


@Margarete M wrote:

I sometimes receive identical invitations on different platforms. Up to now I did not accept any of these invitations, neither on Upwork, nor on another platform. If I receive the invitation of the other platform one hour earlier, would Upwork then refuse that I work for this client on Upwork?


No, because you and the client would not have identified one another on Upwork--that would have happened on the other platform.

 

The contract language is very clear and straightforward. 

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@Tiffany S wrote:

@Margarete M wrote:

I sometimes receive identical invitations on different platforms. Up to now I did not accept any of these invitations, neither on Upwork, nor on another platform. If I receive the invitation of the other platform one hour earlier, would Upwork then refuse that I work for this client on Upwork?


No, because you and the client would not have identified one another on Upwork--that would have happened on the other platform.

 

The contract language is very clear and straightforward. 


So, if the other platform claims to have the older rights, Upwork would not have a problem with this?


@Margarete M wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

@Margarete M wrote:

I sometimes receive identical invitations on different platforms. Up to now I did not accept any of these invitations, neither on Upwork, nor on another platform. If I receive the invitation of the other platform one hour earlier, would Upwork then refuse that I work for this client on Upwork?


No, because you and the client would not have identified one another on Upwork--that would have happened on the other platform.

 

The contract language is very clear and straightforward. 


So, if the other platform claims to have the older rights, Upwork would not have a problem with this?


I don't know whether they'd have a problem with it or not, but it wouldn't violate their TOS. 


@Nichola L wrote:

Nowhere in Upwork's Terms of Service does it say that freelancers may not work on other platforms. If a freelancer happens to work for the same client from different platforms, Upwork would have a hard time identifying the conflict in their ToS,  or proving that either client or freelancer had disintermediated, and then suing for same.


 No matter how many times you say this, it will still be legally inaccurate.

 

It is true that it is unlikely that Upwork will find out if clients and freelancers do this.

 

If they have previously "identified one another" on Upwork and then work together in any context outside of Upwork, Upwork will have zero difficulty in establishing that it's TOS were breached. All Upwork would have to prove was that the client and freelancer had found one another on Upwork first and then worked together directly or through any other platform within 24 months.

 

Would they find out? Probably not. Would they pursue the claim if they did? I don't know. Is working with someone you've made initial contact with on Upwork through another platform within 24 months a TOS violation? Absolutely, 100%, no gray area whatsover.


@Tiffany S wrote:

@Nichola L wrote:

Nowhere in Upwork's Terms of Service does it say that freelancers may not work on other platforms. If a freelancer happens to work for the same client from different platforms, Upwork would have a hard time identifying the conflict in their ToS,  or proving that either client or freelancer had disintermediated, and then suing for same.


 No matter how many times you say this, it will still be legally inaccurate.

 

It is true that it is unlikely that Upwork will find out if clients and freelancers do this.

 

If they have previously "identified one another" on Upwork and then work together in any context outside of Upwork, Upwork will have zero difficulty in establishing that it's TOS were breached. All Upwork would have to prove was that the client and freelancer had found one another on Upwork first and then worked together directly or through any other platform within 24 months.

 

Would they find out? Probably not. Would they pursue the claim if they did? I don't know. Is working with someone you've made initial contact with on Upwork through another platform within 24 months a TOS violation? Absolutely, 100%, no gray area whatsover.


Come on Upwork what are you waiting for?  - Investigation time of  thousands if not millions of your freelancers (and clients) all over the world - I hope you've got the man/womanpower, the international lawyers, and, of course,  the moolah to do this - Good luck!

 

By the way,  I would never wittingly take a client off site to work with privately, but I cannot guarantee what I might do on other sites -  and what I do there is entirely my own, legal, business.


@Margarete M wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

No, he cannot. But, he can be forced to choose either not to hire his Upwork freelancer through the other platform or to pay the $2,500 opt out fee.  


 Pay the 2,500 USD opt out fee for a job that is worth 50 USD?


I'm not arguing that it's right or desirable or anything like that--simply pointing out what is required by the contract and would, at least in the U.S., be legally enforceable. 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Joachim, Margarete, Nichola and Kim,

 

There is no exception to the prohibition on Non-Circumvention in the Upwork Terms of Service for scenarios where freelancers work with clients on different marketplaces.  Obviously, freelancers are free to market their businesses and find clients on other websites, but they cannot work with a client they first met on Upwork on the other website unless two years have passed or the client pays the Opt-Out Fee. This applies regardless of when the freelancer learns that the client is one they met through Upwork.

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@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Joachim, Margarete, Nichola and Kim,

 

There is no exception to the prohibition on Non-Circumvention in the Upwork Terms of Service for scenarios where freelancers work with clients on different marketplaces.  Obviously, freelancers are free to market their businesses and find clients on other websites, but they cannot work with a client they first met on Upwork on the other website unless two years have passed or the client pays the Opt-Out Fee. This applies regardless of when the freelancer learns that the client is one they met through Upwork.


 

One of the original issues in this thread is how are we supposed to know if it's the same client if said client is not identified on the Upwork platform? An anonymous client may hire me here and then hire me on another platform using their real name. And say I only find out that it's the same client while working with them... how is that my fault?

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@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Joachim, Margarete, Nichola and Kim,

 

There is no exception to the prohibition on Non-Circumvention in the Upwork Terms of Service for scenarios where freelancers work with clients on different marketplaces.  Obviously, freelancers are free to market their businesses and find clients on other websites, but they cannot work with a client they first met on Upwork on the other website unless two years have passed or the client pays the Opt-Out Fee. This applies regardless of when the freelancer learns that the client is one they met through Upwork.


Then please Upwork, give me the names and addresses of all clients for whom I have worked on Upwork and from all clients I have got in touch so that I can verify if they are also on other platforms. Especially, I would like to check those clients who reject my application and tell me that they found somebody else while I cannot see that they hired anybody on Upwork.

Probably, I know some clients from elsewhere and are therefore not allowed to work for the clients on Upwork, because I break the rules of another platform. Also I would like to check if one of those numerous farmer jobs on Upwork derives originally from another platform where I have worked for the original client who gave the job to a farmer without knowing that he is not the one who does the work. A lot of the farmer jobs on Upwork derive from other platforms. Therefore I would need the names and addresses of the clients (besides the fact that I need this for my invoices and for my tax reporting) in order to work legally on Upwork.

Upwork cannot allow the clients to operate anonymously or with false names on Upwork while it expects from the freelancers that they are able to verify if they are offered jobs from the same clients on other platforms. Moreover, I would like to have the data of those "clients" who sent me invitations with malware or try to steal my personal data while pretending to offer me a job. I would like that they are sued and would like to report them to the law enforcement authorities. Transparancy only works if all parties involved in the process are transparent.


@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Joachim, Margarete, Nichola and Kim,

 

There is no exception to the prohibition on Non-Circumvention in the Upwork Terms of Service for scenarios where freelancers work with clients on different marketplaces.  Obviously, freelancers are free to market their businesses and find clients on other websites, but they cannot work with a client they first met on Upwork on the other website unless two years have passed or the client pays the Opt-Out Fee. This applies regardless of when the freelancer learns that the client is one they met through Upwork.


Okay Vlad, then let's look at the following hypothetical situation.

 

I see the identical job description on three platforms including Upwork. I can then assume - emphasize assume -  that this is the same client. I quote on all three platforms, the highest price on Upwork (Upwork asking for 20% commission). As the client can see my profile on all three platforms, they can identify me. They ask on Upwork why I'm quoting a higher price. I tell them and I'm awarded the job via the British site (only 5% commission). Now what? Is the order in which I made the quotes the factor to decide the "initial" contact? How do I know for sure it's the same client? The job was posted on three platforms, maybe the guy on the British platform was the real thing, the other postings farmers? I would never know without asking the client (which I wouldn't do). 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Joachim,

 

It's hard for us to give an opinion on a theoretical situation like that. Keep in mind that Upwork has invested significant time, money, and care into developing a marketplace where users can connect and enter into relationships from anywhere in the world with internet service. It is this connection among users that is covered by Non-Circumvention. So, if this were a client you had worked with through Upwork before, the answer would be clear that it was circumvention. If you submitted a proposal on Upwork and the client then asked you to submit on another platform, that would be clear circumvention. If you and the client connected on Upwork and then you saw the other post, that would be circumvention. If you truly basically saw the projects simultaneously on all the platforms before you submitted a proposal on Upwork and you didn't know the client from prior dealings on Upwork, it doesn't seem like it would be circumvention.  But if you saw the project on Upwork and went searching on other platforms for the same project, that seems like it would be circumvention. I hope this helps clarify.

Untitled


@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Joachim,

 

It's hard for us to give an opinion on a theoretical situation like that. Keep in mind that Upwork has invested significant time, money, and care into developing a marketplace where users can connect and enter into relationships from anywhere in the world with internet service. It is this connection among users that is covered by Non-Circumvention. So, if this were a client you had worked with through Upwork before, the answer would be clear that it was circumvention. If you submitted a proposal on Upwork and the client then asked you to submit on another platform, that would be clear circumvention. If you and the client connected on Upwork and then you saw the other post, that would be circumvention. If you truly basically saw the projects simultaneously on all the platforms before you submitted a proposal on Upwork and you didn't know the client from prior dealings on Upwork, it doesn't seem like it would be circumvention.  But if you saw the project on Upwork and went searching on other platforms for the same project, that seems like it would be circumvention. I hope this helps clarify.


Hi Vlad,

 

I agree that you have to avoid circumvention because you - like almost everybody working here - makes money on the long-term only. In my main job, Interim Management, I regularly have to sign such stipulations. But - in the case of Interim Management, the client is well known right from the beginning. In your case, similar with most of your competitors, the client is never known at all because you don't verify clients (only freelancers) and you chose to allow clients to hide behind an alias. You yourself are trying very hard to not disclose the client in the first place. This does kind of get in the way.

 

I trust that you track everything on your site hence you can see that on work days I check the RFPs several times daily. I do the same on the other sites. As filter I use only the word "German" other filters proved less reliable, some clients seem to be unable to correctly enter a RFP. Due to this I do notice if a specific job in my arena, using the same wording,  gets posted on the competitors sites. It mostly concerns the British site. Naturally I then try to quote on the British site first, as I can offer a more favourable price there and I don't have the hassle with invoicing you still haven't solved. But, I do also quote on Upwork as some clients have a long history on Upwork and sometimes tend to prefer awarding the job on Upwork.

 

Nevertheless, as it happens, I'm sorry to say but my monthly revenue on the British site meanwhile well exceeds my revenue on Upwork. 

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