We had committed that we would keep our community updated on what Envato was doing in response to the invasion of Ukraine, and the severe impact this is having on our creative community in this part of the world.
We appreciate that many of you have been asking for more clarity on Envato’s position regarding our creative community in Russia and Eastern Europe. For a global, complex business such as ours, we have needed to take the time to understand what actions we can take - beyond the mandated international sanctions we are bound to - and we thank you for your ongoing patience on this front.
While the situation continues to change rapidly, we have decided to expand on the international sanctions program and put in place our own, new restrictions specific to Envato. This is not a decision we take lightly. However, we do not condone this invasion and we do not want to support payouts entering the Russian financial system, where they may be used to support ongoing acts of aggression by the Russian government as part of this invasion. Likewise, as the international sanctions program continues to evolve, our ability to pay creatives in Russia becomes increasingly risky, with a high chance of being blocked by payment providers.
Further information is provided below, and affected Authors will be contacted directly in the next 24 hours. We know that for some in our community, these measures will go too far. For others, they will not go far enough. We appreciate the hurt many are feeling as a result of this war, and we hope our decision can be seen by its intent: to reject war, violence or aggression of any kind.
The details of our changes to our Author community are as follows:
As of 26 March 2022, we will no longer pay out Author, Provider or Contributor earnings to any financial institutions based in the Russian Federation. This is on top of the current international sanctions regime that requires us to withhold payment to a prescribed list of institutions.
We are no longer accepting new Author applications from creatives living in the Russian Federation and have canceled any pending applications.
We have no current plans to place individual sanctions on Authors in Russia unless we are required to by law. We will not be removing portfolios of work or preventing Authors from earning. This is not a move targeted at Russian creatives; only the banks and institutions based in the country. We understand this has significant implications for those currently using a Russia-based financial service and we will provide additional guidance in our follow up with affected Authors.
This conflict has highlighted the need to stay strong and support each other as a global creative community. These are painful decisions we’ve had to make, as we greatly value the collective integrity and passion each of you bring to Envato. However, we cannot sit idly by on this issue, and we hope that as a community you will continue to place your trust in the team here at Envato to monitor the situation and respond in the best interests of our global community.
Our thoughts remain with the innocent people affected by this conflict. We hope that peace will prevail soon and that we can reunite our global creative community once more.
NOTE: There is an important update further down this thread. Please see this post for clarifications on the state of payment options before March 26, and the changes coming afterwards.