Reflex Stock’s quick guide to image licensing:
Image Licenses Rights
When you acquire / purchase images, illustrations, vector art or other visual content you will also have to acquire a license to use that content. When buying images you do not actually buy the image itself, but the right to use that image and these are usually referred to as “usage rights”. Usage rights are defined in an End User License Agreement (EULA).
Does an image really need licensing?
Absolutely, yes, certainly, without question! All photographs, no matter where you get them from, have a copyright! Our role, as a Photographic library and image distributor, is to select and compile image collections for your convenience but we also provide a secure and legal environment for you to source and acquire properly licensed content. We will also advise you on all issues of licensing whether it’s for commercial, editorial, in-house or education usages.
Because the internet has made it easier to find and acquire creative content a popular misconception is that copyright and image licensing is no longer important. Which is obviously not the case and people are increasingly seeking ways to protect their rights.
Image Licensing is here to protect you and your client’s interests.
Photographs, illustrations and other creative content is protected from theft and misuse by international copyright law, thus ensuring the rights of the image owner, the people or property depicted on the image and the rights of the distributor are protected.
When you acquire a quality image from an authorised image library you are also acquiring the image license which clearly sets out what the image can legally be used for.
As a creative professional this level of security is important to safeguard the integrity of your business and your relationship with your clients. Your clients rely on you to guide and direct them in their creative decisions and we are all responsible for informing and educating them.
When clients complain about the cost of an image (and they do) it’s important to explain to them they are acquiring a quality product, properly licensed and this will protect them.
Two primary types of stock license:
Rights Managed: View Rights Managed FAQs >>
Royalty Free: View Royalty Free FAQs >>
IMAGES FOR ADVERTISING: what you need to look out for as a minimum:
Check that the following releases are available:
• Model Release: This means that the model agrees to let his or her image be used for the purpose of advertising or promoting products and services.
• Property Release: This release covers protected brands, logos, design, architecture etc. These are required if they are easily identifiable and depicted on a photograph.
Choosing Micro-Stock or Community Generated Stock
Images sourced from community sites, or so called micro-payment sites do not always have the correct property or model releases in place. Registered Trademarks can still be visible within some photographic compositions. Sometimes the contributing photographers are not completely aware of the law. Or, because revenues from image sales are so low, it’s not in their interest to spend a lot time in post production. If images with these problems were used to promote goods and services it could result in expensive legal action by the model, the trade mark, or property owner.
Micro-stock licensing pitfalls to be aware of
It has been necessary to advise some clients about major pitfalls in some of their standard license agreements. We have found agreements which include clauses that prohibited images depicting people from being used in the following manner: “use or display content that features a model or person in a manner that (i) would lead any reasonable person to think that such person uses or personally endorses any business, product, service, cause, association or other type of endeavour”.
In our opinion this would make it difficult to justify using images covered by this type of license agreement for advertising and promotional purposes. To find out more on these issue or to get advice please email or call us:
Contacts Page >>