Do we have to buy a new licence each time we use a photo?

When purchasing a license for an image, it is important to understand the licenses and your rights. The rights can change from license to license, as well as from one stock agency to another. Understanding the difference before starting your search will ensure that you start off your project with the proper license without wasting time or money on other licenses. There are important differences as far as limited or unlimited use from project to project.

Royalty Free and Rights Managed Agreements

As explained in our article, “What does Royalty Free and Rights Managed Mean,” there are two main types of licenses. Royalty Free (RF) is a license that provides the end-user the right to use an image with very few restrictions. Along with your RF license generally comes low cost, but with that in mind, there are also many others who could be licensing the same image. Rights Managed (RM) licensing would allow you receive exclusivity to the image, if you so choose. You could also keep the image non-exclusively licensed.

License Per Use

With the few restrictions of a royalty free license, you are allowed to use the image throughout several projects without having to pay an additional fee. While this may be an attractive option, remember that with the low fees comes less exclusivity. Therefore, many other buyers may use the same image you have chosen, throughout unlimited amounts of media.

Rights Managed licenses do require you to purchase the rights with each and every project that you use the image. In turn, the amount you invest into a rights managed image will allow you to purchase exclusive rights, or non-exclusive rights, with further restrictions. By purchasing a license that is more rigid, you know that the image will be used only by you or along with few others.

Which License is Best For My Project?

Essentially, the less worried you are about others using the same image as you and the more emphasis you have on budget, rights managed agreements are where you should start. A great example of an agency where you can find royalty free images is They are the pioneer of the microstock agencies, and have an impressive library bound to have what you need.

Exclusivity is important to many companies, which is where rights managed agreements may be of more interest to you. If you go forward with a rights managed license, you will be obligated to purchase additional licenses with each unique use of the image. The best place to find rights managed images is through Getty Images, which is the parent company to agencies such as iStockphoto and Thinkstock.

Stock Photo Secrets is here for you, the buyer, to clarify what you need to know about the licenses, as well as continual support through additional stock photography purchases. Contact us at any time if you cannot find the answers you are looking for within our site.

I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus in providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors and agencies, aiming at contributing to the growth and development of the industry. I am the founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, one of the largest networks of online magazines in the industry. I am the founder of Microstock Expo, the only conference dedicated to the microstock segment. I created several software solutions in stock photography, like the PixelRockstar WordPress Plugin. Plus I am a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage, and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight. I am passionate about technology, marketing and visual imagery.

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