An editorial image license for stock photos enables the buyer to use the stock photos for non- commercial purposes only. A photo that holds only an editorial license will be hightlighted by the stock agency. An editorial license on a a stock photo indicates that the photo shows a brand of a product, a public personality without a signed release, or may have limited releases. For stock photo buyers, it is important to understand how an image with an editorial license can be used. The why is up to the photographer and the stock photo agency who determine the license.
How can an editorial image be used
An image with an editorial image can only be used in the following ways:
- In a newspaper or magazine article
- On a blog or website to describe an idea not to brand
- In a non-commercial presentation (video, slideshow)
An editorial image can only be used in ways where this is no personal benefit or commercial gain.
An editorial licensed image can not be used for the following:
- Any commercial purposes including advertising or promotions
- To receive any fees from a third party sponsor or endorsement
How do I know a photo has an editorial license
Only a few stock photography agencies have editorial licensed images. Dreamstime, iStockphoto, 123rf, Shutterstock and Bigstock. On each of these stock photo agency websites you have the option to search for editorial licenses images. The stock agency websites highlight that the image has an editorial image so check what their format is.
How do I avoid editorial licenced images in my search
When you know you are using a stock photo for commercial purposes, narrowing your search terms on any of the stock agencies that offer editorial licensed images is best. iStockphoto places a watermark on their editorial photos that states, editorial image.You can request in your search that editorial images be left out so your search for a commercially used image does include these stock photos. Dreamstime has licensing options as part of their search criteria so you can search for just Royalty free images. If you forget to request just Royalty free images, when you go to purchase your stock photo, it clearly states that the image has only an editorial license.
Why would I want to buy an editorial licensed photo
If you are reviewing a product on your blog, it is useful to have a photo of the product you are reviewing. A stock photo of an iPad or Blackberry would be an example. If you are on vacation and want to write a review about a product you came across on your travels, you can find the product with its logo on stock photo agency websites.
Editorial licensed stock photos serve a purpose, and as a buyer of stock photos it is important to understand the uses for editorial images as opposed to Royalty free. You can also conduct a better image search if you know to block editorial licensed images from your search options.