Stock photography agencies sell images using a ‘Royalty Free’ license. This license type gives the buyer the right to use the image several ways, for a single, one-off fee. Essentially, this means you pay for the license only once. Plus, you can use it forever within the accepted ways. There are no further payment obligations. However, you’re only buying the rights to use it; you don’t own the copyright. It can be complicated, so here’s a quick FAQ for using Royalty Free images.
Common Questions About RF Images
My use is for a Non-Profit; can I use RF images for free?
No, RF images are sold under a paid license; therefore, they can’t be used without payment.
As a graphic designer, can I incorporate RF images into the work I sell to a client?
Not a problem as long as you modify and embed the images. Moreover, you can even use the same image multiple times.
Can I use Royalty Free images in my eBook cover designs?
Yes, you may. You’ll need an Extended license, plus it’s recommended that the book author buys a license too.
What about RF images for my own website template?
Yes, you can. Just make sure you don’t imply the models in the pictures are endorsing your product.
What about website template designs I’m selling?
Also, no problem, but we recommend buying an Extended license.
Can I use Royalty Free images as part of my Brand Identity?
Probably not. Graphic designs are OK, but not logos, trademarks, or designs that look like the property or people are connected to or endorsing your product. However, you can still use RF images for advertising and marketing campaigns.
What if I want to buy the exclusive rights to a Royalty Free image?
Sorry, no. RF images don’t include exclusivity rights. On the other hand, a Rights Managed license can include exclusivity for a set time, but these can be expensive.