stock photo agencies offer this type of license with millions of their images. In fact, most of the images in the collections include this license. While purchasing royalty free images may be easy, using them is moderately difficult. You need to understand the allowed uses to maximize your usage and avoid getting trouble along the way.
- Commercial RF License. You can use royalty free images in any project you want. Yes, that includes commercial ones. You can use them in both physical and print – marketing, advertising, website, designs, etc. However, distribution is limited to 500,000 copies only. Other stock sites only allow 250,000 even. If you want to extend your distribution and resale limits, you need to get an Extended License.
- Editorial RF License. Compared to commercial royalty free license, Editorial is more restrictive. Although you only pay for the image once to use it for as long as you want, the accepted use is for Editorial purposes only. You can use the image to illustrate or enhance text associated with the image. Most editorial images include photos of celebrities at concerts, red carpets and awards events. Any commercial or for-profit purposes are prohibited. There are also limits in distribution and print runs.
- Extended RF License. Extended royalty free license gives extra rights on top of the Standard license. You can get unlimited reproduction/print run. There are also no restrictions to use the image in multimedia distribution. Moreover, you can use the photos for resale. However, restrictions still apply for editorial use only. The only extra rights are those related to distribution.
In practice, you can use royalty free license images on websites and web ads. You can also use them on print ads and print promotional content. Other allowed uses include usage in book covers, ebooks, CDs and DVDs – but with Extended License. Royalty free images can also be used as part of a creative project, website template, multimedia productions, in-house designs, and products you intend to resell.
Keep in mind that this is only general information about royalty free license. Some stock sites have specific allowed and prohibited uses. You need to carefully read the terms and conditions provided by the stock photo agency to be sure that you are not violating any of them.
Understanding what royalty free license means helps you make sure that it is suitable for your purposes. It also makes sure that you are using the images the right way. Each stock agency introduces their own variations to the license. It is best to read the license agreement carefully and make sure you understand the rights you are purchasing.