The stock image issue: Is your company playing by the rules?

Learn about licensing agreements from someone who actually reads the fine print

🎉 Okay, got it, I’ll stop stealing images from Google. So where should I get stock images from?

🔎 What types of licenses are there?

🤔 What is an End-User Licence Agreement (EULA)?

💸 Is there such thing as “free” images?

✋ Common licensing violations

  1. Restrictions on how many printed or online impressions are allowed before you have to pay additional fees. Let’s say you’ve purchased an image license for an advertising campaign, and the distributor allows for 500,000 printed impressions containing the image under the basic license. You now have to keep track of the circulation of all the magazines you’re running it in (i.e. how many actual magazines are printed). Now, suppose you decide to run that campaign again a few months later, this time on a few trains, a billboard and a bus stop. That’s a lot of numbers to keep track of over a period of time. Similarly, if there are limitations on the number of online impressions for a stock image, you’ll have to keep track of webpage or online ad views. On the upside, basic image licenses tend to come with generous allowances. Read the EULA to find out the exact amounts, and then compare it with the distribution or audience size of your campaign. If you plan to use an image on a massive scale such as a national or global campaign, it’s probably a good idea to get the upgraded image license from the start.
  2. Restrictions to the number of people who may use the licensed images (or videos and other graphics). Let’s say you’re working with a design, digital or ad agency on a project and they licensed the stock images to their own company rather than yours. You may be allowed to use the completed design or product without your own company license, but there are a few caveats you should be aware of:

📷 What if I hire a photographer?

🤹‍♀️ A word to the wise

🎯 The takeaways



Principal & Creative Director @breakenterto

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