Use this checklist before buying an image

I published a number of posts on copyright and some of the pittfalls when using images. This is a quick checklist to consider when you’re about to use images, once again with thanks to Stockphotorights.

Licensing an image may not be as straightforward as you think – but it needn’t be a legal minefield either. There are various considerations that you should bear in mind to make sure that you license the right image, in the right way – to ensure your image needs are met. It’s really all about knowing what you are licensing.

The list of questions below is a good place to start when licensing an image:

✔ Are you clear on what the image will be used for?
Will it be used for a billboard advertising campaign? A brochure? Website? Mobile?

✔ Have you confirmed the duration of the license you need?
How long do you want to use the image for? A week? One month? Several years? Check when the license expires and check the length of the campaign or project the image will be used for.

✔ Have you confirmed how big the print run will be?
How many times do you want to print or otherwise use the image? 10,000? 100,000? 500,000 times? Have you checked whether you can extend the print run or usage rights?

✔ Have you considered whether the image is rights-managed or royalty-free?
This will affect how you can legally use the image – just because you’ve paid, does not mean you can use it however you like.

✔ Are there people in the image?
Have you checked that the supplier holds any necessary model release(s) for the image?

✔ Are there any trademarks in the image?
Have you checked that the supplier holds any necessary property release(s) for the image?

✔ Are there any artistic works (such as paintings and sculptures) in the image?
Have you checked that the supplier holds any necessary property release(s) for the image?

✔ Are there any buildings in the image?
Have you checked that the supplier holds any necessary property release(s) for the image?

✔ Does the supplier offer legal protection with the image?
Will they bear the liability and assume the costs if a claim arises? What kinds of claims are covered by the legal protection?

✔ Does this legal protection come free with the image?
Are you covered automatically?

✔ Is there a limit on the amount of legal protection?
Legal fees can be expensive – check how much you are covered for..

Supported by Stockphotorights:

Licensing stock images can be a complicated business. Whether you need an image for an advertising campaign, a company presentation or for your personal blog, you should know the legal ins and outs before you agree to license it. Stockphotorights.com is a helpful resource for information on image licensing. It aims to unravel the complexities, expose the pitfalls and provide image buyers with the knowledge they need to license an image with confidence. This site is not, however, a substitute for advice from your own legal counsel.

Stockphotorights.com has been set up by Getty Images for the benefit of the photographic industry and its customers, with the support of BAPLA (British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies) and PACA (Picture Archive Council of America).

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses

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