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Stock Photo Restriction/Extended Licenses

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  • Stock Photo Restriction/Extended Licenses

    Hey All,

    I have been a designer for some time now, and have found many resources for Royalty Free stock photos, both free and small one time fees. I have used many stocks in Album Covers, Poster, Flyers, Websites, etc. All of these fall under most sites standard license agreement. However, for PRINT items that are intended for resale a question arises.

    I am to understand that if you take a stock photo, and just throw it on a t-shirt, you are going to be required to pay for an extended license (or obtain permission from the photography on free stock sites). However, what if the stock is used as a very subtle part of an overall design, where the artistic value is not dependent upon that stock photo.

    On for example... the standard license has the following restriction:

    "Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement, and without limitation to any aforementioned restrictions, the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member acknowledges, agrees and warrants that he or she shall not:
    (f) use, reproduce, distribute or display the Work in connection with any goods or services intended for resale or distribution which primary value lies in the work itself, including, without limitation, mugs, t-shirts, posters, greeting cards, posters or other merchandise, and any of the foregoing in "print on demand" or tangible or electronic formats, as applicable;"

    Now, as mentioned prior, what if the primary value most definitely does not lie in the work itself.

    Here is an example:

    Say the man, the car the crates and the containing environment are part of a photo where all right are owned by the company. However, the smokestacks, clouds, fire effect, smoke effects, and flowers are all from various stock photos.

    If this image were to be printing on item for resale, would it require that an extended license be purchased for all of these stocks?

  • #2
    Can you provide the link to the entire license agreement?
    It sounds like the one section you posted refers to setting up a 'print on demand' site where the artwork is archived by itself to be place onto an individual object on demand. Or if used on a template driven site. In other words, if you are archiving then reselling just the art by itself, you need an extended license.

    As for all the little bits and pieces in the image above, it really depends on the what the entire license says for each image source you used.


    • #3
      Last edited by SmileyMax; 07-08-2008, 05:34 PM.


      • #4
        Actually, the photos in this sample are from various sites... but the contract that i was referring to was from Fotolia:

        Here are two contracts for standard use license from other sites i use often:


        stock.xchng is a no charge Royalty Free site, and it's contract isn't quite as defined, its point of interest is:

        "Always ask permission from the photographer if you want to use the Image On "print on demand" items such as t-shirts, postcards, mouse pads, mugs (e.g. on sites like Cafepress), or on any similar mass produced item that would contain the Image in a dominant way."

        iStockphoto says:

        "3. Permitted Standard License Uses:
        (a) You may only use the Content for those advertising, promotional and other specified purposes which are Permitted Uses (as defined below). For clarity, you may not use the Content in products for resale, license or other distribution, unless (i) the proposed use is allowable under an Extended License which is available for the Content; or (ii) if the original Content has been fundamentally modified or transformed sufficiently that it constitutes an original work entitling the author or artist to copyright protection under applicable law, and where the primary value of such transformed or derivative work is not recognizable as the Content nor is the Content capable of being downloaded, extracted or accessed by a third party as a stand-alone file (satisfaction of these conditions will constitute the work as a “Permitted Derivative Work” for the purposes of this Agreement). For example, you cannot superficially modify the Content, print it on a t-shirt, mug, poster, template or other item, and sell it to others for consumption, reproduction or re-sale. These uses will not be permitted as or constitute Permitted Derivative Works. If there is any doubt that a work is a Permitted Derivative Work, you should either obtain an Extended License or contact iStockphoto’s Client Relations for guidance. Any use of the Content that is not a Permitted Use shall constitute infringement of copyright."

        These all leave quite a bit of grey area.... "Primary Value", "Dominant Way", these are terms that leave question to me.

        It seems that it leaves a bit of discretion to the artist, but leaves the licensee in a bit of confusion.

        My current stance would be that if I as an artist would find your use of my stock photo "dominant" or still using relying on "primary value" to sell your product, then I will opt for an extended license. However, my view point my be different from other artists.


        • #5
          I would say that the image you posted would be considered a composition of many elements and not the primary focus on any singular artwork.

          If in doubt ask the site/photographers that you used the work from.

          If you take photos from company's or google search that do not have license agreements then you can't use them in anything what-so-ever.

          You'll have to watch out for yourself on any copyright issues. We can only give generalizations and experience on this forum. And none of that will hold up in court if you have any issues with the original content owners.



          • #6
            I would never take photos from google or any site that wasn't specifically offering it up as a stock photo. That is a common error done by early designers.

            However, like specified in the previous statements, the outline of even STOCK photos is much different than I originally thought... I did know start to realize some time back, and really weeded out using a lot of stock photos. Though recently from some projects it is just unavoidable, thus why I am trying to read into the logistics a bit deeper.


            • #7
              Do what the license says, when in doubt as to the the derivative nature or whether usage falls under general or extended license, contact Customer Service or the artist for each image.

              Sorry it can't be simpler. We aren't lawyers here. If you are doing this for a business it is highly recommended that you consult with a copyright specialist before proceeding.

              Stock photo licenses have been mutating over the past year and a half. Especially the microstock royalty freebee credit-purchase type sites. Again, it is highly recommended that each time a stock site is consulted your refamiliarize yourself with their licensing. They don't advertise the changes.


              • #8
                Why not contacting the support of the website/agency? They can explain the Licensing therms as they can be very confusing... :-)
                Nikolay Dimitrov
                No advertising in signatures allowed in the forum


                • #9
                  Hi All, This is my first post as new to GDF. I joined because I am dabbling a bit in graphic design and was struggling to understand some of the licensing agreements both from so called 'free' stock sites and some of the established companies. I wanted to find some advertising mock up PSD templates to help advertise an ebook but the language (unless you are well versed) is confusing. For example, I found a small collection of templates through freepik with the following license agreement:

                  You must attribute the image to its author:

                  In order to use a vector or a part of it, you must attribute it to its author,
                  so we will be able to continue creating new graphic resources every day.

                  How to attribute it?

                  For websites:

                  Please, copy this code on your website to accredit the author:
                  <a href="">Designed by Freepik</a>

                  For printing:

                  Paste this text on the final work so the authorship is known.
                  - For example, in the acknowledgements chapter of a book:
                  "Designed by"

                  You are free to use this image:

                  - For both personal and commercial projects and to modify it.
                  - In a website or presentation template or application or as part of your design.

                  You are not allowed to:

                  - Sub-license, resell or rent it.
                  - Include it in any online or offline archive or database.

                  Attribution is no problem but what I do not find clear from the above is whether or not it would be ok to share a flattened jpeg on websites and social media as are they not by definition an online archive/database? or do I have this completely wrong?

                  As advised above I have contacted the agencies direct via email to try and clarify but wondering if anyone has any thoughts in line with the original questioned posted above.

                  I hope I have posted correctly as not used any kind of forums before! Cheers


                  • PrintDriver
                    PrintDriver commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Not sure what you mean by "share" on social media. You aren't sharing the template, right? Just your finished design?
                    Your best bet is to follow the advise of the CSR that answers your direct question. Keep a copy of the email in your client file. CYA.

                    The part about the "offline database" is interesting. I'd need clarification on that as well.

                    Another reason designers don't use templates. No one needs another licensing headache.

                  • tdp75
                    tdp75 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks PrintDriver - To clarify yes I would be sharing the finished design and NOT the template. I am still waiting a response from the site above. Thanks.

                • #10
                  Hi tdp75 and welcome to GDF.

                  We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
                  Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.


                  • tdp75
                    tdp75 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thank you and have read





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