Royalty Free is a type of license used by stock photography agencies to sell stock images.
This license type grants the buyer a determined set of rights to use the image in multiple ways, for a flat, one-time fee. This means you pay for the license only once, and you can use it forever within the accepted ways, without any further payment obligations.
Many stock photography agencies offer RF images, but they are more popular in the microstock industry. The nature of Royalty Free licenses, in which an image can be licensed multiple times and there’s a one-time payment from the buyer, makes them ideal for the system of microstock where photos are very cheap and easy to buy.
There are lots of microstock agencies selling RF images, but here we list the best stock photography sites to get RF images.
iStock (previously iStockphoto)
- Getty Image
Main Features of Royalty Free Images
- Non-transferable – The license is entitled to the buyer, and to the buyer only. When you buy an RF image you are not allowed to share it, resell it nor gift it to anyone else.
- Non-exclusive – Any RF image may be used by as many people who acquire a license to use them. They are not licensed exclusively to you nor to any other buyer. If you need to have exclusive rights to use a stock photo, you will need a different license type.
- Perpetual – Once you’ve purchased a license, you can use the RF image for as long as you wish. There is no time limitation associated with the usage of a royalty free image unless it’s specified by the agency who licenses it.
- Worldwide – RF license lets you use the image anywhere in the world, there is no geographic limitation associated with usage of royalty free photos unless it’s specified by the agency who licenses it.
- Multiple use – RF license lets you use the image in a wide range of usages. It can be physical (prints) or digital uses, and with multiple distribution methods. There are, however, restrictions on the use of RF images (see below).
A copyright–free image is one that is provided by the photographer to be used by any person. However, the owner of the picture or photographer may still own a copyright on a particular photo or image, but simply has provided authorization for the image to be used by others.
Finding a copyright-free image will take time, though there are databases online that provide for copyright-free images. Certain things to consider when searching for a copyright-free image may include:
1.Know the difference between a copyright-free image right-Protected images and royalty-free images.
2.Determine what kind of image is needed and how it is to be used.
3.Search copyright-free image database.