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Making it easy to license your assets

We know you want to license digital assets appropriately for your projects. So we designed with the goal of making it really easy for you to do the right thing.
This page tells you everything you need to know about licensing and releases.

Stock media assets

Two simple license

All items on only have one or two license terms. For Editorial and Commercial Use, so you can use items with confidence on work or personal projects.

Re-download items each time you use them

Each time you download an item, you get an ongoing license for a single, specified use.

Want to use an item again? No problem!

Visit your downloads and simply register it again for a different end use.

Quick information on what's not allowed.

You can't re-sell, or re-distribute items;

You can't use items in on-demand services; and

You generally can't use items as the basis for merchandising. For example, printing a logo from straight onto a T-shirt is not allowed. See clause 13 below for the relevant terms and conditions.

Licensing Terms and License:

  1. For each digital work (called an “Item”) you Download and Purchase under your account, you are granted a license to use the Item on a non-exclusive, commercial or editorial use, worldwide and revocable basis, for one Single Use per Registration.

  2. The license starts when you Purchase and Download the item. Then the license continues for the life of the End Product.

  3. Commercial use license includes the right to utilize the Item through communication to the public (performance), broadcast, display, distribution, and reproduction, but only as a part of the End Product which you have created with the Item.

What you can do with your stock media.

  1. You can use an Item to create an End Product for yourself or for a client. If you use an Item to create an End Product for a client, then you can transfer the End Product to your client as long as you have followed the requirements in clause 2. The right to use that Item as part of the End Product is transferred to your client with the End Product under the Limited Sublicense set out in clause 5.

  1. If you transfer an End Product to a client, you do so by sublicensing these license rights in any Item within that End Product. The sublicense must only be granted on condition that use of the Item is limited to that use which is necessary in order to use the End Product, so the Item must not be extracted, reproduced or used in any other way (Editorial use only or Commercial use, depending on the license type). You must inform your client of this condition.

  2. You can make any number of copies of the End Product created using an Item. You can distribute the End Product through the same restrictions depending on the license type you have acquired (Editorial use only or Commercial use). See below for more details.

  3. You can modify or manipulate an Item, or combine the Item with other works, to suit your End Product. The resulting works created using the Item are subject to the terms of this license. You can do the things allowed in this clause as long as the End Product you then create using an Item is one that’s permitted under clause 2.

Things you can't do with our stock media

  1. You can’t redistribute the Item as stock, in a tool or template, or with source files. You can’t do this with an Item either on its own or bundled with other items, and even if you modify the Item. You can’t redistribute or make available the Item as-is or with superficial modifications. These things are not allowed even if the redistribution is for free.

  2. You can’t use an Item in any application allowing an end user to customize a digital or physical product to their specific needs, such as an “on demand”, “made to order” or “build it yourself” application.

  3. You can’t use an Item for merchandising, which means an End Product created using that Item where the primary value of the product lies in the Item itself, including:

    1. an End Product where the Item serves as its core component, and where without the incorporation of the Item it would not fundamentally differ from any other product of similar nature and use; and/or

    2. an End Product where the incorporation of the Item is what makes the product fundamentally unique and valuable, and is the main driving factor for the sale of the End Product.

    For clarity, End Products where skill and effort have been applied to incorporate the Item into a larger design (such as with text and other graphics/images) or used as product packaging are not considered merchandising and are allowed.

  4. You must not permit an end user to extract an Item and use it separately from the End Product created using that Item.

  5. You can’t claim trademark or service mark rights over an Item within the End Product created using that Item.

  6. A Tool is an installable software extension or utility designed to perform specific tasks in order to create other works. Tools include, 3D and video software scripts, 3D and video software plug-ins, and graphics software add-ons.

Other license terms include

  1. For some Items, a component of the Item will be sourced from a third party and different license terms may apply to the component, such as someone else’s license or an open source or creative commons license. If so, the component will be identified in the Item’s description or in the Item’s downloaded files. The other license will apply to that component instead of this license. This license will apply to the rest of the Item.

  2. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the Items including the Item’s description and any keywords provided by the owner of the Item. It's your responsibility to check the files to ensure that there is an appropriate license for your intended use.

  3. You can only use an Item for lawful purposes. Also, you can’t use an Item in connection with material which is offensive, defamatory, pornographic, obscene or demeaning, or promotes discrimination. If an Item contains an image of a person, even if the Item is model-released you can’t use it in a way that creates a fake identity, implies personal endorsement of a product by the person, or in connection with sensitive subjects.

  4. Items that contain digital versions of real products, trademarks or other intellectual property owned by others have not been property released. It is your responsibility to consider whether your use of these Items requires a clearance and if so, to obtain that clearance from the intellectual property rights owner.

  5. "This license applies in conjunction with the User Terms for your use of If there is an inconsistency between this license and the User Terms, this license will apply to the extent necessary to resolve the inconsistency.",

  6. This license can be terminated for any Item if you breach the license and don’t remedy the breach. If termination happens, you must stop using the relevant Item, which includes no longer making copies of or distributing the End Product created using that Item (unless you remove the Item from it).

  7. The owner of each Item retains ownership. You can’t claim ownership of an Item, even if modified under clause 7, for example through content identification systems.


Model and property releases are signed documents which ensure that the people or property (works of art, trademarks, brands or buildings) featured in an image or clip are safe to use. To use an image you just need to know a release has been signed, you don’t need an actual copy of the release.

What is a "release" and why do you need it?

If you fail to secure releases before using the image, you might get into difficulty with an owner/agent or estate and you or your company will be liable for any claims. This is part of the agreement you make when you buy images from

It’s your responsibility to make sure you have all the right releases to use the image for your project. We think you should always get legal advice when intellectual property is included in your work.

Friendly disclaimer - we’re not lawyers, laws vary from country to country and legal requirements may change over time. We’ve done our best to clarify a complex issue as simply and as accurately as we can.

Do you need a release for everything?

No. There are plenty of occasions when a release isn’t needed. It depends what’s featured in the image and how you intend to use it.

How can you know if you need a release?

  1. Check if your use is commercial  or editorial . You don’t normally need a release for editorial use but there are some exceptions which we explain later. If your use is commercial and your image features people or property then you will probably need a release.
  2. If the buildings or people are not recognisable you don’t need a release.

An image or clip can be used in a large variety of ways and since laws vary country by country, it’s your responsibility to determine whether or not a release is needed. You need to make sure that the release is suitable for your requirements and get any additional permissions from 3rd parties if needed. does not generally have releases available for trademarks, brands, logos, copyright works - such as works of art and other similar intellectual property. We recommend you seek specialist legal advice for use of any images or clips featuring any of these intellectual properties.

How do I check if the stock media has a release?

Not all of's images are model or property released. You can check for releases on the image page and use the filters to help you search for imagery with the right releases.

An example of a release on a stock media page.

There isn’t a release but I still want to use the image

If you think you need a release for your intended use, but there isn’t one…:

  • You can contact the owner, agent or estate directly to see if you can secure permission.
  • Get in touch with our customer service team. We have experience in what’s possible to clear and we might be able to give you some advice. If it’s appropriate we can also contact the photographer for more information.

When a standard release might not be enough – times when you need to be extra careful

Images or clips featuring works of art which are still in copyright might require additional 3rd party permissions for editorial or commercial use, so you should get specialist legal advice or speak to us if you're not sure. We would generally recommend a cautious approach.

Releases generally don't allow uses that could be deemed to be controversial, sensitive or defamatory. You should avoid the following uses and get legal advice:

  • Defamation of character or business – embellishment, distortion or fictionalization of a person's character or corporation's image.
  • Sensationalized use – a use intended to distort the ‘truth’ of an image or video clip.
  • Sensitive use – a 3rd party may have signed a release but may not consent to their likeness or property being used for a sensitive issue subject.

What if the model or property owner is deceased?

A signed release might still be required from the heirs or estates up to 70 years after death.

Extra release advice for publishers

Inside use - Generally, you can use imagery inside an educational product without additional permission from 3rd party property owners or the models featured.

The exception is images of works of art! If the work of art is still in copyright (if the artist is still alive or within 70 years of their death) you might need 3rd party permissions. You don’t need one if:

  • You’re reviewing the art or artist.
  • You’re creating a new piece of art using elements of the imagery.

Sometimes the lines are a bit blurred and we would always recommend you check. Either approach the 3rd party copyright owner or check with your legal team.

Cover use - You need to make sure images with people, property and in-copyright artwork have all relevant releases. We always recommend that you secure permission from brands before using their trademark or logo. Front cover use rules are not straight forward. Some images featuring people or buildings are occasionally okay – for example wide-angle crowd scenes and cityscapes.


If you’re new to image buying there might be some industry terms on this page you’re not familiar with yet…:

  • Clearance - is the official authorization for something to proceed. In the stock world this means you have cleared the image for use with the stock image agency or photographer and checked you have the right license and releases.
  • Permissions - this term is often used to describe written permission to use copyrighted material. When we say ‘Do you have the right permissions?’ we mean releases and licenses.
  • Intellectual property - Intellectual property (IP) is a legal term that refers to “creations of the mind.” Examples of intellectual property include logos, brands, music, literature and other artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs.

We're here to help!

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  • If your resolution is not listed on the drop-down menu, choose the closest match but make sure your submission is higher than the selected.

e.g., choose 1920x1080 if your submission is 2030x1534.

Two (2) versions are required per submission;

  1. A low-resolution version image for your photo or artwork. For video submissions, this becomes your video thumbnail.

  2. A high-resolution version of your submission. This is what your buyer gets when purchasing your media. Make sure to zip your submission even if it's just 1 file.

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