How Does Rights Managed License Work?

rights-managedRights managed license is one of the most commonly used licensing models in the stock photo industry. It is very different from royalty-free in terms of usage and pricing. It provides specific, per-use rights to use an image and is also time and geographically limited. Oftentimes, it provides exclusive rights during the licensed period. So if you want to extend the use of the image at a different time and location or use it in a different way, you need to acquire a new license.

The price for rights managed license depends on the specified use. Sometimes, it can be affordable. Other times, it can be very expensive. Due to its more detailed buying process and specific rights, this type of license tend to be less widely used. For the same reason, it also does not have a lot of duplicates in use. This means you do not have to worry about visiting a website – especially your competitor’s – and finding the same image.

To purchase a rights managed image, you need to specify details such as:

  • Image size and resolution
    Typically, the larger the size and the higher the resolution mean the pricier the image. It is important to specify them to make sure you are getting the right image for your creative project. You do not want to spend money on an image you cannot use because it does not suit your creative needs.
  • Geographical area where the photo will be distributed
    Rights managed license can be used on a specified location. You need to determine where you want it to be distributed so you won’t break any restrictions. For instance, if you specified that the image will be used in North America, you cannot use it anywhere else. If you want to, you should get another license for an additional fee.
  • Medium in which the photo will be distributed
    Where will the image appear? If you will be using the image on print, you need to specify that too. You cannot use images licensed for web purposes only on brochures, fliers and other print materials. If you do, you will be in serious trouble.
  • Length of time it will be used
    Rights managed license allows an image to be used on a certain length of time. You need to specify the duration of your use as it also has an impact on the cost of the image. If you get the license to use the image in a year, only use the image within that time to avoid legal issues.

Other details you should specify when purchasing a rights managed image include volume of copies, purpose of the image, and exclusivity rights. You also need to clarify if you intend to use the image for commercial purposes. In this case, the image will have to include model and property releases, and other appropriate documents.