The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Royalty Free Images

Royalty Free Images UK Use of Photographs

Royalty free images are those that can used in a certain way by paying the photographer or the library a sum for the use of a Royalty Free licence.

ROYALTY FREE IMAGES ARE NOT FREE IMAGES: You are not entitled to download Royalty Free images stock and use for any purpose, unless you purchase the Royalty Free Licence.

When you buy an image as a royalty free image, you do not have to continue to pay royalties to the creator each time you use it.

Images are often stolen from websites under the impression that they are free and can be used without payment or permission.

This is particularly so with the misunderstood term and licence of ‘Royalty Free’.

When an object – normally an image is available as Royalty Free, is does not mean that it is totally free to be used.

Royalty Free Image Library Copyright

It simply means, that…. the image on this page is of my own hand - taken on 19th November 2014. It is my image; I own the copyright; it is not available for download, and if I find that it is in use on another website, I will inform Google that the user is breaching my copyright, and that website will be then be penalised by Google.

It is of suitable poor quality to ensure that it is not re-used without my permission. If I were to try and sell it through the Image Library that I use, they would not accept it for sale. IF it were offered for sale, then it would be with a royalty free licence, for no buyer would want exclusive right to it.

A RF licence would enable the purchaser to use it on their website, a T shirt, or even on a mug without any further payment to me. If they wanted exclusive rights to the image, they could use it for just ONE of those purposes, within stipulated countries, and time frames.

Providing you have permission to use it, you do not have to pay any ongoing ‘royalties’ to the copyright owner. In effect it is offered –sold- with a royalty free licence. If you buy an image from a picture library or a photographer, you will normally be offered one of two distinct ‘licences’ for its use.

Royalty Free Images Stock Licenses

There are two basic licence types with which you can normally use an image. Both licences require that you purchase the permission to use the image in a specific way. You do NOT purchase the image or its copyright.

Traditional Licence for Photographs

A Traditional Licence generally states a specific use and time limit for the use of that image. Under this type of licence, you can only use the image for that permitted use. You are NOT allowed to then use that image for other uses. You have bought the licence to use that image. You have not actually bought the image or its copyright.

Buy Royalty Free Licence for Photograph Use

A Royalty Free Licence allows you to purchase an image to use for any purpose – other than those which are expressly prohibited – for as long as you like and fir as many times as you like. In buying a Royalty Free Licence, you have bought the right to use the image as you wish – when you wish.

Images that are offered (for sale) on a Royalty Free licence, are generally of lesser artistic value than the images offered for sale with a traditional - 'one use’- licence. The traditional licence is normally used where the creator (photographer) thinks that the image in question is worthy of purchase for an advertising campaign.

Obviously the advertiser will not wish the image to be available to others for general use. They will want to purchase the use of the image for their sole, specific use. Again, they buy the licence to use that image in that way. They do not purchase the image or its copyright outright. (In exceptional circumstances, the photographer might agree to outright sale of their image and transfer of copyright to the purchaser.

Searching Royalty Free Images Stock

There are several ways to find the perfect royalty-free stock images and photos for free usage online. Use this information to help you search images, videos, and music on the internet.

Shutterstock UK Office
Third Floor, Counting House, Hays Galleria, 51-57 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QN
Email: support@shutterstock.com

iStock by Getty Images
20th Ave SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 1M8, Canada
Telephone: 001 800 656 189

Buy Royalty Free Images Stock and Use of Photographs; UK Rules Updated 2017