Digital Sales Development: Understanding Image Licenses

Friday, October 10, 2014

Understanding Image Licenses

Images are a great way to add color to your content. However, you can't just Google an image and add it to your blog post. A photo of Houston at night may look lovely, but using it without asking for permission first may be breaking not only professional ethics, but legal regulations as well. To avoid this, it's important to learn about image licensing and its types.

The first type is rights-managed images, which include those in sources like Getty Images. For a fee and limited time, depending on the composition, you can use the images any way you want. Rights-managed images can only be used for one declared purpose. Additional uses require payment for licenses.

The second is royalty-free images, which may be anything but free. Unlike rights-managed images, royalty-free images can be purchased and used for multiple purposes.

The third is public domain images, for which IP rights have either expired or been waived by the owner. Images by the federal government are considered public domain.

Lastly, there are Creative Commons (CC) images, which fall into any of six subcategories. The creators or owners of CC images have given the rights to share or use them, provided the intended use meets the requirements specified for each subcategory.

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