Understanding Rights Managed Licensing

It’s tricky to find the perfect and appropriate images for different e-learning projects. Sometimes when you get lucky with finding the right photo, it’s unclear whether you can legally use it. Images or any type of content a person makes is protected by copyright. In such cases, you can always find refuge in free photos and browse through some free photo websites. But, doing so, many people forget that not everything on a stock website is free to use, and some of them come with a certain type of licenses. One of those licenses is called Rights Managed Licensing.

What Does “Rights Managed” Mean?

Rights Managed means paying one time to use a photo and it can be purchased as an exclusive or non-exclusive photo. If the user wishes to use the same image for different projects, he must re-license the image and specifically outline the new use for the image. The Rights Managed agreement gives access to multiple copies of the image under one project, but the new uses must be renegotiated. As an example, you can use a Rights Managed image for a posture but if you want to use it for a brochure, you will have to purchase a new licensing agreement that clearly outlines the rights for brochure distribution and use.

What makes a Rights Managed agreement stand out is the option for exclusive or non-exclusive usage. This is an additional copyright license that must be negotiated. Different stock photography agencies provide both copyright agreements. When you purchase a stock photo, the basic agreement will be a Royalty-Free agreement, and in many cases, this agreement can be upgraded to an extended agreement. These agreements provide certain rights to royalty-free images and should not be mixed with Rights Managed photos. Every stock photography agency clearly defines these additions and their respective costs.

Difference between Royalty-Free and Rights Managed Photos

Difference between Royalty-Free and Rights Managed Photos

Royalty-Free license grants unlimited, non-exclusive, and multiple uses of an image, with few/limited restrictions. Through a one-time fee, you are allowed to perpetually use the image, in all the permitted ways, for your website, company, or advertisement. 

In comparison to the Royalty-Free license, the Rights Managed license comes with more restrictions. It gives you the right to use an image, but with some time and geographically limited restrictions. Sometimes, it also grants exclusive usage during the licensed period. However, the license only allows the consigned use of images, and to use it in any different way, you need to get a new license, which includes, digital rights management and basic rights management.

Learn more about how to pick the right stock photos for your project.

How do Rights Managed License Work?

Rights-managed images are not free and licensed on a project-by-project basis. The price differs for every image and depends upon the type of project, the image format, the distribution, circulation, and other criteria. To buy a photo under the Rights Managed license, you must explain its intended usage to the agency and specify several things, including

  • Image resolution and size
  • The geographical area where the image will be used or distributed
  • Medium in which the image will be used/distributed
  • Length of the time the image will be in use
  • Purpose of using the photo (industry etc.)
  • The volume of copies or reach of the distribution of photo
  • Exclusivity rights to use the image (when available)

Additionally, you also must specify whether your intended use is for commercial purposes. In such cases, the photo needs to be modeled, and appropriate documents of all the people and private property that is depicted in the image will be required. However, for editorial uses, the releases are not necessary but many other restrictions may apply.

Based on these details, the license is finally customized to grant the required rights to use the photo in any way. This also includes determining the price of the license which is normally higher than Royalty Free images. Depending upon the rights, the price may vary and exclusivity rights are usually expensive. But the license you buy is only to use the photo in that consigned way. Any type of modification to the intended use is not allowed and in order to do that, you need to renew the license.

Where to Buy Rights Managed Stock Photos?

Where to Buy Rights Managed Stock Photos

There are a number of stock photography agencies that offer Rights Managed stock photos. Commonly, these agencies are working on a more traditional business model. However, the one agency that stands out for all the good reasons is “Getty Images”.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Being one of the best free stock photo websites/companies, Getty Images has been in the market for over 20 years and significantly dominates the world of media distribution. Their first-class content and strong global presence, including a famous Editorial imagery service and exclusive access to the top events in various fields, has helped them become one of the best suppliers for Rights Managed images.

Their collections host millions of photos in every category, theme, and style. They have both editorial and commercial-ready licenses that are priced according to your intended use. If you want to find the Rights Managed Images with some top-notch quality, seriousness, and reputability, Getty Images must be your first go-to agency. In case you don’t have the budget to buy RM images, look into some lesser-known stock photo websites for many underrated photos.

Benefits of Using Rights Managed Licenses

Benefits of Using Rights Managed Licenses

The Rights Managed licenses have many advantages. For starters, you can request rights that you can’t get with other license types (such as Royalty-Free license) and they can add value in some cases. Generally, RM images are not as widely purchased as the ones under Royalty Free or other licenses. Here are some of the benefits of using free stock RM photos.

1. Exclusive Rights

If you plan to buy some RM images, it means that you and only you have the exclusive rights to use the stock image for the duration of the license. This keeps your opponents or competitors from using the same image and diluting your marketing strategy and efforts in any way. By using imagery that is not found anywhere else, your brand or project will be of higher value in the market. Exclusive rights are not always available but if you get your hands on them, they are a deal-maker!

2. Larger Print Run and Distribution

If you purchase some RM images, you can get a larger limit of distribution rights and copies than the ones included in other licenses. This is particularly useful for wide-reach marketing campaigns, film projects with a large audience, and many other uses. 

3. Usage history

Some stock photo agencies keep a track of the way their photos have been used in the past. If you buy the RM images, sometimes they let you see the selected photo’s usage history. This way, you know how and where the photo was used and it can greatly refine your intended use, helping you make the best out of it in your project. The exclusive RM photos are mostly recommended for high-visibility usage and close association with a product/service. This helps in avoiding conflicts with possible competitors, trying to copy your visual content marketing ideas.

Rights Managed Photos – An Underrated Marketing Technique 

Rights Managed Photos – An Underrated Marketing Technique

It is alright if you’re just starting on your e-business or running an online photography page, and are going for royalty-free images. However, if you’ve got some spare money, think twice before giving in to the overused stock photos and invest in some Rights Managed Images. With an exclusivity right and larger distribution, you can also see its usage history and that’ll greatly help in going forward with its intended usage. Unique and striking RM images will appeal to your audience and help your business/endeavor in the long run!