Basic Differences in Royalty Free and Rights Managed

1 July 2020 Curioso Photography

Basic Differences in Royalty Free and Rights Managed

Basic Differences in Royalty Free and Rights Managed

Royalty Free (RF) and Rights Managed (RM) are the two most commonly used licensing models in stock photography industry.

Royalty Free license grants non-exclusive, unlimited and multiple use of an image, with few restrictions. It’s a one-time fee that allows perpetual use of the image in all the permitted ways. You can then use the licensed material for your own company, website or for advertisement. These licensed images are usually called royalty-free images and are different to rights managed images (below you find more info about it).

Please check Acceptable / Restricted Uses for Royalty Free Stock Photos.

Due to the non-exclusivity that allows to sell as many licenses to the same photo as buyers are willing to buy, images sold under RF license are widely distributed across stock photo agencies, and priced at low (and flat) rates. For this reason they are also often in use by different people, companies and brands at the same time, in different ways.

Rights Managed license provides time and geographically limited, specific and per-use rights to use an image, and often times also grants exclusive usage during the licensed period. The license only covers the consigned use, so to use the image in any different way, a new license is needed. This license includes digital rights management and basic rights management.

The price for the license depends on the specifics of intended use, sometimes it turns out affordable, and others it can get considerably expensive. Due to the more detailed buying process, and the custom-set, specific rights a buyer acquires over an RM image, these tend to be less widely available, and for the same reason they don’t have so many duplicates in use simultaneously.

To find the best places to buy Royalty Free images cheap, check out this awesome list of the  Best Stock Photo Sites in the market!

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