What Are Royalty-Free Photos?


Quick Answer

A royalty-free photo is a photo that a person can use as many times as he wants after paying a one-time fee for the license. The word “free” relieves the user only of any additional royalties; he must still purchase the rights-managed license that imposes restrictions on the photo use.

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Full Answer

Companies such as Getty Images and Corbis Images, including online services such as iStockphoto and Shutterstock, provide royalty-free licenses for some of their stock photos. It is also possible to sign a contract directly with a photographer to acquire a royalty-free license for his photos. Due to the restrictions of the rights-managed license regarding the size, number of uses and the type of media, smaller companies and businesses typically opt for the royalty-free license.

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