Help center: Licensing

Help centre

Licensing


Licensing photos, illustrations, video and music clips

When you download an image, video or music clip from Getty Images, you’re not buying the file itself — you’re buying a licence that lets you use the content in your projects.

Royalty-free licences
Most of our photos, illustrations, video and music clips are available under our standard royalty-free licence, which is our most common licence. It lets you use them in a wide variety of projects, including advertising, websites, blogs, presentations, video productions, podcasts and more. Because these files are royalty-free, you only pay for the initial download of the file and don’t have to pay the creator a royalty each time you use it. Your licence lets you use the content as many times as you want, wherever you want for as long as you want (within the terms of the content licence agreement).

Rights-managed/rights-ready licences
Photos and audio clips available under rights-managed licences and video clips available under rights-ready licences are different from royalty-free licences in that your licence is based on how, where and for how long you intend to use the content. Since the licence you’re paying for only covers a specific use, you can’t use the image, music clip or video clip in additional projects without purchasing additional licences.

Ownership of a licence

Unless you identify someone other than yourself (or your company) as the “licensee” at time of purchase, the right to use the content as outlined in our content licence agreement stays with you.

You can transfer ownership of the licence to a third-party individual or company (such as client) by entering their name in the Licensee field in the Reference notes section of the checkout. Licences purchased with prepaid packs or subscriptions are not transferable.

For more information, check out our content licence agreement

Royalty-free (RF) licences

Most of our photos, illustrations, video and music clips are available under our standard royalty-free licence, which lets you use them in a wide variety of projects, including advertising, websites, blogs, presentations, video productions, podcasts and more. Because these files are royalty-free, you only pay for the initial download of the file and don’t have to pay a royalty each time you use it. Your licence lets you use the content as many times as you want, wherever you want for as long as you want (within the terms of the content licence agreement.)

For more information, check out our content licence agreement

Rights-managed (RM) and Rights-ready (RR) licences

Photos and audio clips available under rights-managed licences and video clips available under rights-ready licences are different from royalty-free licences in that your licence is based on how, where, and for how long you intend to use the content, with the possibility of obtaining exclusive rights. Since the licence you’re paying for only covers a specific use, you can’t use the image, music clip or video clip in additional projects without purchasing additional licences.

For more information, check out our content licence agreement

Exclusive rights-managed photos

The biggest benefit of rights-managed content is that you can make sure no one else can use a photo you’ve licensed for a campaign. We offer copyright buyouts, exclusive licences and licence embargos. You can also choose from a range of flexible rights-managed exclusivity options, including by industry, usage, or both. It’s a great way to keep your campaign unique and protect your investment.

Contact us to get exclusive rights to a photo
Every file you download from Getty Images comes with a licence, which allows you to use your image, illustration, video or music clip for specific uses over a certain amount of time, depending on the type of licence. You do not own the file, but you have the right to use it.

If you use a file in a project without licensing it, you are infringing on the copyright and can be held liable.

Learn more about how copyright applies to you

Have other questions? Contact us

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