Help center: Licensing

Frequently asked questions

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 license that lets you use the content in your projects.

Royalty-free licenses
Most of our photos, illustrations, video and music clips are available under our standard royalty-free license, which is our most common license. 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 license 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 license agreement).

Rights-managed/rights-ready licenses
Rights-managed editorial images and rights-ready video clips are different from royalty-free images and video clips, because your license is based on how, where and for how long you intend to use the content. Since the license you're paying for only covers a specific use, you can't use these images or video clips in additional projects without purchasing additional licenses. Getty Images no longer offers rights-managed licenses for creative images.

Ownership of a license

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 license agreement stays with you.

You can transfer ownership of the license 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. Licenses purchased with prepaid packs or subscriptions are not transferable.

For more information, check out our content license agreement

Royalty-free (RF) licenses

Most of our photos, illustrations, video and music clips are available under our standard royalty-free license, 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 license 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 license agreement.)

For more information, check out our content license agreement

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

Rights-managed editorial images and rights-ready video clips are different from royalty-free images and video clips, because your license is based on how, where and for how long you intend to use the content. Since the license you're paying for only covers a specific use, you can't use these images or video clips in additional projects without purchasing additional licenses. Getty Images no longer offers rights-managed licenses for creative images.

For more information, check out our content license agreement

What happened to rights-managed creative images?

We've made it easier and more affordable to license creative images by moving to an entirely royalty-free creative image collection that includes the best of our former creative rights-managed images. As a result, we'll no longer license any creative RM images.

Any creative image with an active rights-managed license will remain available under the terms of that license until the license term expires.

For more information, check out our creative license simplification page.
Every file you download from Getty Images comes with a license, which allows you to use your image, illustration or video for a wide variety of uses in the case of royalty-free licenses, or specific uses based on where, when, and how you use the file in the case of rights-managed editorial images and rights-ready video clips. 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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