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
Photos and audio clips available under rights-managed licenses and video clips available under rights-ready licenses are different from royalty-free licenses in that 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 the image, music clip or video clip in additional projects without purchasing additional licenses.

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

Photos and audio clips available under rights-managed licenses and video clips available under rights-ready licenses are different from royalty-free licenses in that your license is based on how, where, and for how long you intend to use the content, with the possibility of obtaining exclusive rights. Since the license 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 licenses.

For more information, check out our content license 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 licenses and license 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 license, 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 license. 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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