Licensing Explained

The photos and footage at Arctic Stock are submitted by our contributors, who, in exchange for a fee, allow customers to use their work. This permission is called a licence. When they submit a photo or video, the contributor decides whether it should have a royalty free licence or a rights managed licence, and it determines how a customer can use the work.

Royalty free licence

This is the broadest type of licence. It allows you to use the image in a variety of ways, such as blogging, pamphlets, artworks, documentaries and magazines.  There is neither a time limit nor constraints on the type or number of projects.  There are, however, limits on the number of users as well as the number of print copies that can be produced of a given photo. If more than one person is using it, or if you would like to print more that 100 000 copies, you need to purchase one of our licence add-ons.

Rights managed licence

This type of licence allows the photo or video to be used for the purpose specified at the moment of purchase, and it can only be used in that way. For example, if you buy a licence to use a given photo in an online newspaper, you must buy another licence if you then decide to use it in a magazine.

Choosing between royalty free and rights managed photos and footage

A photo or video is either royalty free or rights managed, it cannot be both. Consider what your needs are so that you can hone in quickly on what works for you.

  • Do you need flexibility? Are you working in various media? If so, limit your search to royalty free photos or footage.
  • Do you have a very specific project in mind? Do you want to reduce the chance of someone else using the same image? Then rights managed photos and footage are probably for you.
  • Is your budget limited? On the whole, royalty free photos and footage cost less, but there are exceptions. Consult our Pricing page to get a better idea of the fee structure.
  • Is the aesthetic value (subject, mood, composition) of the photo or video most important to you? In that case, keep your options open and search both licence types.

Need more help with licensing?

Contact us for personalized help by telling us when, where, and how you want to use a given photo or video.

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