Joe Benning Photography

Travel & Photo Blog

  •   Reston, VA

Photo Licenses

Licenses, Prints and Downloads

Commercial, personal and editorial-use photos are available for instant download (without watermarks) after purchase of a license. All of these license types can be purchased through Evocative Photos. These include Royalty Free Commercial and Editorial licenses, Rights Managed and personal licenses.

Prints and framed photos are available through both Evocative Photos and Fine Art America. Please note that all purchases at Fine Art America come with a 30-day money back guaranty, no questions asked if you are unsatisfied with the product.

A Brief Discussion of Different License Types

In general, Commercial licenses confer on the licensee the right to use the licensed photo for various types of commercial uses. These would include such things as advertising by using the photos on commercial products such as Tote bags, Coffee Mugs, Greeting Cards,   iPhone Cases, Mouse Pads, Linens and clothing such as T-shirts.

Licenses can be either Royalty Free or Rights Managed licenses. Royalty Free licenses generally grant the licensee a non-exclusive, perpetual, non-transferrable, non-sub-licensable, worldwide right to reproduce the photo for any purpose except for those specifically defined as prohibited by the terms of the license.

Rights Managed licenses generally have an expiration date, at which point continued use requires renewing the license. They are also specific in the rights they confer–for instance, a Rights Managed license may be for use in TV advertising or for merchandise for resale.

In either case, the copyright is retained by the property creator (in this case, the photographer).

Editorial-use licenses are for photos of actual news or newsworthy events, or of photos that are illustrative of newsworthy events. Editorial licenses would be required for a news publication or website to publish a photo of a specific event, or a photo that is illustrative of the subject of the story.  In neither case can the editorial license be used for commercial purposes. 

Personal use licenses are for the personal, non-business use of the license purchaser. For example, a personal use license could confer upon the licensee the right to use a photo on a personal website–but not on a business website.

In any case, the rights and duties of the parties to a license agreement are as specified in the contract. Some examples of license contracts can be found here and here.

Finally, the U.S. Copyright Office publishes a brief pamphlet describing the ins and outs of copyright. A copy is available at this link.

Final Note: This short discussion is meant to be generally explanatory–it does not constitute legal advice. That’s what lawyers are for.