Month: September 2016

What does Royalty Free Mean?

What does royalty free mean? Many people are confused about what royalty free images really are. Some believe that royalty free means that the images are free of charge. Thus, some creative professionals resort to free images on Google and end up facing illegal issues down the road. To avoid any troubles in the future, let us define royalty free and find out how much they cost.


Royalty Free

Royalty free, RF for short, is a common type of licensing used in copyright material or intellectual property such as images and illustrations. It allows users to use the files without the need to pay for royalties each time they use the image or sell them per volume at some period of time. In short, it lets you use images in any project for as long as you like, for a one-time flat fee. Of course, there are certain restrictions you have to keep in mind.

Common restrictions for royalty free:

  • You cannot sell the image as part of your own photo library. The owner still retains the copyright of the image. You are only granted with the license to use the image in your creative projects for as long as you need.
  • You cannot redistribute or sell the image as your own. You have to give credit where it is due. You can use it for personal and commercial purposes, but you cannot claim ownership for the image.
  • Don’t use the photos in a way that would embarrass the author. You are liable for problems that may arise from your use. Make sure you follow the guidelines of the stock photo agency you purchase the image from. Some uses that are not allowed include the use of the image in obscene ways.

Above are some of the most common restrictions involved with the use of royalty free images. To avoid problems in the future, you need to check the terms and conditions comprised with your purchase.

How much does royalty free image cost?

The price of royalty free image depends on the agency. Some of the stock photo agencies that offer cheap stock images include Shutterstock, iStock and Depositphotos. There are many others in the Internet. You just have to find which fits your creative needs and budget most. In addition, royalty free is generally cheaper compared to other licenses like Rights-Managed (RM). But, that is not always the case. It still depends on how, where and how long you intend to use the image.

What does royalty free mean? After reading this article, we hope you have a better grasp of the meaning of royalty free. Keep in mind that royalty-free does not mean free of charge. It simply means you can use the image in any project for as long as you like – for a one-time flat fee.