Question about Images Purchased from Stock Photo Sites

11 replies
I'm not sure what forum to post this in, but perhaps the question might be of interest to others, as well, so I'm going to post it here.

I buy most of my images from Fotolia, for no particular reason other than I like the site and have been using it for years.

Most of the pictures I buy I use for creating website logos, eBooks, articles or to illustrate a blog post, etc.

I have checked the 'Can Do/Can't Do' license agreement, but no where does it tell me if I can use the images to burn them onto CDs - CD's I want to create and sell in the local and internet marketplace.

The 'Cando' terms state:

Can use the image in print and electronic documents and web pages.

Can modify the image or use in a derivative work.

Can make back-up copies.

So far, so good. I presume a CD is a 'derivative work.'

However, the 'Can't Do' that has me confused is:

Cannot distribute copies of image to friends, family or other organizations.

Here's where I'm confused:

I want to stick the image on a CD, which I intend to sell to friends, family and other businesses and organizations. So technically, I'm not distributing the image, I'm distributing (selling) the derivative work to the others with the stock image on it.

What's your take on this? Can I do this or not?
#images #photo #purchased #question #sites #stock
  • Profile picture of the author weblink29
    I had a similar question. I use istockphoto. I contacted them and they answered my question plainly and clearly. I would suggest calling them or emailing their support and tell them exactly what you want to do with the image and ask if your license covers that use. You will prevent future headaches
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    Nothing to see here folks.....move along.

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  • Profile picture of the author builder4580
    Give Fotolia a buzz and ask them for clarification.
    I don't see a customer service link on their Home page, and I'm not a registered member, but they do have a toll free number listed - +1 (888) 674-2299
    Maybe as a member you have a customer service link?
    If you call them, you should get a defensible answer, rather than a speculative one from the forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
    As a pro photographer I can tell you every image license can be different so ask them directly. Some are very specfic and even give a certain amount of time until the image license expires. You will not usually see this with these stock agencies but with commercial agencies this can exist.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Val.S. View Post

    I want to stick the image on a CD, which I intend to sell to friends, family and other businesses and organizations. So technically, I'm not distributing the image, I'm distributing (selling) the derivative work to the others with the stock image on it.
    The CD is not a derivative work. You have simply moved the existing work to another storage medium. What you are selling is the same image you licensed, which you are explicitly forbidden to sell.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pixel Minisite
    you can't do that

    you can keep the images on CD for backup but you can't sell it to someone else
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  • Profile picture of the author I.M.Retired
    Thanks everyone for your input. I appreciate your repsonses.

    Chris: You stated:

    What you are selling is the same image you licensed, which you are explicitly forbidden to sell.
    The CD would not be for selling the image. I want to use the image as a graphic relating to the topic on the CD. For example, if I want to sell a CD with some articles and eBooks about Fishing, I would like to have an image of someone fishing on the cover of the CD. There is no way that the customer would be able to use the image any more than they could use the image in a eBook or other digital product.

    I did contact Fotolia and they just told me to read the license, which I did. The question that I still have about the 'Can't Do' part is that I'm not selling the image, but using it on a derivative product. I'm not sure what the difference is using an image on a CD cover (both printed on the CD itself and on the Jewel Box insert, and using an image in an eBook, etc.)

    I know that I can't sell or distribute the image, itself. I just want to make sure I can use it as a graphic for the CD.
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    • Profile picture of the author DebbieD
      I think you can do it. You're not selling the image at all. You're just printing it on a CD cover and using it as a graphic. Isn't that a typical usage of stock photos that are paid for?
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  • Profile picture of the author sadiecopywriter
    Does it say this phrase? This is what I look for in stock photos "can be used on work offered for sale" the site I use (clipart.com) specifically says for articles, ebooks interiors and covers and art as long as no new copyright is given.
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  • Profile picture of the author I.M.Retired
    DebbieD: Those are my thoughts, as well. A local newspaper has been using two of Fotolia's images (the upside down bulldogs) in their advertising campaigns for the past month or so. They are selling the papers, and in the images are in the papers.

    I just want to make sure that I can put an image on a CD and insert.

    Mercedes: The 'Can't Do' rules are:

    1. Resell the original image.
    2. Use image in an way that violates local or federal laws.
    3. Distribute copies of image to friends, family or other organizations.

    Most of the images on Fotolia have these options. (The Can Do's are posted above.)
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    I believe you need an extended license to do that, but I could be wrong. Ask Fotolia if it is OK with their regular license, but I believe the answer is no. People often find this out the hard way - sad to say.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Originally Posted by Val.S. View Post

    The 'Cando' terms state:

    Can use the image in print and electronic documents and web pages.
    You are printing the image on the CD, correct? So, it would seem to fall under the above section.

    As I understand it, you are not copying the image on the CD for the buyers to be able to use. You are simply imprinting it on the CD.

    I would imagine you are covered under the "use the image in print" clause.
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