Many new artists tell us they’re interested in selling their work to earn a passive income but have concerns about who can use their content and how. It’s understandable. The possibilities for stock media uses are seemingly limitless. Your work may be used to illustrate a blog article or accompany a magazine ad. It could show up as the cover of a new curated playlist on your favorite music app, you could find it on the back of a bus promoting a local company, or see it looking back at you when standing in line at the bank. Maybe it’s the cover of the next New York Times best seller. It can show up on tv, in print, digital, or in apps in a variety of situations.
It’s an exciting prospect, but we respect that artists want to protect their work and the people featured in it. We do too. We consider the way that people, ideas, and cultures are represented in the collection very thoughtfully. Our content policy holds us to that daily. As for client use and how content is licensed — our collection is royalty free, which means we don’t have complete control over how Stocksy content is used in client projects. But there are rules involved, and we can offer clarity about what royalty free means so our prospective artists know what to expect when thinking about contributing to Stocksy.
Does this mean that once clients pay for content they can do whatever they want? Not exactly. Our Content License Agreement is a set of terms clients are expected to follow when they buy Stocksy content.
What stock media licenses do clients purchase?
The basic royalty free license type is our Standard License, which covers the most common uses. The Standard License allows global use, some print, and unlimited digital impressions for all time. Clients need to buy an extended license (which can include Market Freeze and sensitive use) for additional needs like printing more than 500k physical copies, having multiple people within a company working simultaneously with the content, or selling/distributing products where the content licensed provides the core value of the product (e.g., postcards, t-shirts, digital wallpapers, etc.)
What are the rules for content use?
There are also things that clients are not allowed to do with Stocksy content, like:
- Use content in any way deemed to be pornographic, obscene, infringing, or defamatory, under law.
- Suggest or imply that the identifiable models personally endorse any product, service, idea, or site.
- Connect an identifiable model to certain topics — mostly medical — that might be unflattering, embarrassing, or controversial without adding a disclaimer that clearly states that the model is shown for illustrative purposes only.
- Connect an identifiable model to sensitive subjects, which we define as substance abuse and recovery, sexually transmitted infections, mental health concerns and disorders, abuse, abortion, promotion of tobacco use, or any implication that the model engages in activity that is immoral or illegal.
- Share content on social media in a way that implies the account owner created the content.
- Sell or sublicense content files to someone else.
- Use content in a trade, design, service mark, business name, or logo.
Who licenses Stocksy content?
We’re proud to say that Stocksy works with many progressive clients — from smaller local companies to well-known global household names (over 400 of the fortune 500 companies). Our high-caliber clientele is where contributing to Stocksy can be a truly meaningful opportunity. Not only is there money to be made, and community to be gained, but Stocksy artists help to balance scales and create an equitable media landscape too. By building a strong collection of stock media captured from diverse perspectives, we can better ensure that clients have access to high-quality content that truly represents the multitude of people, cultures, and lifestyles around the world. It can be exciting to see Stocksy content out in the wild, especially when it’s your own.
In short, we do our best to protect our artists and their work. We have model releases, property releases, licensing rules, and a rigorous and passionate legal team at the ready to go to bat for our community of creators should the rules be breached. But it is our hope that you will never have to talk to them — unless you just want to chat or meet up to dance in the streets somewhere (our lawyers are artists too!). Bring your camera (and maybe a model release).
Have more questions? Reach out to our team [email protected]