Editorial vs Commercial Use Of Stock Images

Editorial images (or other media products) are generally taken during a real-life event or situation. They also normally involve private people and / or properties (buildings, land, shops, factories, etc.). In other words, an editorial image or video would normally not be created in a studio or from a staged set-up, but rather taken in some naturally unfolding situation.


Given that these products include private persons and / or private property, you are normally not allowed to use these products for commercial purposes. You can however use them in an editorial context, which means you can use them to support a newsworthy publication or for matters of public interest.


When you use an editorial product, you are also often required to credit the originator of that product with text on the image, video, etc.


Commercial use means that a media product is used to sell a product or service, promote something or raise money for something. This includes use of the media product in advertising, marketing, promotion, packaging, publication covers, advertorials, etc.

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If you would like to use an editorial product commercially, you will normally need a model and / or property release. A model or property release is a signed permission from an individual, or owner of a property, giving permission for that media product to be used commercially. To learn more about model and property releases, please go here.