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Editorial And Commercial Use Of Stock Images

What is editorial use? And how does this differ from commercial use?

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 would normally not be created in a studio or from a staged set-up, but rather taken in some naturally unfolding situation.

For instance, the image could be taken at a sporting event or a during a busy market.

Given that these products include private persons and / or private property, you are not allowed to use these products for commercial purposes.

That is unless you get permission from the persons and / or property owners.

You can however use them in an editorial context:

Let’s say you have a business that sells strawberry jam. You cannot use the image you took of people at the busy market to promote or sell your strawberry jam.

Editorial images
Commercial images

However, you can for instance use the image in a story about the history of strawberry jam. This is OK, because the image is not being used to sell jam, but rather to enhance the strawberry history story.

You can also use these images to support a newsworthy publication or for matters of public interest.

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.

If you would like to use an editorial product commercially, you will normally need a model and / or property release. Meaning that you would need permission for that media product to be used commercially.

To learn more about model and property releases, please go here.