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Rights-Managed Stock Image License

What is meant by a rights-managed license? And how is this different from a royalty-free license?

A rights-managed license to an image, video or other media product, gives you the right to use the product in a specific way.

Often, this will define the size of the product, the geographical area where the product can be used, medium in which the product can be used, for how long it can be used, number of copies in case of printed media, etc.

For instance, you may purchase a rights-managed license to an image which allows you to use it in a marketing brochure with a limit of 2,500 printed copies in a specific language and country.

Or you could purchase a license that stipulates that you could use the image on your website with a worldwide reach, for 5 years.

Put differently, a rights-managed license is much more restrictive than a royalty-free license.

Where a royalty-free license gives you almost complete freedom, a rights-managed license has clearly defined boundaries.

However, similarly to a royalty-free license, a rights-managed license can often also be purchased by several users, meaning you would not have exclusive rights to use the image.

However, a rights-managed license is by definition more exclusive than a royalty-free license. In some cases it can provide you with full exclusivity in a certain geographical region, for instance.

And also, as with a royalty-free license, you do not own the copyright to the product, nor do you own the product itself. You simply own the right to use it for the agreed purpose and duration.