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Royalty-Free License

Royalty-Free Stock Image License

What is meant by a royalty-free image? Does it mean it is free? No need to pay for it..? Or what is it..?

Royalty-free simply means that you can use it without having to pay future royalties to the copyright holder.

In other words:

You obtain the right to use the image forever, in exchange for one-time payment.

Royalty-free also means that your use is not exclusive, but that other users also have the same rights. Meaning, other users can use the same image on their website, blogpost, ad, etc.

The royalty-free license lets you choose how you want to use the media product, how many times you use it, how long you use it for, how many projects you use it for, etc.

You can use the media product legally without additional fees or interruption from the copyright owner, as long as your use of the product conforms with the license agreement.

royalty free stock images
royalty-free license for stock images

There will always be restrictions however.

Normal restrictions will be that the content cannot be re-sold or transferred to another owner, and that you cannot use the products in an offensive, discriminatory, etc. fashion.

For certain royalty-free products, you may also find commercial restrictions, for instance specifying upper limits on number of copies you can produce.

It is recommended to always read the license agreement to understand the full scope of use.

However, even though you have obtained the right to use a royalty-free product, you do not own the copyright of the product or the product itself. This ownership still resides with the person or company who took or created the image (unless the copyright was later re-sold).