Acceptable Uses for Rights Managed Stock Photos

Rights Managed (or RM for short) license is tailored – and priced – according to your usage needs. Therefore, the permitted uses for Rights Managed Stock Photos vary from license to license under this model, as well as from company to company.

You can learn all about Rights Managed images here. 

However, there are some standard uses, that are generally permitted under RM license:

Marketing and advertising, both printed and digital

  • Billboards and outdoor displays
  • In-store displays
  • Transit ads
  • Digital banner ads
  • Web ads
  • TV and video commercials
  • Trade shows

Promotional purposes, both printed and digital (in items that are not for resale)

  • Flyers
  • Brochures
  • Posters
  • Cards
  • Direct mail and Email
  • Newsletters

Corporational material, both printed and digital

  • Company letterheads
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Branding material

Editorial uses, both printed and digital

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • News reports
  • Blogs (editorial, non-commercial)
  • Ebooks

Creative uses and personal uses

  • Video and film projects
  • Graphic design, web design
  • Digital wallpapers
  • Digital art

This is only a reduced list, as acceptable uses can cover a wide range of purposes in Rights Managed images.

It's important to note that RM is a pay-per-use licensing model: the license covers only the specified use, for the period of time set, and the geographic location agreed. Any modification to this use, for smaller it might be, requires a new license.

Another point to highlight is that with RM is possible to acquire exclusive usage rights to an image, making you the only one using said image, within the time frame set in the license.

Always make sure you read the license agreement carefully, including the fine print, from any RM image you buy at any stock photo agency, in order to make sure your required use is covered, and that you're using the image in the right way.

Amos Struck
  1. I want to buy one or more images that only I have access to. Is that “rights managed?”

    • Hi Sheila, that is usually the purpose of Rights-Managed images. You request a usage for a certain medium i.e. Website and Company Flyer and then pay for it. The image should be then only licensed for this medium to you for the certain time. After the time is up (usually some years) the agency license it to someone else. Therefore it is not 100% exclusivity – more a “reservation” of an image. I hope that helps.


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