Define royalty free.
Royalty Free refers to the right to use a copyright material or intellectual property without paying for license fees or royalties every time it is used.
Royalty is a sum of money paid to the owner of the copyright material or intellectual property for each copy sold or used.
Royalty Free Image refers to images sold with a royalty free licenses.
You see – royalty free does not mean that the image is acquired for free. It simply means that you are allowed to use the image in any way you want for as long as you like, without paying for royalties each time. You only have to pay one time to use the image in any project forever. Royalty free images are generally offered by stock photo agencies. Popular stock sites, such as Shutterstock and iStock, offer millions of affordable high quality royalty free images.
How much do royalty free images cost?
The price of royalty free images vary depending on the stock photo agency you purchase them from. Generally, they are cheaper compared to rights managed images but that is not always the case. Certain factors such as purpose, location and duration of usage can also affect the price of RM images, making them cheaper or pricier at times. Nevertheless, royalty free images can be purchased for a lot less when purchased in packs or as part of subscription.
In the stock photo industry, we define royalty free as the right to use the image in any project for as long as you like – for a flat one-time fee. It means you only have to pay for the license once. You do not have to worry about royalties or other kinds of payment obligations down the road. Thus, they tend to cost a lot less that other licenses that require you to pay for royalties every time you use the image.
Some stock photo sites offer more expensive royalty free license than others. For instance, Getty Images offer royalty free images for at least $125 each. But, microstock agencies offer cheaper rights as it is the core of their business. Depending on image type, prices may vary between $1 and $15 each.
Before you purchase royalty free images, it is important that you know how they work to avoid copyright issues in the future. Although these images include a legal protection, there are certain uses that are not allowed too. You can find the restrictions on the license agreement; thus, it is best to read it carefully and understand it before making a purchase. If you are sure that a royalty free license best suits your creative needs and budget, find your preferred image bank and purchase images from them.