Licensing an image doesn’t have to be a legal minefield. This simple checklist can help you choose the right images and license terms for any use.



Are you clear on how the image will be used?

Whether it’s for a billboard advertising campaign, brochure, website or mobile app, knowing the ultimate purpose will help you obtain the right image and the right license for your project.

Do you know the duration of the license you need?

How long do you want to use the image? For rights-managed images, prices vary for terms lasting from one week to several years. Ensure the license expiration date covers the length of the campaign or project.

Have you confirmed the volume of the print run?

How many times do you want to print or use the image? If you’re considering a rights-managed image but are unsure of the output, check whether you can extend the license or usage rights if your needs change over time.

Have you considered whether the image is rights-managed or royalty-free?

Royalty-free licenses usually don’t expire and can be used in many ways, while rights-managed licenses have time and use-based limitations.

Do people, trademarks, landmarks or artistic works appear in the image?

When purchasing an image license for commercial use, its wise to confirm the supplier holds the appropriate model or property release to avoid legal disputes.

Does the image supplier offer free and indefinite legal protection?

Knowing who bears liability and assumes the costs, should a claim arise, is key to determining what’s covered by legal protection. Find out if you’re automatically covered and whether a limit exists on any legal fees.

Do you know where to go to ask for advice if you’re unsure?

For the most accurate advice, consult your legal counsel with specific questions that aren’t covered here.