4.2.1. Licensing Types
Created on October 17, 2023
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Vocab: commercial license, Creative Commons license, direct licensing, exclusive rights license, indirect licensing, license, licensee, licensor, noncommercial license, nonexclusive rights license, one-time use license, royalty-free license
- Identify license types and their purposes
- Identify the type of Creative Commons license to be used in a given scenario
- Recognize the purpose and contents of a license agreement
- Explain ownership rights for a given scenario
Three billion photos are shared online daily, and 2.55 billion are shared without a license! Mannie Garcia took an image of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama for the Associated Press. The image, shown on the left, was later manipulated by street artist Shepard Fairey without permission or credit. Fairey's rendering became known as the HOPE Poster and was an iconic symbol of the 2008 presidential election. While the Obama campaign approved Fairey's rendering for widespread use, they also claimed it as part of the official campaign. Shepard Fairey profited from his version of the photograph.
The Associated Press vs. Fairey
The Associated Press, which owns the rights of the original image, threatened legal action against Fairey. Later, the two parties, Garcia and Fairey, settled the matter privately outside of the courts. Profit-sharing was part of the settlement.
The Associated Press vs. Fairey
A license is a legal contract or agreement between the licensor and the licensee. A licensor, such as a photographer, will grant the licensee the use of their photograph for a fee. A licensee or client purchases the photographer's images for personal use or reuse on an online platform. Every situation and client is unique; therefore, the license agreement will vary depending on each stakeholder's circumstances and desired outcomes. Licenses differ from the fees for a photoshoot and are more concerned with intellectual property ownership.
What is a license?
Types of Licenses
🔥 Commercial License
A commercial license is an agreement that allows the licensee to use the licensor's photographs for profit-generating purposes. The agreement includes all information about the licensee's use of the images. For example, the licensee can use billboard images for advertising, marketing, or other sales purposes.
A noncommercial license is an agreement that ensures the licensor's photos will not be used for any commercial or profit-generating purpose. For example, a photograph of the Midway Geyser in Yellowstone National Park is displayed at a school to inform students about the geology of the national park.
Exclusive Rights License
An exclusive rights license grants exclusive rights to the licensee. The licensor cannot claim ownership or receive profits from the image. For example, consider a cosmetic brand that wants to market its proprietary eye makeup. They may use this type of license to ensure sole ownership of images showcasing their product. These images cannot be reused by the licensor or other competitor brands.
Nonexclusive Rights License
A nonexclusive rights license is an agreement that allows the licensor to sell images to whomever they like. The agreement also states that the licensee cannot resell the licensor's images. For example, a licensor could sell the image showing a Fourth of July celebration to multiple licensees.
One-Time Use License
A one-time use license is an agreement that allows the licensee to use the image only once for a specified fee. For example, a photograph may be highly valued based on its historic, cultural, or artistic depiction, such as the Sufi dance shown on the right. Such photographs could be in high demand. This type of license is often used by photojournalists and freelance photographers.
Rights managed by the royalty-free license involve a third-party company managing the agreement between the licensee and the licensor for a predetermined fee. Sites like Getty Images and Shutterstock provide this type of license. For example, the image of an orca diving underwater at sunset is available under a royalty-free license on the Getty Images website.
Creative Commons (CC) License
A Creative Commons (CC) license is issued by a nonprofit organization named Creative Commons. This license aims to provide licensors simple terms that permit the licensee to reuse, adapt, or distribute their original works, such as an image, artwork, or music, based on the type of Creative Commons license used. For example, the photograph of the Statue of Liberty can be licensed under a Creative Commons license that grants the licensee to use the image without any conditions and in any way they want.
🔥Commercial license: The client can profit from the images used in ads, like on a billboard. Non-commercial license: No profit can be made off the images, for example, for charity or personal use. Exclusive Rights license: Grants exclusive rights to the licensee (client). The licensor (photographer) cannot claim ownership or receive profits from the image. Nonexclusive Rights license: An agreement allowing the licensor (photographer) to sell images to whomever they like. The client can use and profit from the images but NOT resell the images. One-Time Use license: A one-time use license agreement allows the licensee to use the image only once for a specified fee. Royality-Free license: The photographer sells the images through a third party like Getty Images or Shutterstock. The client purchases the image, which they can A Creative Commons (CC) license is issued by a nonprofit organization named Creative Commons. The photographer can reuse, adapt, or distribute their original works, such as an image, artwork, or music, based on the type of Creative Commons license used.
Licenses such as commercial, noncommercial, exclusive rights, nonexclusive rights, and one-time use can be obtained through direct licensing, whereas royalty-free and Creative Commons licenses can be obtained indirectly. 🔥Direct licensing is when a licensee contacts a licensor to make a licensing deal. 🔥Indirect licensing is a method in which licensing agencies mediate between the licensor and the licensee. These agencies often provide royalty-free licenses. Getty Images and Shutterstock are good examples of such licensing agencies.
Direct & Indirect Licensing
The Creative Commons license specifies three simple conditions. Each condition is annotated with a symbol and abbreviation and tells the licensee how the image can be used.
Creative Commons Licenses
🔥 A license agreement should:
- Explain, in writing, the agreed-upon use of the image
- Explicitly state how the client can and cannot use the image
- Protect intellectual property from unlicensed usage
Drafting a License Agreement
Permissions & Constraits
Terms & Condiditions
5. Allows a licensee to share or remix work with proper attribution - Direct License
4. Managed by a third-party company for a predetermined fee; model used by Getty Images and Shutterstock – Indirect License
3. Allows the licensor to sell image(s) to whomever they like; includes a written agreement that the licensee cannot resell the image - Direct License
2. Allows a licensee to use the image once for a specified fee; often used by photojournalists and freelance photographers – Direct License
1. Ensures the licensor's work will not be used for any for-profit purpose - Direct License
🔥 Match the license explanation to their correct terms.
In today's lesson, you learned:
- The different types of licenses
- The components of a license agreement
See you next time!