The Details of Adobe Stock Extended License Agreements

adobe-stock-logo (1)For most stock photo users, traditional, Royalty Free, commercially licensed stock photography is more than legally adequate.  But in some situations, basic Royalty Free licenses aren’t enough to protect your business from the legal repercussions of incorrectly used imagery.  When a traditional Royalty Free license isn’t enough, you will need to purchase extended licenses for your commercial imagery.  Here are some tips on getting access to Adobe Stock extended license imagery to use Adobe Stock images for a wider array of commercial purposes.

Which Adobe Stock Photo License Is Right For You?

Currently, Adobe does not directly sell extended licenses for Adobe Stock photos.  There’s an easy workaround, but before jumping into what it takes to purchase extended licenses from the Stock Photo giant, it’s a good idea to determine if you even need an extended license for your Adobe Stock downloads.

For most commercial uses, all you will need is a traditional, Royalty Free Adobe Stock Photos license.  A standard Royalty Free license will allow you to legally use Adobe Stock downloads to advertise for your business.  That includes web use, promotional printing on most internal and external marketing materials, and a wide variety of other protected usage.  If you aren’t going to be making any direct profit off of your commercially licensed imagery, a standard Royalty Free license is probably all you need.  Check out the Adobe Stock terms of use if you aren’t feeling too secure about what that means for your business.

On the other hand, if you are going to be profiting directly off of your Adobe Stock imagery, you will likely need an extended license to legally use the commercial imagery you have downloaded.  If you are using Adobe Stock images on printed t-shirts or mugs that you intend to sell, for example, you will need an extended license in order to do so legally.  Sold materials include web templates and other digital products too.  For more information on when you may need an extended license, see Section 2 of Adobe’s Terms of Use.  Or remember that any time you are selling merchandise with commercial imagery, a standard Royalty Free license isn’t enough.

Purchasing Adobe Stock Extended Licenses

Currently, Adobe doesn’t offer extended licenses directly through their stock photography market.  On a side note, their lack of extended licensing options might signify upcoming shifting trends in the microstock industry.  But for now, you need extended licenses for all marketing purposes.  Even though Adobe doesn’t sell extended licenses directly, there’s an easy workaround to help you keep your image use legal and above board.

fotolia-logo-300Remember Fotolia?  The vendor’s library was bought by Adobe when the tech giant launched their stock photography service, but you can still access Fotolia imagery through their site.  And, if you need an extended license for use with any imagery you download from Adobe Stock, Fotolia is a great place to make your licensing purchase.

Since Fotolia is now owned by Adobe, any license that you purchase through their site covers identical imagery sold on Adobe Stock’s marketplace.  This is thanks to a stipulation in the Fotolia licensing agreement that considers “affiliates’ websites” as partner entities covered by their licensing terms.  Therefore, if you purchase an extended license through Fotolia, you can use the imagery for profit generating purposes, even if you also have bought a copy from Adobe with their standard licensing agreement.

It isn’t necessarily the most elegant workaround, but it is a suitable one for the moment if you love Adobe Stock’s image library but need extended licensing to keep your business safe.  While using this Fotolia workaround may take you a bit of time and may cause some inconvenience, it’s a lot less stressful to jump through some licensing hoops than deal with legal consequences if you ignore the need for extended licenses.

Closing Thoughts on Adobe Extended License Agreements

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Anytime you use a photo from Adobe’s library to earn a direct profit, you will want to complete the extra work necessary to assure that you have the right licensing.  Remember, this applies to Adobe Stock Free downloads too.  Currently, you can download some high-quality Adobe Stock Free Photos through a promotion on the vendor’s site, but these images are only licensed with royalty free licensing.

The reason you pay for commercial licensing in the first place is to assure that your business is protected from legal and financial repercussions of improper use.  If you are going to spend the time, energy, and money purchasing legally licensed imagery, the last thing you want is to pay for the wrong licenses.  So remember, anytime you need a stock image for a product that you will be selling, you will need an extended license.  If you are a fan of Adobe Stock, getting an extended license is something of a chore, but it’s worth it to be on the right side of the law.