Visit alamy.com


Why buying an image license is important

People working at laptop in office
Tony Tallec / Alamy Stock Photo

Understand why you need an image license and how to make sure you’re buying the right one.

With so much choice out there when it comes to stock images, it’s not always clear which license you need to buy or what the best option is for you. We’ve put together some helpful pointers to make it as easy as possible for you to pick the right image license for you.

Why do I need an image license?

When you use a copyrighted image, it’s legally required that you buy a license that gives you permission to use the image.

When you buy an image from a stock photography site like Alamy, you’re actually paying for the rights to use the image in your own projects rather than buying the image itself

If you don’t buy an image license, or buy the wrong license, you could find yourself in trouble as you won’t have the right permissions to use the image. If you’re not sure which license you need to pick, get in touch with our customer service team who’ll be happy to help you out! They’re available via email, phone and live chat.

What options do I have?

There are 2 types of image license you can buy:

Royalty-free (RF) license – you pay a one-off fee that lets you use the image as many times as you liked for an unlimited amount of time. You select the size of the image you need, then pay the set charge for an image size you’ve chosen. The smaller the file the lower the cost.

Rights Managed (RM) license – with an RM license you pay for your specific use – how you’re going to use the image. RM licenses define how, where, when and for how long an image will be used.

Popular licenses – to make choosing the right license even easier for you, Alamy offers a selection of popular pricing packages based on the most-bought licenses from customers like you! Our popular licenses include:

  • Personal use – for personal prints, cards and gifts, or reference for artists
  • Presentation – for use in slides to support a presentation or talk (e.g. Powerpoint)
  • Website – for use on websites, blogs, social media and apps
  • Magazines, newsletters and books – use in a digital or print magazine or book with a distribution of 2500 or lower
  • Marketing package: small business (up to 10 employees) – for use in marketing materials, excluding paid-for advertising
  • Marketing package: large business (more than 10 employees) – for use in marketing materials, excluding paid-for advertising

To help you out, we’ve written a blog about them to help you out even further! Check it out here >

What will buying the right license mean for me?

  1. You’ll have exactly the right permissions to use the images as you intended, with nothing to worry about, keeping you on the right side of the law!
  2. You could save money by making sure you’ve paid for only the usage you need. This will remove the risk of you a) buying a license that doesn’t cover your usage, or b) buying a more expensive license than you actually need

Some great blogs to help you with image buying:

We answer the 5 most common questions from image buyers

How to get the best deal when buying multiple images 

Buying one stock image

Don’t forget, you can find all the latest content from Alamy on our social channels – follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!

More from the author

More articles about...

Alamy’s WorldTips and Tricks

Latest Imagery

With 80,000 new images added everyday there is always something new to see on Alamy. See our editors pick of what's new...

See Latest Imagery