What is Editorial Use?

Technically, every image licensed from iStock can be used for 'editorial' purposes, in that the standard content license agreement allows for editorial use. Now, for the first time, we're licensing images that can only be used this way. The Editorial Use Only license means that the image can only be used for non-commercial purposes.

"Editorial Use" means that an image is used as a descriptive visual reference – an example of a specific person, place, thing or event.

An Editorial Use Only image can be used:

• in a newspaper or magazine article

• on a blog or website for descriptive purposes

• in a non-commercial presentation

Example: You are giving a slideshow presentation about your company's recent business trip to Berlin. You add some photographs you took of the office and your German coworkers. You also download an image of the Brandenburg Gate from iStockphoto to add some context about the city of Berlin for the audience. This is an acceptable usage of an Editorial Use Only photograph.

Example: You are publishing a magazine article about guitars. You can find images of the particular brands and models discussed in the piece at iStockphoto and use them to illustrate your article.

An Editorial Use Only image (including those purchased with an extended license) cannot be used:

• in any kind of advertising or promotional material.

• in the creation of items or products for resale (e.g., prints, posters, mugs, stationery, calendars, electronic templates, etc.).

• for any 'advertorial' purposes (ie: in sections or supplements in relation to which you receive or pay a fee)

Example: Your company is launching a new product in the German market. You download an image of the Brandenburg Gate from iStockphoto and have a graphic designer add posters to the walls showcasing the new product with Photoshop. You use this image in an email ad campaign. This is not acceptable editorial use.


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