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Compare iStock's Standard and Extended Licenses

iStock offers two types of licenses: Standard Licenses, included with almost all of the files licensed on iStock, and a set of Extended Licenses to suit your specific needs. The five types of Extended Licenses provide greater usage freedom for the files licensed from iStock. Please read the full Content License Agreement or Standard Audio Content License Agreement to understand how Extended License Provisions modify the original agreement and for the specific details on the indemnification obligations of iStock. If you're licensing content with our Pay As You Go pricing or iStock credits, you can purchase an Extended License when initially licensing content or anytime afterward by calling Support. Files for Editorial Use Only fall under the Standard License, but have their own restrictions that limit them to non-commercial uses only. Extended licenses are not available for any files licensed with an image subscription.

Legal Guarantee

Every royalty-free file licensed on iStock includes a free Legal Guarantee. This is our promise that content, used within the terms of the license agreement, will not infringe any copyright, moral right, trademark or other intellectual property right or violate any right of privacy or publicity.

If you receive a threatened or actual claim that your use of iStock content (used within the terms of the license agreement) is infringing any rights mentioned above, notify us of that claim and, with your consent, we will defend you and be responsible for your damages and expenses up to $10,000.

If you need a little extra peace of mind from iStock, the Extended Legal Guarantee increases iStock's responsibility for your damages and expenses up to $250,000. This Extended Legal Guarantee comes free on any file purchased from the Vetta Collection and can be added to any other file outside of this collection licensed with our Pay As You Go pricing or iStock credits.

If you're licensing content with our Pay As You Go pricing or iStock credits, you can license (or purchase) an Extended License when you first download content or anytime afterwards. Please note, when purchasing the Extended License at a later date, you will be required to re-license the file. Extended licenses are not available for files licensed with an image subscription.

Here are the types of Extended Licenses available by file type:

Extended License options Photos &
Illustrations
Videos Audio Flash
Unlimited reproduction/print run
Multi-seat
(unlimited users)
Items for resale
(limited run)
Electronic items for resale
(unlimited run)
Extended Legal Guarantee

Please note: All Vetta Collection files include the Extended Legal Guarantee free of charge. Extended licenses are not available for files licensed with an image subscription.

How does a Standard License compare to an Extended License?

Permitted use Standard License Extended License
Advertisements in newspapers, magazine, or other printed material Yes, up to 499,999 impressions Unlimited reproduction/print run license required for 500,000 or more impressions
Web/digital advertisements Yes Not required
Printed promotional projects including product packaging, catalogues, brochures, promotional greeting cards, promotional postcards and promotional posters (but not for resale or license) Yes, up to 499,999 impressions Unlimited reproduction/print run license required for 500,000 or more impressions
Corporate film and video presentations Yes Not required
Commercial film, motion pictures, movies or theatrical presentations Yes, up to 499,999 DVDs Unlimited reproduction/print run license required for 500,000 or more DVDs
Books and book covers, CD & DVD covers Yes, up to 499,999 impressions Unlimited reproduction/print runs license required for 500,000 or more impressions
Editorial purposes: printed magazines, newspapers, editorials, newsletters Yes, up to 499,999 impressions. You must give credit as follows:"©iStock.com/membername" Unlimited reproduction/print run license required for 500,000 or more impressions
Online or electronic publications or uses, including web pages. Yes Not required
Prints, posters, stationery items and other reproductions for personal or business use (but NOT for resale or license) Yes, up to 499,999 impressions Unlimited reproduction/print run license required for 500,000 or more impressions
Items for resale, including prints, posters, calendars, mugs, mousepads, t-shirts, games, etc. No Items for resale — limited run license required. Note: there are quantity restrictions dependent on the type of item
Electronic templates for resale on websites, brochures, business cards, e-greeting cards, etc. No Electronic items for resale license required. If your electronic template will result in printed products such as business cards, you must also purchase the Unlimited reproduction/print run license
Install content in more than one location at a time No Multi-seat license required

License restrictions

Here is what you cannot do with either a Standard or Extended license:

Prohibited uses for both Standard and Extended license
Online "print-on-demand" products
Use in any logo or trademark
Pornographic, obscene or libelous works
Use that depicts personal endorsement by model
Use that depicts model in a sensitive way i.e. mental or physical health issues, substance abuse, criminal behavior, sexual activity or preference without a disclaimer.
Sub-license, give away, share or otherwise transfer stand-alone images/files

For the complete list of prohibitions read the Content License Agreement. Questions? Contact Support.

Editorial Use Only

Files for Editorial Use Only cannot be used for any commercial purposes. These files may contain identifiable brands, locations or people without the proper legal releases needed for commercial use.

They may be used in blogs, magazine and newspaper editorial applications, or other non-commercial uses.

How can I use Editorial-Use-Only files?

Editorial-Use-Only files can be used for:

  • Blogs
  • Editorial purposes: newspapers, magazines, editorials, newsletters
  • Non-commercial uses relating to events that are newsworthy or of general interest

What CAN’T I use Editorial-Use-Only files for?

Editorial-Use-Only files cannot be used for:

  • Any commercial use
  • Any advertorial use (sections or supplements featuring brand or product names, or sections or supplements for which you receive a fee from a third party advisor or sponsor)
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