22nd April, 2010 - Posted by admin - No Comments
Lawrence Gould, CEO of VIVOZOOM, sets out this 2-minute guide for web designers, in the form of his three important questions:
1. How much am I prepared to pay?
2. What are the legal risks?
3. Will I find the right images for me?
1. How much am I prepared to pay ?
What is your budget? There is no point wasting time looking at images that you cannot afford. Stock images generally fall into 3 groups:
Microstock – $0-$10 per image
This is stock produced for the most part by talented semi-professionals, and increasingly now, full time professionals. A site like VIVOZOOM.
Traditional Royalty Free – from $30 – $500 per image
This is stock produced for the most part by full time image professionals
Rights managed – from $250 per image upwards
Also produced by professionals, but you have some elements of exclusivity available to you, at a price.
“Why don’t I just copy and paste from Google Images, its free isn’t it?”
It is not free. Images are copyrighted. The risk is you will be one of the many who get caught and receive a $2,000 bill from the copyright owner.
“Why should I pay more for my images?”
Historically image buyers have associated better quality with the more expensive images. There is some truth in this; the greater the production value, the greater the cost, the greater the license fee. However for most images the quality distinction is being eroded by expert semi-professionals using high quality, low priced equipment.
There is a case to argue that you get more exclusivity (less chance of a competitor using the same image) if you spend more, simply because less competitors are likely to spend more money. Rights Managed images go some way to address this issue, but do not actually guarantee exclusivity. If this really concerns you, you should be commissioning your own photographer so you own the rights to the images outright.
2. What are the legal risks?
You need to be aware of important issues regarding legal Gurantees and the license you are given.
A. The Guarantee
Considering the significant risks associated with just ripping an image off (from using Google Images, as above) , it is definitely worth making sure your library actually guarantees the images are “safe to use”. Only a very few microstock sites do this properly, the first to offer a Guarantee was VIVOZOOM.
B. The License
The license is the document you get which sets out what you can do with the image you download. Make sure you get the right license for the uses you have in mind.
Rights managed License
The rights for usage are restricted to that which you stipulate. For example, if you just ask for magazine print rights in USA, that is all you will get. And when you want to extend your marketing to Canada you will have to purchase another License
Royalty Free License
These give pretty generous reproduction rights, with some reasonable restrictions, like no onward sale of the image. However the image usage is restricted in practice by the size of the downloaded file – so although you may only spend $50, but you might well find you can only use the image as a thumbnail on the web as its digital size means anything larger (or print) will result in a poor quality reproduction.
Watch out here though because many microstock sites are claiming their license is “Royalty Free” when it is not. My advice is that if you read the terms carefully, particularly if you are paying under $50 per image.
A restricted version of the Royalty Free license, limiting: the print run size to 250,000 or 500,000, use of images on T-shirts, mugs, and in digital products . For your major needs the limitations can be bought out for an ‘enhanced’fee of around $75- $95 per image.
3. Will I conveniently find the right image for me ?
The image you want needs to express your message to your customer. The image must therefore be relevant to your needs. But how then do you find the right image?
It sounds easy enough but it’s really not. You’ve been there, searching for hours for the right image for your web site. Perhaps you just want an image of a lion, to illustrate that your product is the “king” of its kind. You want the best lion, one that illustrates the majesty of a lion. You will find one, but you will need to invest the time as web sites have many tens of thousands of images of lions available.
Therefore our advice to you is to go to a site where the editors have already undertaken a lot of the filtering work. This is our goal at VIVOZOOM, and why Tony Stone, the founding father of the modern stock photo library has joined us.
Lawrence Gould, CEO Vivozoom