After receiving and responding to a commercial request this week I thought I would share/remind everyone of some info about stock. Just because stock is uploaded on DA doesn't mean you can use it for every project.
Some places, and even objects, are controlled by third parties or copyrighted. Even if the stock artist took the image they may not have permission to use the likeness in the image.
Example: An image taken of the Eiffel tower at night is copyrighted. Meaning that you can take a picture of it, but you cannot use it in any type of commercial endeavor (including prints).
From SETE website "The various illuminations of the Eiffel Tower (golden illumination, twinkling, beacon and events lighting) are protected. The use of the image of the Eiffel Tower at night is therefore subject to prior authorisation by the SETE. This use is subject to payment of rights, the amount of which is determined by the intended use, the media plan, etc."
Many places that you visit require purchasing a license to take images on site that will be used commercially. Places I have seen this: Blarney castle, Valley of the kings, New Orleans botanical gardens, Oak Alley Plantation etc. It's usually around $50+ for a
license, and ultimately they still control the use of the images you take.
I am aware of this issue, but I will still upload the images as stock. I do this because as long as you use it for personal use or use it as reference it's usually fine. If I am contacted for commercial use of those images I will let you know about the licensing, but other stock artist may not be aware that an image is controlled in this manner. So, ultimately it is up to the artist to make sure that the image is usable. So please check before you use a stock image off DA. It will be a big head ache if you don't. Another thing to be aware of is when you are using stock models that are not the stock artist or were taken by an outside photographer.
If you are going to use DA model stock commercially you 10000000% need a model release. You may even need a photographer and model release depending on who is in the picture and who took the image. This guarantees that you have permission from all parties to use the image. Do not simply accept a stock artists permission if they are not the model. Make sure they have proof that they have permission to speak for the model or have a written agreement with the model to license the image.
Example: Just imagine you found this great image of a model, and the stock artist says they received permission from the model to use their likeness on DA as stock. You think you're Golden, and use the image for your book cover. Then a year later you find out the model is underage and they did not give permission for you or the stock artist to use the photo as stock. Now you have a very big legal headache to go through.
I am NOT saying that stock artist lie, but I am reminding everyone that sometimes people don't know what they legally have to have to license images. There are a lot of laws, and a stock artist may not realize they need these documents. It's up to the artist to make sure, because ultimately it's their reputation and artwork at stake. When browsing DA make sure that you have clicked directly on the stock and resource option.
I know of numerous people who have browsed DA looking for stock, and have gotten in trouble because they don't click the stock and resource option. They end up thinking an image is stock when it isn't. So double check! You don't want to get your image pulled after you worked hard on it!Google image is not a Stock resource.
Google image pulls images from websites, and 99% of the time they are copyrighted and not stock. Be aware that some stock artist have in the past posted images pulled from google. The slew of teen celeb images comes to mind. Just be careful. TIPS
- Know where your images are coming from.
- If you are un sure ask the stock artist where they got the image or if they took it themselves.
- Search the web to see if a location or building is copyrighted.
- Make sure to get a release.
- Dont pull images from google.
- Know some basic copyright and license knowledge.
- Error on the safe side.
Remember stock artists upload on DA because they like seeing art made and being part of the community. Most are not here with the express purpose of selling images commercially. That means they are not always aware of what commercial restrictions or legal issues may arise. It's up to the artist to double check, and make sure they are covered.
Be safe, and use protection.