For those of us who are fortunate enough to not be copyright lawyers, a lot of these terms are completely foreign. While I am also (fortunately) not a lawyer, and this is in no way legal advice, I want to try and provide a brief primer on some of the terms that may have been mentioned in an email or conversation.
Boring Legal Stuffs
These are the most common types of imaging licensing that I offer (it can get really complex):
Personal Use, or Print Release
Exactly what it says on the tin. You have permission to personally use or print the images without alteration or modification. This is typical for wedding photos, or similar. This excludes any commercial use, promotion, or marketing of any product, event, service, or concept.
– Least expensive, included in all photo sessions & events
You can use the images indefinitely with no additional charges. I retain the copyright, ie: full ownership of the image, and can license it to anyone else, or sell other copies of it. This is fairly common for stock photography. Pricing will sometimes fluctuate based on resolution of the media, or use case. This is for many commercial use images.
– Least expensive option for commercial use
You have specific usage rights to an image for the specified cases based on: time, location, and media type (eg: 12 months, web, print [FL regional marketing, or N America Marketing, etc]). This is almost always paired with an exclusivity agreement; meaning that I will not license the images for any one else to use during the specified period / region / use cases, etc. This is common for photography where you want control over your brand usage, and exclusive use of the imagery but don’t want to purchase the full image copyrights. This license can be renewed, or extended.
– Moderately priced
Rights Release, or Copyright Transfer
You are purchasing full and exclusive rights to an image, or set of images. In this case, after the purchase, I have no control over how the images are used. And I typically cannot use them even for self promotion, or portfolio examples. You can re-sell them, print them on t-shirts, do anything at all. This is common in corporate photography where you want exclusive use of the imagery, your in-house creative team will use the images for multiple campaigns and you expect the images to have a long use-life. These are often completely unedited original files, and the only way that I will release unedited files.
– Highest priced