What is Royalty Free Definition?

If you are looking for royalty free definition, you’ve come to the right page, check the full definition of royalty free here. Many people are confused about the different types of licenses used to copyright material and intellectual property. They don’t truly understand what is included when they purchase a royalty free license. Royalty free, RF for short, refers to the right to use an image, illustration or video without paying for license fees or royalties each time it is used or sold over a period of time.


Royalty free gives the user the right to use the creative file without many restrictions. It is usually based on one-time payment to the licensor – the stock photo agency. It allows the user to use the photo in several projects without purchasing additional licenses. It does not offer exclusive rights, so there is a great chance the RF images can be found in many websites. By paying for the license only once, the user can use the image in any project for as long as necessary.

Understanding Image Licensing

You may be wondering why you have to spend money buying royalty free images if you can download photos for free in the Internet. Like any other intellectual property, royalty free images belong to a specific owner who has the rights to use and sell them. The photographers or contributors retain the rights to the images to be sold multiple times. By purchasing a license, you are acquiring the right to use the image in any creative project for as long as you like. But, it does not transfer the copyright.

What happens if you use free images? As opposed to royalty free images, free photos do not have the necessary license and releases. You can be in serious trouble when the copyright police come chasing your back. With royalty free, you are protected from copyright issues that may arise on the use of images. You do not have to pay every time you use the image, too. You only pay once for a set of rights, with a few restrictions.

Top Stock Photo Agencies

Many stock photo agencies offer royalty free images. Now that you know what royalty free definition is, you can start looking for an image bank to get your royalty free photos from. Some of the most popular stock sites to creative professionals include Shutterstock, iStock, Depositphotos and Getty Images. These stock sites have large collections of royalty free images, so you will likely find what you are looking for, click here!

When choosing which site to subscribe into or purchase images from, consider your creative needs and budget. For cheap stock photos, you can check out Shutterstock, iStock and Depositphotos. They have affordable rates to suit every budget. If you are looking for higher quality and more unique content, Getty Images is perfect for you. However, the photo rates are higher compared to other stock sites too.

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