With most productions halted due to the pandemic, the usage of stock footage and music in projects has expanded, but not all users are fully aware of how content licensing works, so Pond5 decided to help.
Once upon a time, licensing of photographs was almost trouble free. Content was mostly Rights Managed (RM) so you did not have to think much about any acquisition: either you were willing to pay the price requested for the usage needed or not. Royalty-Free, which at its base refers to a license where the user has the right to use the picture without many restrictions, based on one-time payment to the licensor, appeared next, to make things a bit more complex.
When microstock agencies appeared, 20 years ago – iStockPhoto launched in May 2000 – the market changed forever. Microstock agencies got their name from the fact that they sell their images at a very low rate, under a Royalty-Free (or RF) license. As the market developed, microstock agencies created different models around the RF license: some offer pay-per-download, others offer a subscription, and a Royalty-Free license may not mean the same for all of them, making acquisition confusing to users, sometimes leading to a legal dispute about the use of an image, video clip of music score.
Pond5 offers the broadest licensing rights
I’ve written about microstock before, in an article published here at ProVideo Coalition in 2015, to share a story that might be interesting for some readers, to understand that photographers, as well as buyers, face problems when trying to understand and dealing with stock agencies. Follow the link to My Photos Are Not Royalty-Free, to read the articles if you want to know a bit more about the whole industry. If you just want to know more about the Pond5 news, then… keep reading.
Pond5 announced this month that every video clip and music track, as well as tens of millions of sound effects, images, and 3D models from world-class artists will now be available with the broadest licensing rights in the stock media industry. Included in the price of the content, the standard Pond5 license provides worldwide distribution, across all media, forever. On top of that, Pond5 also includes $15,000 in legal coverage free-of-charge, with comprehensive representations and warranties, for a completely worry-free experience.
Royalty-Free does not always means the same
If you’ve, by now, asked “why?”, the reason is simple: most content creators don’t understand the distribution rights stock media sites offer them and – worse – the potential repercussions of misusing their purchased content. For example, some marketplaces offer a “Standard” license on their website that, in fact, only allows for digital use – creators working on a TV, film, or OTT production must negotiate with a licensing team for those use cases, at an additional cost.
In fact, and let me say this again, a Royalty-Free license may not mean the same for all stock agencies, and that explain why many stock media providers – even those that market themselves as “royalty-free” – put strict limitations on how their customers can use content. These limitations are not always obvious and can leave creators exposed to legal risk.
Besides the confusion that the multiple interpretations of RF, mentioned above, can create, there is also another aspect to consider when obtaining images, video clips, or any other type of file: many free and discounted subscription sites tout simple licensing, when in reality they don’t stand behind the authenticity of the content they are licensing.
Stock footage used to a greater extent
As mentioned above, with stay-at-home orders bringing most productions to a halt, many creators are leveraging stock footage and music in their projects to a greater extent than ever before. However, the legalese and fine print that’s typical in the stock media industry can make licensing content complicated and time-consuming.
Pond5 aims to remove this complexity for all creators and to do so announced that it provides expanded legal coverage across ALL royalty-free media Pond5 sells. This update is especially important now that more individuals and companies are relying on stock media as a solution to deliver projects. And whether you’re a freelance artist or a business, content creators need to make the smartest and most risk-averse purchasing decisions possible. Pond5 offers peace of mind at a time it’s needed most.
“Pond5 is in the business of helping creators tell stories and inspire their audiences,” says Constantine Anastasakis, Pond5’s Head of Marketplace. “While it may be a marketing slogan for others, broad rights in plain English is in this company’s DNA. We want our customers to know they can use anything from our marketplace in their projects, worry-free.”
Editorial footage for commercial production
With over 21 million videos and 1 million music tracks – including one-of-a-kind collections – starting at $15, Pond5 offers unbeatable value without requiring any upfront commitment or subscription. Additionally, Pond5 offers robust custom solutions for any use case – for example, creators seeking to use editorial footage in their commercial production.
To understand how stock footage can be used, check the short film of the poem, The Great Realisation (above). Although it can not be confirmed if the clips used in the film are from Pond5, using Pond5’s visual search it was possible to find some of the same footage. Check this, this and this, which are great examples of the type of amazing content that can be created using stock footage.