Unlocking the Terms of Service and
Image Usage Agreement.
What is Bigstock.com?
♦ Bigstock.com is one of the
largest image repositories on
♦ Members can ‘browse,
purchase and license image
files’, like the ones on this
♦ They can also elect to become
‘content distributors’ and
upload their images for sale.
♦ This primer will explore the
Terms of Service and the Image
Usage Agreement of Bigstock
and explain what the documents
mean, both for the uploader and
2008. Mihelcic, L. Image from Bigstock.com
2005. Bettini, M. Image from Bigstock.com
Basic conditions of membership
♦ You must be 18 years old, although there is no
real check done on this apart from giving them
your date of birth.
♦ You must provide accurate registration
information – if you don’t they can cancel your
♦ One account per member – this is to stop you
using multiple promotional offers (but would be
hard for them to enforce).
♦ Either you or Bigstock may terminate your
account at any time with or without cause.
I’m purchasing images from Bigstock. What
do I need to be aware of?
♦ The images you download are
non exclusive i.e. anyone else
who pays for them can also use
♦ Bigstock retain the copyright
and you agree, where feasible,
to include the copyright info in
the form of a legally effective
♦ You get one use of an image
per download. If you want to
use the image for multiple
projects or websites you need
to purchase it for each
2005. Goode, B. Image from Bigstock.com
Does the image I’ve purchased have
some prohibited uses?
Yes, it sure does. You can’t do the following:
♦ Use the image in products where the image is a dominate
feature if the product is to be re-sold.
♦ Use the image in screen-savers, software – basically
anywhere where the image can be then distributed to
♦ Display the images in a format or size larger than 800x600
♦ Use the image as part of a logo or trademark.
♦ Use the image for promotional or advertising purposes.
However you can purchase a special license that will allow
you to bypass these conditions.
So what are the permitted uses?
♦ You can use the images you
purchase for general,
editorial, product or
promotional purposes such
as in web sites, blogs, school
♦ You can edit or modify the
images as necessary for you
use provided you comply
with the Terms of Service.
♦ You can print or use the
image for your personal use
provided that there is no
subsequent sale or transfer to
2005. Johnson, C. Image from Bigstock.com
2007. Syncerz, M. Image from Bigstock.com
What is discontinuance you ask?
♦ Bigstock.com reserves the right to replace any
image file with an alternative image file for any
♦ Upon notice of such replacement, the license for
such files terminates and the license reverts to the
♦ You agree to take reasonable steps to discontinue
the use of the files that have been replaced.
Can I at least be confident the images I’ve
purchased are free from copyright?
♦ Bigstock does not warrant or guarantee that images are
free from copyright or other intellectual property concerns.
♦ You expressly agree that use of all images is at your own
♦ You agree that you are responsible that any image
publication does not violate any rights with respect to
privacy, defamation or rights of publicity.
♦ You also agree to indemnify Bigstock in the event of a
claim made in respect to these conditions.
I’m uploading images for sale. Is there
anything I need to watch out for?
♦ By uploading a file you give Bigstock and its
members the ‘irrevocable nonexclusive royalty-
free rights’ to use the content for any purpose.
♦ You also grant Bigstock use for any and all
♦ Bigstock has the right to license any content up
until the time you remove the content from the
♦ Once submitted the member must not remove the
image until they have been posted for 90 days.
Oops. I uploaded the wrong image. What was
that about 90 days?
♦ Once submitted to the image
approval queue the member
may not remove the image from
the site until they have been
posted for 90 days.
♦ This is regardless of whether
the member chooses to
terminate their account.
♦ Once content is uploaded to the
image approval queue the
member must allow Bigstock
the opportunity to license uses
for AT LEAST 90 days.
2009. Barskaya, G. Image from Bigstock.com
So I do get paid for my images?
♦ Bigstock will pay the member the designated fee for each
validated download of their image.
♦ You can request a payment when your account reaches
♦ However if you close your account before it reaches $50 -
bad luck - you forfeit your earnings.
♦ Same happens if your account is terminated for any reason
(and if you remember from an earlier slide this can happen
♦ For US citizens you need to complete an IRS form; for non
US citizens a completed W8 exemption form must be
♦ There are a number of things to watch out for that
you probably didn’t expect.
♦ Permitted image uses, the discontinuance clause
and copyright are the main issues if you are
♦ Payment thresholds and the 90 day clause are the
main issues if you are selling images.
Bigstock.com (2010). Image Usage Agreement. Retrieved October 24, 2010 from http://www.bigstockphoto.com/usage.html
Bigstock.com (2010). Terms Of Service. Retrieved October 24, 2010 from http://www.bigstockphoto.com/tos.html