Bigstock Policy Primer


Published on Policy Primer. Looks at the Terms of Service and the Image Usage Agreement for people buying or selling images on

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Bigstock Policy Primer

  1. 1. Unlocking the Terms of Service and Image Usage Agreement.
  2. 2. What is ♦ is one of the largest image repositories on the Internet. ♦ Members can ‘browse, purchase and license image files’, like the ones on this page. ♦ 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 downloader. 2008. Mihelcic, L. Image from 2005. Bettini, M. Image from
  3. 3. 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 account. ♦ 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.
  4. 4. 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 them. ♦ Bigstock retain the copyright and you agree, where feasible, to include the copyright info in the form of a legally effective copyright notice. ♦ 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 occurrence. 2005. Goode, B. Image from
  5. 5. 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 multiple users. ♦ Display the images in a format or size larger than 800x600 pixels. ♦ 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.
  6. 6. 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 projects. ♦ 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 other parties. 2005. Johnson, C. Image from 2007. Syncerz, M. Image from
  7. 7. Discontinuance What is discontinuance you ask? ♦ reserves the right to replace any image file with an alternative image file for any reason. ♦ Upon notice of such replacement, the license for such files terminates and the license reverts to the replacement file. ♦ You agree to take reasonable steps to discontinue the use of the files that have been replaced.
  8. 8. Can I at least be confident the images I’ve purchased are free from copyright? Um….no ♦ 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 risk. ♦ 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.
  9. 9. 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 promotional purposes. ♦ Bigstock has the right to license any content up until the time you remove the content from the website. ♦ Once submitted the member must not remove the image until they have been posted for 90 days.
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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 $50. ♦ 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 without cause). ♦ For US citizens you need to complete an IRS form; for non US citizens a completed W8 exemption form must be submitted.
  12. 12. Summary ♦ 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 buying images. ♦ Payment thresholds and the 90 day clause are the main issues if you are selling images. References: (2010). Image Usage Agreement. Retrieved October 24, 2010 from (2010). Terms Of Service. Retrieved October 24, 2010 from