Standard vs. Enhanced License

When registering for the first time at Shutterstock, you’ll notice you have a choice between a Standard License and an Enhanced License subscription plan. What’s the difference, you ask?
While it is essential that you read through the licenses in their entirety (Standard andEnhanced), this article provides a general comparison of the two licenses Shutterstock offers. This is not a substitute for reading the terms, but more of a primer to help you understand and decide which license is right for you. We also have a handy chart comparing key features of the licenses here.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Standard and Enhanced Licenses is the number of reproductions allowed. In this case, the magic number is 250,000.

This applies to the following uses:

• In coordination with opt-in marketing
• On letterhead and business cards, pamphlets, brochures, catalogs and on pop-up and/or panel displays for use in conventions and trade shows
• In the artwork for the packaging of any product
• Incorporated into software as a background image or splash screen
• Multimedia presentations and incorporated into film, video for broadcast and/or theatrical display
• Multimedia presentations and incorporated into film and video for distribution and/or sale in the home video market
• CD or DVD cover art and/or artwork
• In editorial or advertising copy in magazines, newspapers, books, book covers, textbooks, editorials and directories
• In eBooks, including multiseat license electronic textbooks
• In advertising posters for use in promoting the sale of other products

If you have a Standard License, you may not reproduce any image more than 250,000 times in the sum total. In fact, regarding any of the above-mentioned usages, a good rule of thumb is this: If you intend to reproduce an image or images more than 250,000 times (copies, prints, or intended recipients), an Enhanced License is required.

Under both licenses, you may use downloaded images for prints, posters and other reproductions. With a Standard License, you may use downloaded images for prints, posters and other reproductions for your own personal, non-commercial use and display, such as printing an image as a poster and hanging it in your home. With the Enhanced License, you are permitted to use the image as a decoration in a home, office, restaurant, public area, or store that‘s owned or rented by you or by a client for whom you render design services. In other words, the Standard License allows you private, non-commercial use; otherwise, the Enhanced License is the way to go.

You are allowed to use an image as a single, hand-painted reproduction (as opposed to printed), but you would not be allowed to resell it under the terms of the Standard License. However, with the Enhanced License, you are permitted to resell such reproductions. Again, the difference is Personal Usage (Standard) versus Commercial (Enhanced).

If you wish to incorporate an image in merchandise for resale or distribution, including without limitation, clothing, artwork, magnets, posters, mugs and mouse-pads, you will absolutely need an Enhanced License.

Under some circumstances, the licenses are interchangeable. For example, you may use images on web sites (resolution limited to 800 x 600 pixels) and for toolbar skins, screensavers, and mobile phone wallpapers for your own personal, non-commercial use.

When deciding which license is right for you, consider your needs: Do you need that image to place in an email that will go out to over 250,000 recipients? Are you using the image for CD packaging artwork that will exceed 250,000 copies? Enhanced License.

If the image is going into a DVD package artwork for 20 of your friends and relatives, or you‘re interested in using that glorious sunrise photo as inspiration for yourself in your private studio, the Standard License is the one for you.

Finally, if you have reviewed the terms of the Standard and Enhanced Licenses and still have questions about the differences, please contact our sales staff at 1-866-663-3954 (inside USA) or 1-646-419-4452 (international).