You can use Shutterstock content for your clients, but our Standard and Enhanced Licenses do not allow for content to be transferred in whole to another party. That means you retain the rights to using the content. If your client wants a new design or product using the content you licensed, the client would need to ask you to do the design, or license it independently.
Shutterstock's Premier license does allow for the transfer of content. Learn more about our Premier license.
General Information About Using Stock Content in Designs
In most situations, designers who use stock content for a new, original design do not have to worry about license transfer for their clients. That means, once the stock content is part of a new design, there is no need to purchase an additional license for the client. If the client wants to use the content separately, then, they must purchase their own license for the photo or footage. This is the typical arrangement for designers who download stock content, but some content agencies may have a different agreement, so be sure to check before sending your design over to the client for review.
Read Over the License Agreement
Whenever you download or use any type of stock content, be sure you carefully review the licensing agreement before putting it in one of your designs. Most stock companies offer two types of licenses, extended or standard. If you choose the standard license option, you are usually not allowed to transfer the content license to a client. The extended license may offer you more options for license transfer to your clients. The extended license can also be used for images or content for commercial projects and situations.
Licensing for Your Client
Sometimes, your client may specifically want an image or another piece of content for use on promotional material or some other part of the business. The designer must purchase a license for the project, but you won’t be able to transfer your license to the client. Instead, the client must also purchase an additional license. If you ignore the terms of the licensing agreement, you could set the client up for some serious and costly legal trouble, so it’s best to play by the rules on this. Some designers may want to communicate how stock content works to their client before taking on a new design project.
If you use stock content, be aware of how licensing works. You won’t be able to transfer any of your purchased licenses to your clients unless you've used an advanced license, like Shutterstock's Premier license.