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How can I use editorial content?

“Editorial Use Only” content is not cleared for commercial use. There are no exceptions to this restriction, so even religious, educational  and nonprofit organizations must respect this important guidance. 

An editorial use is generally defined as use made for descriptive or illustrative purposes in a context that is newsworthy or of human interest.
Some common ways to permissibly use editorial content include:

  • news articles, archives, and publications
  • documentaries
  • nonfiction books
  • public-service content

Unacceptable Uses of Editorial Content

If you aren't sure whether your project falls under the acceptable uses for editorial content, you can compare it to this list of areas that are not approved for Editorial Use content:

  • promotional articles and graphics (including “advertorials”) 
  • commercial productions 
  • product packaging 
  • advertising
  • merchandise
  • social media campaigns

How to find Editorial vs. Non-Editorial Content

When you search Shutterstock's library, the default setting for results is All Images, which includes both editorial and non-editorial content. You can filter the search results to Editorial or Non-Editorial, depending on what sort of images you want.

Shutterstock’s Editorial Collection

Shutterstock also holds a large collection of the most up-to-date Editorial content that comes with its own Editorial license. This content is priced separately, and can be acquired as single images or in a pack of 25. You can find this collection under the Editorial tab in the top navigation bar. There you will also find several popular categories you can browse through, including entertainment, news, royalty, and sports.

Is there any way to use Editorial content commercially?

Shutterstock may be able to work with the photographer and any rights holders to acquire commercial use rights in certain cases. Learn more here.
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