Rights-Managed License

Rights-managed, or RM, licensing refers to a copyright license which allows the buyer to use a photo within the terms specified by the license. Clients who deal with rights-managed licensing usually include editorial and commercial clients like magazines, newspapers, ad agencies, annual reports, etc. The license price is typically derived from usage terms, including region and whether the image will be used on a billboard or on a website, for example. 

PhotoShelter is the only photographer website service that provides a rights-managed pricing calculator for an individual website. Our partnership with Cradoc fotoSoftware allows us to integrate the industry-standard fotoQuote® software into PhotoShelter, giving you the ability to license rights-managed images without your intervention, using the same type of pricing "calculator" found on photo agency sites. 


Creating a Rights-Managed Pricing Profile

1. Head over to your Pricing Profiles by selecting Sell > Pricing Profiles from the Navigation Bar.  

2. To add a new Pricing Profile, click the Add Profile button in the upper right. 


3. Then click the Rights Managed link in the pop-up window.


4. Name your Pricing Profile and provide an internal description (optional) for your own records. Neither the name nor description of the profile is ever seen by buyers, so feel free to make it as descriptive or basic as you'd like. 

You can also choose whether you want to require buyers to enter a shipping address at checkout by checking off the checkbox next to Require shipping address

Note: Because there is no physical shipment, we recommend requiring a physical shipping address upon purchase. Otherwise, only a contact email will be required to transact.

5. Under File Delivery Options, choose whether you want your images delivered as a high-resolution JPEG file or the original file that you uploaded to PhotoShelter.


6. The fotoQuote® Pricing section provides you the ability to specify which sales regions and usage rights you would like to allow in this Pricing Profile. For example, you could create a profile for your editorial-only U.S. sales by checking "North America" in the Sales Regions, and then selecting Editorial in the usage rights. To expand any given sales region or usage right, click the arrow to active the drop-down menu. 

Note: You may create an unlimited number of profiles. For example, you might have three profiles: one for your high, medium, and low-priced imagery. But you must select and populate at least one Usage Right and one Sales Region to create a valid profile.


The baseline price that fotoQuote provides is always indicated as 100% in PhotoShelter, meaning that if you leave the % field blank, then your rights-managed license will sell at the exact price given by the fotoQuote calculator. However, you may set variances for specific categories and geographies by altering the percentages next to the appropriate row from 1-999% (no decimals are allowed). For example, you might feel that fotoQuote's Corporate usage pricing is a little low, so you might increase its percentage to 112%.

Similarly, since fotoQuote's data is U.S.-based, you might feel that it is too high for a different country or region. You can set a percentage variance based on geography (e.g. 86% in Australia, and 62% in South Africa). You can offer licensing by specific country/state, or take advantage of our different regional groupings:

  • U.S. state
  • Group of North American states
  • Country
  • Region (as defined by Alamy)
  • Worldwide

7. Once you have made your decisions, click the Save Pricing Profile button. To preview the fotoQuote menu that buyers will see at checkout, click the Save & Test Pricing button.  


After you have created a Pricing Profile, you need to apply it to your galleries or images that you want to make available for rights-managed licensing. Check out our detailed Applying Pricing Profiles tutorial to learn more. 


Post License 

A look at what happens after your buyer has licensed a rights-managed image.

After a transaction has been completed for downloads, PhotoShelter retrieves the appropriate file(s) from its database and creates a ZIP file. The buyer is notified via email when the files are ready for retrieval (usually a few minutes wait at the most). This ZIP file includes:

  • Image (format depends on the preferences you set)
  • XMP Sidecar with usage rights
  • Text file with usage rights
  • Text file of the licensing agreement

The usage rights are also embedded as IPTC data if the file is delivered as a JPEG. The usage rights are included in multiple flavors to ensure that there is no ambiguity regarding the legal license attached with the purchased images. For example:

Usage rights agreed upon for this image are: United States, Advertorial.Print.Magazine, 1/2 Page, Up to 5,000 ** Licensed to Joe Smith / Joe's Design Co. **

Note: PhotoShelter allows the purchaser to download the images for up to 10 days, after which they will have to contact you if they need to retrieve the image again.

Still have questions? Contact us.