Is it okay to purchase stock images in the developer company name?

We’ve used some stock images (vector graphics) on a Flash website we created recently. We’re just about to purchase a web license for the same that allows “unlimited use of the vector graphic on websites and print media”. Can we purchase this in our company name? This would be better since we could use the stock images on other projects as well. Or do we have to purchase the stock in the name of the client? The website is copyrighted by the client, we are just the designer/developer.

The exact license terms are as follows (its a “V” license)

  • What I can do
    • Use the image in print and electronic documents, as well as web pages
    • Modify image or use in derivative works
    • Make backup copies
  • What I cannot do
    • Resell the original image
    • Use image in any way that violates local or federal laws
    • Distribute copies of image to friends, family or other organizations
    • Use this file on adult industry or dating sites


Your proposal means that you buy the image and then either

  • sell the image to your client, perhaps for nothing or as an included fee in the full project price;
  • keep a copy of the image yourself and distribute a copy to your client (perhaps for a fee, or maybe not).

Both of these are explicity forbidden by the licence, which states that you may not:—

  • Resell the original image
  • Distribute copies of image to friends, family or other organizations

You may be buying the image on behalf of your client, but you are simply their agent. The image should belong to them and they become the licensee. They should be made aware of the licence you are signing them up to.

For a complete assessment, you need to take the licence agreement and a copy of your contract with your client to a corporate/IPR lawyer. The opinion stated here is not legal advice.

Source : Link , Question Author : Robin Rodricks , Answer Author : Andrew Leach

Leave a Comment