Can you modify Thinkstock images within the licence?

Posted on 2012-03-22
Last Modified: 2012-04-05
Hi there,

If I buy an image off of Thinkstock - can I create or redraw a vector version of it - if say it was a jpeg I purchased without worrying that I'm getting into any potential copyright difficulties later on. The new version of the image would be used in a commercial online product. I'm not really sure what the modify \ alter copyright situation is if I buy an image and then modify or create a new version of it.

This is with a standard one-month subscription. I'm sure this is in the licence agreement but I'm never sure I fully understand them - any help would be great.

Thanks very much in advance
Question by:andr3wg

Assisted Solution

by:Ben McNelly
Ben McNelly earned 166 total points
ID: 37757081
What is the images "License type"?

Most of these should be "royalty-free" which means you would be fine to do that.

quote from the Thinkstock site:

..All our content comes with legal guarantees in case of copyright claims.

Just a side note, sometimes when I am using something as a base or part of a brand, I will buy it from istockphoto or a place that will let me (for a much larger price) buy the complete rights to that image. In other words they take it off the site, and I am the only one who can legally use it.
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

ddhamm earned 167 total points
ID: 37757542
As far as I can tell, this kind of thing (turning a photo into a graphic) is not clearly specified in their image rights usage agreement.  I think they best way to answer your question is to contact Thinkstockphotos - you would want to refer to the specific image and find out if you are allowed to represent it in any way other than the way it looks on their website.  (If it is not a royalty free image, you probably can't do anything to it; if it is royalty free, you may have more options).

LVL 70

Assisted Solution

Merete earned 167 total points
ID: 37809770
I agree with DeeDee,  if you read through the different lisensing where you actually fail your license is this> an I create or redraw a vector version of it
and here >The new version of the image would be used in a commercial online product.
If it were for personal use not (public in any form) however you are modifying the image and also using it in an advertisement public..
to quote from
4. Standard License Prohibitions

You may not do anything with the Content that is not expressly permitted in the preceding section or permitted by an Extended License. For greater certainty, the following are “Prohibited Uses of ” and you may not:
 1. use the Content in design template applications intended for resale, whether on-line or not, including, without limitation, website templates, Flash templates, business card templates, electronic greeting card templates, and brochure design templates;

(a) You may only use the Content for those advertising, promotional and other specified purposes which are Permitted Uses (as defined below).
5.incorporate the Content in any product that results in a re-distribution or re-use of the Content (such as electronic greeting card web sites, web templates and the like) or is otherwise made available in a manner such that a person can extract or access or reproduce the Content as an electronic file;
8. to the extent that source code is contained within the Content, reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble any part of such source code;

9. remove any notice of copyright, trade-mark or other proprietary right from any place where it is on or embedded in the Content;

7>use or display any Content that features a model or person in a manner (a) that would lead a reasonable person to think that such person uses or personally endorses any business, product, service,

Author Comment

ID: 37810409
Hi Guys,

Thanks very much for the comments. Got onto Thinkstock and asked them - they would only answer by phone of course by their take on the matter was as follows.

If the image is altered in any way whatsoever – even cropping \ resizing you lose your Thinkstock indemnity – which means if a member of the public takes offence due to the nature of the altered image they can sue and you’re not covered by the Thinkstock licence if they bring you to court.

They were of the opinion however that the original artist has no recourse - i.e. looking for attribution or royality as the original image was purchased via the royality free licence.

Thanks very much for everybody's comments - very helpful
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 37811449
Thank you andr3wg,  sorry to hear that, you know the world is getting so over crowded that even every music track is under the heavy eye balling of a magnifying glass looking for the small prints of copyright infringement,
 someone is inspired to write a song but if it sounds similar to one already out there look out they cry it's a copy of theirs.
Hope you find one that is free.
All the best

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