Image Licensing Made Easy (Finally!)

Finally we’re getting somewhere in terms of image licensing. I’ve written here before comparing artist’s rights to those of musicians and how the industry is less than perfect. The ease of access to images on the Web and the relative lack of education involving usage rights and licensing has the potential to compound into a scary mess. We saw this demonstrated with the music industry in recent years and now it’s effecting visual artist in much the same way. But there’s help on the way in the form of the PLUS Coalition.

What PLUS (Picture Licensing Universal System) is doing is not necessarily new, it’s just easier and more digestible. It’s really the future potential behind PLUS that it exciting; One place to license an image, determine usage, document the image globally, add metadata with the licensing info and have it stored in a data base. Both the licensor and the licensee can access the contract quickly and determine the usage plan agreed upon by way of simple codes. What’s even better is that PLUS is working closely with Adobe and other creative software makers to integrate the program into their metadata profiles so you can imbed it during the creation of the image. Cool.

What’s more, they have included both sides of the party — photographers/artists and the art buyers — and built a fair and acceptable model that benefits everyone.

From the PLUS Coalition Website:

Mission Statement:

To simplify and facilitate the communication and management of image rights.

We are a group of people who want to make image licensing better.

We are experts from all areas of the business of pictures—ad agencies, application developers, artist representatives, design firms, illustrators, legal experts, photographers, publishers, researchers, stock agencies, all their trade organizations, and then some.

We contribute our time, our money, and our considerable expertise to the PLUS Coalition because we believe that this licensing system will lead to better working relationships, less wasted time, and greater value for all of us. And for those yet to come.

Hopefully this will grow to be a one-stop-shop and become the global standard for licensing an image. I encourage anyone interested in protecting the long term rights of their creative work to go to and explore what they are offering.

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