Licensing FAQ's

Licensing FAQ


Are any of the images on AfriPics free to use?

No, all images on AfriPics are protected by copyright.  No images may be used in any final product without first securing permission from AfriPics.  This permission is given in the form of an image license agreement which accompanies the invoice.


Can I use a watermarked image in a layout without securing a formal image license?

Yes, you may use watermarked images available on the Afripics website (otherwise called comping or comp images) in your layouts free of charge.  Specific terms and conditions do apply, most importantly that the comping license only allows you to evaluate the image and to determine whether you wish to purchase a formal license.  Comp Images may NOT be used in any final products . Please refer to the Terms and Conditions page for further details (


What is meant by comping license?

This is a limited license under which AfriPics grants you a limited license to download images solely for evaluating whether you wish to purchase a license to the image. You may use the comp image solely for your internal evaluation purposes and for a maximum of sixty (60) days from the date of download and only to determine whether you intend to obtain a regular license for the image as per the AfriPics Image License agreement.  The comp image may NOT be used in any final product whether physical or digital in nature, or in any materials distributed outside of your company or to the public, or in any online or other digital distribution system.


What kinds of image licenses are available on AfriPics if I want to use an image in a final product?

The AfriPics website offers images with two kinds of Image licenses:

i)        Traditionally licensed or Rights Managed images

ii)       Royalty Free

An image is licensed as either one or the other and they are not inter-changeable.


Royalty-free (RF)

  • This is the simplest of the licensing options.  "Free" in this context means "free of royalties (paying each time you use an image)".  The benefit of a Royalty Free image is that you pay a once-off fee to use the image as many times as you wish without a time limit.    The down-side of this license type is not possible to secure exclusive rights, and we as the sellers of this image will not be able to tell you how often or where the image has been used before.
  • The price depends on the size of the digital file needed.
  • This is a “non-assignable” right meaning that digital file may not be on-sold or shared.


Traditionally Licensed Images  - also called Rights-managed (RM)

The attraction of this licensing option is that the user only pays for what they need, and also that it is possible to negotiate a degree of exclusivity of use to the image.

The cost of the license is determined by the scope and extent of the intended usage.   Typically this would include the following:

  • Nature of Usage: (e.g. Advertising, Editorial, Indoor display etc) Specific Use:  (e.g. Magazine, Billboard, Newspaper, TV etc.)
  • Duration: (e.g. 1 month, 2 months, 1 Year, 2 Years etc.)
  • Print Run: (e.g. up to 10,000, up to 1m)
  • Size: (how big will the image be used in the final product)
  • Distribution: (e.g.; South Africa, Europe, or whatever combination of territories are required)
  • Exclusivity: (Exclusive, or Non Exclusive)

The terms of the license are clearly specified so that the purchaser receives maximum value, and is protected in their purchase by a certain level of exclusivity.

The benefit is that traditionally licensed images provide a level of comfort that an image will not be used by a competitor in a conflicting manner.


Can I specify my preference for image license type when I search for images?

Yes, if you have a preference for one of the license types, you can filter your search results by checking either the RF or Licensed checkbox on the search header.


I have a Traditionally Licensed image which I want to use in a new project can I do this?

The image may only be used as specified in the license.  But should an additional usage be needed, this is possible but will need to be licensed separately.  Please contact the AfriPics sales desk to discuss this (


What is meant by ‘commercial use’ or ‘editorial use’?

  • Commercial use means that an image or clip is used to promote or sell a product or service, or for example raise money for a cause. This includes use in advertising, marketing, promotion, packaging, publication covers, advertorials, consumer or merchandising products and goods.
  • Editorial use, on the other hand, is when an image or clip is used to illustrate an article or educational text.