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Old 12th of June 2009 (Fri)   #1
photoguy6405
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Default RF pricing vs RM(L) pricing: Isn't this backward?

Please correct if I'm mistaken. But this seems backward to me. As I understand it...

- RF (Royalty Free) pricing is where you effectively surrender all control except copyright. The buyer can use it forever as many times as they want wherever they want. RF is also generally far cheaper.

- RM (Rights Managed, aka Licensed) pricing is where the seller retains some level of control regarding when and where and for how long it can be used. Generally, as I understand it, the more flexibility, the higher the price.

So, if what I stated is correct, shouldn't RF... since it grants the most and ultimate flexibility... be more expensive?

Maybe it's just me, I don't know. Help me out.
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Old 14th of June 2009 (Sun)   #2
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Default Re: RF pricing vs RM(L) pricing: Isn't this backward?

I guess it is just me.
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Old 14th of June 2009 (Sun)   #3
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Default Re: RF pricing vs RM(L) pricing: Isn't this backward?

Royalty Free tends to be micro-stock. Rights Managed tends to be "real" stock images.

Royalty Free on a "real" stock sight would be much, much more expensive.

Kind of like an all you can eat buffet. Yes you're getting more food for less money, but it probably isn't as good as a nice Ruth's Chris steak.
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Old 15th of June 2009 (Mon)   #4
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Default Re: RF pricing vs RM(L) pricing: Isn't this backward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by photoguy6405 View Post
So, if what I stated is correct, shouldn't RF... since it grants the most and ultimate flexibility... be more expensive?
My understanding is that RF license is more expensive as compared to RM assuming that the image is of the same size. For e.g. if I have a certain image, an RF license would fetch more price than an RM for say one year's use. I could be wrong though.
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Old 15th of June 2009 (Mon)   #5
ChrisGill
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Default Re: RF pricing vs RM(L) pricing: Isn't this backward?

Rights managed images are generally sold by people who want a "quick sale" and therefore have to price accordingly, you lose any further sales of your image as the buyer of a RF image can in fact sell on your image and of course use your image in many publications and web pages as they like. RM gives you that bit more control over the image and of course with limited use.

Scenario is you could sell an image as a RF image for 10 (or less!!) then see that image appear in a top magazine, billboard etc used by a high profile client. That image could have been sold on by an RF purchaser of your image for 00,s leaving you feel a tad sick

I recently sold an image for 500 RM that would mean I would have to sell it 50 times at 10 to get same return plus I have increased my chances of somebody else by 49 times selling that image on at a profit to themselves

Depends how much you value your art ?

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Old 15th of June 2009 (Mon)   #6
photoguy6405
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Default Re: RF pricing vs RM(L) pricing: Isn't this backward?

I knew they could use it as often as they wanted for as long as they wanted, but I was not aware they could also resell it as if it were theirs.

One place I read said that copyright is usually not included with RF, but if they can resell it themselves, what's the practical purpose of retaining the copyright (other than to keep selling it yourself)?
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Old 15th of June 2009 (Mon)   #7
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Default Re: RF pricing vs RM(L) pricing: Isn't this backward?

Yes, it does seem backwards. But the RF stock was in the past much lower quality, while the RM stock was from high quality shoots, and thus part of the difference. That line has blurred somewhat over the years, but still holds true for high quality staged professionally styled shoots, vs images that are shot on a lower budget basis.

But the main reason why RM is much higher is the value to the client. Nike isn't going to buy a RF image and use it for a national advertising campaign. They don't want the embarrassment that others have gone through (Dell, the everywhere girl, etc) where the same image appeared in competitors advertising. By paying much more for the exclusive use of an image they can avoid that whole situation. And when they are looking at a budget of a few million for the ad campaign, the extra money over RF, or even better hiring a photographer and shooting it exactly as they want it, is insignificant.

RF works best for smaller non-national companies that can't afford a lot for images, or for images that are more common, easy to shoot, or low cost for the photographer. Also, some photographers will shoot for RM to start, then over time after exploiting that market move the images to RF. The RF photographers hope to recoup their costs in volume sales.

RM works for companies that need to control where the images will be seen, or want less common or higher value images. I.e., they want a 1970's styled look, multiple models in a lifestyle scenario, etc. This would be a high cost shoot for the photogarpher, and they would not be likely to sumbit it to a RF stock agency since they would need the RM fees to recoup their costs. So the RM agencies tend to have more along these lines, and thus also a higher production value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisGill View Post
Scenario is you could sell an image as a RF image for 10 (or less!!) then see that image appear in a top magazine, billboard etc used by a high profile client. That image could have been sold on by an RF purchaser of your image for 00,s leaving you feel a tad sick
Typically, the agreement the purchaser agrees to states that RF images can not be sold or licensed to a third party, and that it is only for that purchasers use. So the scenario above wouldn't happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by photoguy6405 View Post
I knew they could use it as often as they wanted for as long as they wanted, but I was not aware they could also resell it as if it were theirs.

One place I read said that copyright is usually not included with RF, but if they can resell it themselves, what's the practical purpose of retaining the copyright (other than to keep selling it yourself)?
They can't resell it in all the agreements I've read (Alamy, Getty, iStock, Corbis, etc)
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Last edited by sfaust : 15th of June 2009 (Mon) at 09:49.
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Old 15th of June 2009 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: RF pricing vs RM(L) pricing: Isn't this backward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by photoguy6405 View Post
I knew they could use it as often as they wanted for as long as they wanted, but I was not aware they could also resell it as if it were theirs.

One place I read said that copyright is usually not included with RF, but if they can resell it themselves, what's the practical purpose of retaining the copyright (other than to keep selling it yourself)?

They can't resell the image.
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