Using creative assets on your website or marketing materials can elevate your brand’s presence and communicate your message more effectively. However, it’s crucial to ensure that you have the proper licenses for these assets. Licensing creative assets isn’t just about legality. It’s about respecting creators and avoiding potential headaches along the way.

In this post, we’ll explain why licensing is important and how to license creative assets like stock photography, fonts, and music appropriately.

Why Licensing Creative Assets Is Important

We get it. You’re super busy, and the last thing you want to do when scrambling to find an image for your next blog or pick music for that cool video on your homepage is pause to make sure you have the appropriate license. Who wants to add another step to what might already be an extensive internal creative process? Well, sorry to be the party poopers, but this is a step you definitely don’t want to skip.

Here are three reasons why you need to license your creative assets.

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Artists Own Their Work and Deserve to Get Paid for It

When you’re scrolling through stock photos or browsing for a new font to download, it’s easy to forget that behind every perfect shot or stunning typeface, there’s a creative genius who put tons of time and effort into making that asset. By purchasing and licensing their work, you are not only doing the right (and legal!) thing, but you’re essentially giving them a sort of virtual fist bump to show them you value and appreciate their work! Artists own their creations, and just like any professional, they deserve to be paid for their work. Licensing creative assets ensures that artists receive fair compensation and recognition for their creativity.

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People Are on the Lookout for Copyright Infringement

Did you know that there are companies and software exclusively dedicated to finding people who are breaking copyright laws? It might seem like nobody will know if you use one unlicensed image on a blog post or two… right? Wrong! Something as small as a single image can be flagged by a reverse image search or other copyright infringement detection software.

Don’t give these copyright infringement companies something to find. Make sure to do your due diligence when it comes to licensing creative assets. Penalties from copyright infringement can include hefty fines and legal actions that can be not only hurt you financially but damage your reputation as well.

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Best Safe Than Sorry!

While taking shortcuts every now and then can seem tempting, it’s never a good idea when it comes to licensing your creative assets. At the end of the day, saving a couple of bucks upfront isn’t worth the headache of a cease and desist letter, or worse, a lawsuit! Better to keep it safe and invest in your assets so you can save yourself a headache down the road.

How to License Creative Assets

Now that you’ve heard the spiel on why it’s so important to license your creative assets, let’s go over how to actually license some of the most commonly used creative assets.

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Licensing Stock Photography 

Stock photography sites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Getty Images offer a vast array of images that you can purchase and license for use. These platforms provide different licensing options depending on how you plan to use the images—be it for personal projects, commercial purposes, or extensive distribution. There are also websites that offer free images, such as Pexels or Unsplash. However, it’s crucial to always check the terms and conditions to ensure the license fits your needs.

Licensing Fonts

Fonts can make a world of difference when it comes to creating a brand that is memorable and unique. Selecting the right font can be part of what defines your brand and its overall look and feel. Some websites provide fonts that are free for use such as Google Fonts or Adobe Fonts (with an Adobe subscription), while other websites such as Creative Market, Myfonts, and Monotype offer fonts for purchase with various licensing options. Always make sure to read the fine print: some fonts are free for personal use but require a license for commercial use. There are tons of fonts out there that are downloadable, but that doesn’t always mean that you have the rights to use that font for anything and everything. Always verify the licensing requirements to avoid any inadvertent misuse.

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Licensing Music

Whether it’s for a video, a podcast, or a background score on your website, music needs to be licensed correctly. Services like Epidemic Sound, AudioJungle, and PremiumBeat provide a wide range of music tracks that you can license. These platforms often offer different tiers of licenses depending on the scale and scope of your project.

Licensing creative assets is more than a legal obligation—it’s about valuing and respecting the hard work of artists. By ensuring that you have the proper licenses, you protect your business from potential legal issues and provide recognition to the artists who created the assets you’re using. So next time you use a photo, a font, or a music track, take a moment to make sure it’s licensed. Better safe than sorry!

And if you have any additional questions or need professional help with your branding & design or video marketing, don’t hesitate to give us a call!