Rights Managed Explained

In the world of image licensing (still or moving), when somebody talks about Rights Managed (RM), it refers to a copyright licence which allows you to use images as specified by the licence. 


The license typically covers territories, the intended use of the image (commercial or editorial) as well as the number of copies and the duration.

Working at Night, 2005 © David Dawson / Bridgeman Images

The alternative would be a Royalty Free License (RF), but despite the name, this license is not free, it does involve a cost too. RF means that the pur

chaser can use the photo with fewer restrictions compared to Rights Managed images.

The downside to Royalty Free images is that they cannot be purchased on an exclusive basis. For some project, it might be better to use RF content. Please contact us so we can advise you on a case by case basis.



How to get a Rights Managed (RM) licence: Carla Fracci in rehearsal, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy, 1965 © Maria Vittoria Backhaus / Bridgeman Images

Go online to bridgemanimages.com, find the image you want, select the license that fits your needs, pay the 

fee related to your selection (between 20£ and 50£) and download the high-resolution file immediately. 

If your requirements do not match the licenses available online contact us and we will give you a quote.




Portrait of the British artist Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) painting “Crucifixion” 1958 © Keystone / Zuma / Bridgeman Images



The advantages of Rights Managed:

It is the best protection for you when you use an image as it helps to avoid embarrassing unauthorised usages and all the problems that derive from this.

RM licences can be granted on a non-exclusive or exclusive basis.

A high-end design agency wouldn’t like you to pitch them an image for a campaign, only to find out later it’s being used on the other side of the world for a constipation medicine.


If you are looking for an image for a beautiful hardcover book that epitomises the “Importance of safe driving,” you may want to check with the photographer that the same image hasn’t also been used in a book on reckless driving, and so on. 


It’s also important to remember that your Rights Managed image has been created and is managed by professionals, not an enthusiastic (even if extremely talented!) DIYer at home. More and more Royalty Free images are taken by amateurs because professional photographers can’t make a living with the royalties paid to them by these licences.




Why do I have to pay for a license? Andy Warhol and Maria Mulas photographing each other at the Stelline Foundation, on the occasion of Warhols exhibition 'Il Cenacolo', Milan, Italy, 1987 © Maria Mulas  / Bridgeman Images 6341025

Because the creator of the image or the video is a professional figure and owns the right of his/her work and you need to pay a fee to distribute his/her content.


Discover some exclusive images you can reproduce with a Rights Managed Licence.


At Bridgeman Images our solid understanding of budget and RM licences helps us tailor specific requirements for your needs, which on many occasions can even work out cheaper than utilising RF for your projects. Contact us for further information.




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