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 Shutterstock announce today that, in response to their increased demand for images from large customers and advertising agencies, they will update their Contributor Terms of Service. This update will create new opportunities for contributors to earn up to $75 per image license.

As a result, three changes are being included in this update:

  • The Terms of Service to allow certain sensitive uses for select large volume customers (for example, large ad agencies), subject to specific and important limitations.
  • Sales for these licenses will follow the “percentage royalty” model of 20-30% at a higher price point.
  • Unlike many other agencies, Shutterstock gives the choice to the contributors of opting 100% into sales to these clients or 100% out of sales to these clients.

Videos will not be affected by this update at this time.

What is a sensitive use?

A sensitive use might cause a reasonable person to believe that the subject of the image suffers from a physical or mental health condition; endorses, advocates, or believes in a particular product, service, cause or opinion; or is otherwise associated with an issue that some might consider controversial or unflattering.

Sensitive uses are subject to specific and important restrictions:

  • Customers must indicate that the image is of a model and used for illustrative purposes only.
  • Images may not be used in tobacco ads; in materials that are pornographic; or are used to market and/or promote adult entertainment clubs or similar venues, or escort, dating or similar services.

There will be no change in their policy regarding the use of editorial images.

What are the benefits?

  • Earn higher royalties for “sensitive use” licenses.
  • Be paid up to $75 per royalty for content that is downloaded under licenses that allow a sensitive use, regardless of whether or not a sensitive use is made of your content.
  • Also contributor content will be available to a larger number of buyers, many of whom license images in high volume.

When will this change go into effect?

The updated Contributor Terms of Service will become effective March 1. If you do not want to participate in these sales opportunities, please visit your account page to change your preferences by March 1, 2012.

You may opt-in or opt-out at any time.

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