You are only required to pay a single one time fee for use of the chosen image multiple times and for multiple purposes. There is no time limit for how long a buyer can use the image. You cannot have exclusive rights to a royalty free image. The photographer would be well within his rights to sell the image as many times as he wants. There is a limitation for the number reproductions per image with royalty free images.
The amount of copies made is called the print run. This amount is usually defined before the purchase of the image. Any reproduction of the image beyond this stipulated number will mean that the buyer will have to pay a fee per brochure. This fee is usually about 1-3 cents. Magazines which have large print runs cannot use royalty free images. They instead have to purchase the images with a rights managed license or hire in house photographers.
Rights managed stock image or licensed images: The buyer has to pay each time the image is used. There is usually a time limit to how long a buyer has exclusive rights to an image. This time period is usually for about a year. This ensures that the photographer can sell the exclusive rights to the image again after the first buyer’s time limit is over. The buyer has to choose a rights managed license if he/she wants exclusive rights to the image.
The photographer is, therefore, barred from selling the image to anyone else, if the exclusivity clause is a part of the license contract. But, not all rights managed licenses are exclusive. Exclusivity typically has to be stipulated in the agreement. The fees of these stock images depend on many factors such as exclusivity, time period for which it is used, distribution, and also geographic location of usage. A rights managed license usually allows for a more extensive print run per image than stock images with royalty free licenses.
The editorial is considered to be a form of rights managed license if there are no releases for the subjects. Without releases, the images cannot be used in advertising, or for depiction of controversial subjects. They can only be used for news and educational purposes.
Hence, stock photographs are very significant indeed, whichever way they are used. Their informative as well as complimenting powers simply cannot be underestimated. A good content if often defined by the stock images used, and the visual information they deliver.