10 Dec 2015 Creative Market Adds Extended Licenses

Until now Creative Market operated under a custom license, that they called ‘SimpleLicense’. Today they’re extending this structure to offer both a standard SimpleLicense and an Extended license.

Frustrated by the absence of Extended Licenses, some Creative Market contributors had been attempting a ‘hack’ of the shortcoming by offering Extended License rights as ‘products’ in their Creative Market shop fronts – legally a very dubious tactic which Creative Market have said was never valid.

The New Licenses

Creative Market’s SimpleLicense is similar to common Royalty Free licenses, but unlike the industry standard it included unlimited print runs, and was limited to use in only a single commercial project.  The SimpleLicense is now named Standard, but still includes unlimited reproductions.

The new Extended license only adds one right, but a key one that had been requested by the platform’s community for long time: use of purchased items in products for resale.

Standard is now the default option for purchases, and an upgrade to an Extended is available for all assets for sale at Creative Market, with no opt-out. Shop owners/contributors are able to set custom prices for each license in all of their products.

Single Commercial Project

Both Creative Market licenses maintain the single project limitation, prohibiting the customer from using purchased files across different campaigns, products or accounts.

This strategy worked in RM where usage was controlled and monitored, and customers knew they had to come back to license more rights to use images beyond their initial rights purchase.

Then the Royalty Free license model came along, removing both the restrictions on quantity of uses as well as the need to police and enforce them.

Canva introduced a One Time Use license which works because customers never download the file – they pay when they export a completed design and only then is the watermark removed.

In the case of Creative Market they don’t call their license “Royalty Free” because that’s not what it is, but they’re working against the assumption of the media buying public who rarely read license agreements and will assume they can use their purchased files the same way as those from every other supplier.

While adding an Extended License for resale items is a great improvement, it seems a bigger omission is an Extended License that allows customers to use items in multiple projects, or as it’s otherwise known: a Royalty Free license.  I expect that’s how the majority of purchases are already being used anyway.

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