10 Mar 2008 Microstock Glossary

People new to the microstock market occasionally ask the meaning of different terms on this blog and other places. Here’s a list of definitions – no photography terms, just those specific to the microstock market. If I’ve missed one, let me know in the comments and I’ll add it in. Suggestions to improve the definitions are also welcome.

API a technology that allows programs and websites to interact. Application Programming Interface
Editorial news photos which don’t require releases and are sold with different license conditions
Extended License an expensive (and thus more lucrative) license with more generous conditions
IPTC the title, description and keyword information that can be embedded into photos. International Press Telecommunications Council
License what a buyer gets when they pay for a photo. See Royalty Free, Rights Managed and Editorial.
License Fee what the buyer pays for a license
Macrostock high priced and exclusive stock photography, also known as traditional stock photography
Microstock low priced and inclusive stock photography. A contraction of the term ‘micropayment stock’
Midstock stock photography priced between microstock and macrostock
Model Release legal document which models sign to give the photographer permission to use and sell photos containing their image
Property Release legal document which property owners sign to give photographers permission to use and sell photos containing their property
Rights Managed a license that restricts usage by time, geography and purpose, and only used in the macrostock market
Royalty the fee paid to the photographer for sale/license of an image
Royalty Free a license that offers usage unrestricted by time or geography, used in both the microstock and macrostock markets
Sell-through Rate a performance metric that measures the quantity of photos in a portfolio that have sold
Stock Photography a market for photos where the photos are created first and sold second
Vector an illustration file format that can be infinitely resized, created without a camera
Watermark a partially transparent branding of a photo to discourage theft
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