Pond5, one of the biggest marketplaces for footage and music, just announced that it expanded its distribution rights and legal coverage for all royalty-free media they sell. In short, it means that now, when you purchase any media file on Pond5, you can use it across all media, forever, and with a worldwide distribution. While this is good news for buyers, what does it mean for content creators? Let’s take a closer look.
Pond5 and Distribution Rights
Pond5 has just announced an update to its “Standard” license that extends the distribution rights and legal coverage for all the royalty-free media the platform sells. From now on, any individual or company that purchases an image, a video, a 3D model, a sound effect, a piece of music from Pond5 can use it across all media, forever, and with a worldwide distribution. To make it short, if you purchase anything on Pond5, you can do nearly whatever you want with it – except selling it as your creation, of course – without any additional rights to pay.
For Pond5 and the users, this is a big deal, because you no longer have to deal with licensing terms and various extra fees. On top of that, Pond5 also includes $15,000 in legal coverage free-of-charge for a completely worry-free experience. Pond5 even describes this new “Standard” license model as “the smartest and most risk-averse purchasing decisions possible.” But, what does it mean for content creators that are selling their footage or music on the platform?
Content Creators Distribution Rights
While I understand what Pond5 is doing here regarding distribution rights and legal coverage, I’m not sure this is the way to go for filmmakers or musicians selling their creations on the platform. Let me try to explain what I mean in simple terms.
Usually, even if it’s harder to understand for the “final client,” there are different levels of licenses for a specific reason. Indeed, let’s say you’re working on a commercial, and you decide to purchase a license for a song from an artist. To me, it seems logical that the licensing fee won’t cost you the same if your commercial ends up only on YouTube or if it’s broadcast all over the world and during the Superball.
If a company or individual purchases a worldwide “exclusive” license for any royalty-free media, the creator gets more money out of its work, instead of a “standard” license that pays the content creator less. With this new Pond5 model, creators will probably earn less money, while their footage can be used on any type of project.
What’s your opinion about this new Pond5 distribution rights model? Do you already sell stock footage, pictures, or music on a marketplace? Let us know in the comments below!