I have the exact same questions. I did see in another post that extended licenses are currently available through Fotolia and found the same picture there. Might just play it safe and get the extended license but the terms for Adobe Stock seem really unclear with regards to the questions David posed.
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In general terms, yes you can use an Adobe Stock image for the cover of your book. There are a few exceptions. The image cannot provide the primary value of the book. In most cases the cover is simply decorative with the content of the book providing the primary value. Another thing to keep in mind is that the use of the image cannot be perceived as offensive by a model featured in the image. No steamy romance novels, political content, etc. The print run limit is 500,000 so the answer to your 3rd question is yes. You would need to purchase an additional license if you exceed 500,000 sales. As always, be sure to review the license agreement for specific details on allowable use and if you are still uncertain it may be in your best interest to obtain legal counsel to review the agreement on your behalf as well.
Good luck with your book!
Thank you for the clarification on policy. I have a followup question on your comment about "steamy romance novels." The photos will be used for a romance/thriller but the photo that has a model in it is quite sexy and we are not altering it. In fact, other photos in their series are more "steamy" than the one we selected. I would think that your comment would be "don't take something not sexy and make it dirty or sexy" which I could certainly see could offend the model! Here is the one we like... "Naked couple and sex" Stock photo and royalty-free images on Fotolia.com - Pic 86845696
Can you clarify that using this image for a romance/thriller fiction book is within Adobe's terms?
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No, I'm sorry but Adobe Stock images cannot be used on the cover of romance novels. I understand your point about the content of the image however it is still prohibited use.
I'm sorry for the inconvenience,
Thanks Mat. Is the same true of Fotolia (owned by Adobe)?
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Yes, the same is true with the Fotolia license. You need to purchase a license that allows for sensitive use. We do not have that option available anywhere at this time.
I understand what you are saying but I wouldn't think that taking an image as-is of a couple engaging in romantic activities that are not pornographic makes it "Sensitive Use." If you post photos of a couple in all kinds of sexual poses as this series does, how can you use that picture in a way that's NOT considered Sensitive Use? This photographer's photos are pretty ... erotic? sensuous? What use of those photos would not violate the terms?
And why don't your terms restrict this usage if that's the case?
Is there any way to ask the photographer if there is an objection to the use? I would think the model would love to be on a book cover if that's the kind of photos they are in! Another stock site has an exception to the "sensitive use" policy that really seems to make sense for photos like this... "The sole exception to this restriction is any content where it is clear that the intended purpose of the image is to convey such a sensitive use."
Hi. Sorry if my frustration came through there. I run a web and graphic design company and we were thinking of using Adobe stock as one of our suppliers of stock imagery but you've scared me that I could have a client violate your terms without knowing it. This is our first request to design the cover of a romantic thriller but, based on reading your current terms, I would never have thought it would be a violation until I read your reply to David - especially if we had gone with an Enhanced License from Fotolia.
Thanks for answering the thread.
Well, I'm glad my membership has expired. I won't be renewing it. To say that I cannot use a picture of a shirtless man on the cover of a book is ridiculous. He's posed, he's getting paid. He's doing a job he was hired to do. And technically, doesn't the photographer retain some of those rights?
This whole thing is a mess. And by the way, romance books aren't 'sensitive subjects'. They're books, just like any others. This is a terrible decision by Adobe.
"Another thing to keep in mind is that the use of the image cannot be perceived as offensive by a model featured in the image."
This leaves every picture open to interpretation. Better not even to use your service, because we *MIGHT* cross a line somewhere. Like if we put a picture on a blue background and the model might be offended because blue isn't their color.
I'm sorry, this policy is beyond ridiculous, as is Adobes stand on it.
I'm a director of Erotic Authors Guild and we represent the erotica genre (nearly 20% of the indie author community.) Can you clarify your remarks on this? This policy seems greatly open to interpretation. We also find it curious that the policy seemingly speaks for the models appearing in the photos. To my understanding, the photos are taken independently, then sold to Adobe as well as other stock photo repositories.
How do you intend to resolve disputes under this section? Who determines whether a model has found the usage of a photo to be "offensive"?
Speaking on behalf of the erotica genre as a whole, I would strongly suggest that you rethink and clarify this vague and stigmatized policy, otherwise we will take our business elsewhere.
To clarify, does this policy apply to all romance genres (contemporary, new adult, paranormal, historical, YA, etc.) or only steamy (erotic) romance?
Either way it is a concern. I am director of the Erotic Authors Guild. Many members accepted the promotional offer for Adobe when Dollarphotoclub closed its doors. We were diligent and read the terms and conditions, which mentioned no issues with the photos being used for romance or erotica works. Now we find out a year later that there is some obscure policy, not properly disclosed in the terms and conditions, but rather appearing in a separate knowledge base. Basically, we just paid for a year subscription under false pretexts, for stock photos that we apparently can't even use. Does adobe plan to issue refunds for this?
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Since the majority of readers and writers of romance tend to be women this seems to me to be highly discriminatory and quite a silly approach for Adobe to take. It's not just the erotic writers above (well said Mr Cross) but I'll be contacting the RNA in the UK, the Romance Writers of USA and Australia as well as ALLi (the Alliance of Independent Authors) to see what their takes on this are. Either way I'll be leaving Adobe- even if they backtrack.
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The model release template that Adobe themselves provide for Stock contributors via their help page:
specifically waives the model's right to object to any uses of the image, and licenses the Artist to "...use the Content in any manner, form or medium, for any and all use whatsoever (except pornographic or illegal)..."
The industry definition of those two terms is well-established and does not include the types of books being discussed here. Adobe is merely acting as the artist's agent, not a party to the contract with the model, and they cannot reactivate a waived right. Model releases exist for this very purpose.
I'd like to use a photo for the cover of a workbook I'm creating for my client. Is the standard license ($2.99) that I have purchased ok to use as long as she does not sell over 500k copies? Or will she need to purchase one in her name separately? Do we need to give credit in the workbook anywhere to Adobe?
Mat answered this question for someone else above as "The print run limit is 500,000 so the answer to your 3rd question is yes. You would need to purchase an additional license if you exceed 500,000 sales."
It's the one I was looking for, too.
I have been reading your response to the posts about using adobe stock photos as book covers. I have two questions that are not explicitly answered in the posts or the licensing terms:
1. Can a picture (a sketch of a tiger hunt) be used as a book cover in a work of historical fiction with an element of romance in it? (Love story that evolves in the context of a major historical event).
2. Am I able to modify the picture (I plan to add color using photoshop) when using it in my cover? I have a standard license of the image.
Thank you in advance for your response.
- The answer to your first questions is yes a picture can be used as a book cover of historic fiction, however, if you are using an unmodified image it is important to give a credit to the photographer.
- Yes you are allowed to modify a Stock image. You are welcome to edit the non-editorial asset in any way you deem necessary. Note, however, that your modifications must not violate or infringe on the intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity, nor place the author or the model in a bad light or depict them in any way that might be deemed offensive.
Note: You may only distribute the work as incorporated into an item of merchandise if the work has been modified to the extent that the modification is not substantially similar to the original work and can qualify as an original work of authorship.
Feel free to update this thread in case of any additional questions.