One the of things about selling stock images through a stock agency is that you have limited control over how your image is used. I found out over the weekend that one of my images had been used on a recent cover of The Onion Magazine’s weekly print version. While it is normally great to see an image in use, this particular usage made me stop and think. The standard license at iStockphoto.com (where I sell images) limits purchasers in how they can use an image, but there are always gray areas. Here is an excerpt from the iStock license concerning this:

6. use the Content in a fashion that is considered by iStockphoto (acting reasonably) as or under applicable law is considered pornographic, obscene, immoral, infringing, defamatory or libelous in nature, or that would be reasonably likely to bring any person or property reflected in the Content into disrepute;

7. use or display any Content that features a model or person in a manner that (i) would lead a reasonable person to think that such person uses or personally endorses any business, product, service, cause, association or other endeavour; or (ii) that depicts such person in a potentially sensitive subject matter, including, but not limited to mental and physical health issues, social issues, sexual or implied sexual activity or preferences, substance abuse, crime, physical or mental abuse or ailments, or any other subject matter that would be reasonably likely to be offensive or unflattering to any person reflected in the Content;

While both of the models in the photo have signed a model release agreeing that they have no control over the use of their likeness, I’m still left to wonder if the above license clauses have been violated.

This is just another thing to consider when shooting stock images and especially when using models.