Stock Video Licenses: We’ve Got You Covered


There is so much you can do with stock media. You can use a high quality 4k video clip as a background for your film project, a drone clip to give your audience a sense of location and scale, or a music track to amp up your social media post. With the flexibility stock media offers, it’s important to use a stock provider that gives you peace of mind in knowing that the stock footage, image, or music track you’re purchasing covers your usage needs. Furthermore, any creative work must be free of legal risk to you or your company. 

Here’s why you can trust your purchase from Pond5 and what you need to know about licensing stock videos and other media for your projects.

The Pond5 Curation Process

Every video we license on Pond5 has been reviewed and approved by experts who meticulously check for technical quality, visual aesthetics, and legal risks. Every day, we review thousands of uploads from our diverse community of artists and partners from across the globe. While many are accepted, we reject anything that does not meet our standards.  Here are just a few examples of why content might get turned down:

  • The video contains a recognizable face, but a signed model release is missing. Without a model release, the person in the video has a right to their privacy and publicity rights and can sue for use of their image or likeness without permission.
  • The video contains an image of private property, but a signed property release is unavailable. Again, without a property release, the property owner has a right to sue for exploiting their property.
  • The video contains a recognizable logo or trademark. Major corporations take infringement of their intellectual property very seriously, and without proper review, you could be left at risk.

All media on Pond5 is reviewed with similar standards, including music tracks, sound effects, After Effects templates, PSDs, images, and 3D models. Our expert curation team does a tremendous job ensuring the content on our site is safe to use in your project, and we guarantee our work with our comprehensive license and indemnity.

Read the Fine Print

Many websites that primarily provide “free” stock images and videos and unlimited downloads expose you to copyright infringement and intellectual property claims. While using their content may be tempting, these sites create simplistic “use at your own risk” license agreements that place all of the risks on you and your company or client. They neglect to mention that by downloading the content from their site, you release them from any legal responsibility in the event of a content claim. 

Here’s an excerpt from the Terms and Conditions of one such site. We’ve highlighted some of the “fine print” that most people miss in their excitement of downloading “free stuff.”

Your use of the Service, and our provision of the Service to you, constitutes an agreement by you…to be bound by the terms and conditions in these Terms of Service…You are responsible for your use of the Service. You agree to defend and indemnify us, including our directors, officers, employees, consultants, affiliates, and agents, from and against any and all claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs) arising out of or in any way connected with (i) your access to or use of the Service; (ii) your violation of these Terms or any law or regulation; (iii) your violation of anyone’s rights, including intellectual property rights; or (iv) any disputes between you and a third party. If you do have to defend us, we will have the right to assume exclusive control of the matter (without limiting your indemnification responsibilities) and, if that happens, you will cooperate with our defense of the claim. 

Most people don’t realize that free sites offer many videos and images that have not been adequately vetted and cleared for use. You’ll find photos depicting intellectual property without permission, videos that do not respect property releases, and stolen photos uploaded without any screening. Additionally, you’ll find videos containing easily-identifiable faces without proper model releases.

How do other free sites operate?

These sites target the absolute lowest end of the market.  They make money by driving traffic to their sites to sell display advertising space on the web page while earning affiliate income every time a customer clicks on their ads.  Worse yet, the artists that created the content do not get paid for free content.  Instead, the website makes money and leaves both the artists who created the content and customers who believe they properly licensed the content holding the proverbial bag.

Focus on your project. We’ll handle the rest.

At Pond5, we thoroughly screen every asset, and every purchase includes our simple, comprehensive, royalty-free license. Our license authorizes use for personal or business projects with worldwide distribution forever, and you’re welcome to use Pond5 media across an unlimited number of projects. Furthermore, all the content in our Free Collection carries the same license and protection as if you’d purchased it from us. We’ve earned the trust of the world’s largest film studios and media companies since 2004.

In the unlikely event someone brings legal action against you for using one of our assets, we never force you to indemnify us. Instead, we protect you up to $15,000 with our Individual License, $250,000 with our Business License, and $1,000,000 with our Premium license.  You should also be proud to support real artists who create professional quality content and deserve to get paid for their work and talent. At Pond5, we pay our artists an industry-leading royalty share rate with every purchase our customers make.

Understanding the ins and outs of licensing creative content for use in video, film, and marketing projects can seem challenging. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Read our Guide to Royalty-Free Licensing to learn everything you need to know about selecting the proper license for your project in a simple, straightforward manner. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our 100% Human Customer Support team is standing by, ready to answer any additional questions!