Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.
Recently on Envato Notes we have had a couple of posts discussing the correct way to license and use someone else’s images and assets in preview items. You can catch up on both posts here: Envato Content Policy and Portfolio Review and Use of Assets in Previews on the Envato Marketplaces.
I know that many authors are looking for ways in which they can maintain a high standard of quality for their item previews on the Marketplaces while at the same time ensuring that they are complying with our content policy. With this in mind, today we would like to bring to your attention that our terms of usage grant the right to use any watermarked preview from the Marketplaces in your own item previews so long as it includes a link back to the original item, and so long as the item preview is used only on for Envato Marketplace items.
Similarly as an author you are granting other Envato Marketplace authors the same preview usage right with the same requirement to link back to your item. This part of the agreement was introduced in 2010 with the aim of encouraging cross promotion amongst authors, effectively upselling our buyers to purchase items from more than one author at a time.
Using Watermarked Images in Your Item Preview
Images are the most common usage scenario for authors looking to use watermarked items in their previews. Since the launch of PhotoDune last year, our authors now have access to a large pool of watermarked photos. In fact we hope that this usage will gradually replace our rather old Asset Library, in favour of both a larger and better selection, and a usage that actually promotes other authors!
So again, you can use a watermarked image from PhotoDune without asking permission, so long as it only shows in the item preview, and so long as you credit the author of the image and link back to the original item page clearly in your description.
If you wish to use an unwatermarked image from PhotoDune in your item preview then you will need to purchase a regular license. If you wish to distribute an unwatermarked image from PhotoDune in the download file, you will need to purchase an extended license.
Although the most common usage of this policy is to use images from PhotoDune, the same concept applies to using music loops from AudioJungle, preview images from GraphicRiver and so on.
How to Credit and Link Back
When you use a watermarked preview in your own item preview, you must provide a credit to the author and a linkback. The simplest form of this would be in your item description to write:
The image shown is not included with the item. However you can purchase it from AuthorName by going to [link]
Some authors get even more creative, check out how Ex7Reme has linked back to Tim McMorris’ audio track from a top selling After Effects project:
I personally encourage authors to be generous in their linkage and help showcase our amazingly talented author community. It’s good karma, and I think the more our authors do this, the more everyone benefits.
FAQ on Image Use in Previews
If you have questions about what images you can and cannot use in item previews, please feel free to ask in the comments. Here are a few question/answer combos you might find helpful.
Q. If I buy an image from PhotoDune via the Regular or Extended license, can I use the same image for multiple projects or multiple marketplace files that I create/sell?
Yes! You may re-use the image you purchase multiple times, for example in multiple item previews.
Q. Can I use watermarked images from the Envato Marketplaces in my live previews hosted off-site?
Yes! So long as you are using the watermarked content exclusively for an item preview of an Envato Marketplace file.
So to be clear if you are a non-exclusive author and selling the same item elsewhere, you should not use watermarked Envato Marketplace previews in your item preview.
Q. Can I use watermarked images from the Envato Marketplaces in my previews on other marketplaces?
No. You can only use watermarked content in item previews on Envato Marketplaces. If your item is sold on other marketplaces, you’ll need to consider how to best source content for item previews (eg by purchasing a regular licence).
Q. Can I use unlicensed (watermarked or otherwise) content from other sites in my item previews?
No, not unless you are getting it from a service which specifically grants this right. To be clear most stock photo services do not give you this right. You are responsible for ensuring you have the correct license for all uses on the Marketplaces.
Q. Can I use anything I want in my live preview (because it is not hosted on the Envato Marketplaces)?
No. You must ensure that your live preview complies with the Marketplace content policy.
We hope that this helps to clarify some of the rules surrounding what content you can use to help spruce up your items on the Marketplaces!