Watermarked Previews in Item Previews

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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!

Example of a watermarked image from PhotoDune

Human brain and colorful question mark by Lawren on PhotoDune.

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!

Happy Selling!

  • http://www.edsonzerati.com.br/facebook Edson Zerati

    I bought the Orbit Facebook template, Template RubenBristian but can not create apps in facebook., As the explanatory text.
    I want guidance on how to create the apps, because as the text could not.

    • http://laranzjoe.blogspot.com lawrence77

      Contact the author of that item.

  • http://themeforest.net/user/nimbleo nimbleo

    When we credit other authors in our item descriptions, are we able to use our affiliate links?

    • http://envato.com Jordan McNamara

      Good question – I’ll find out!

    • Scott

      Affiliate links don’t work/count inside the marketplaces, they only work externally.

  • http://themeforest.net/user/designcrumbs/portfolio Jake

    How about YouTube and Vimeo embeds? Any restrictions on what we can and can’t embed?

    • http://envato.com Jordan McNamara

      I believe we will post more about videos in previews specifically very soon. As a quick answer to the question:

      1) YouTube videos can be used, providing you use the official YouTube player.

      2) Vimeo embeds are expressly not allowed. Vimeo does not allow their videos to be used for any commercial purpose.

  • Steve314

    Hey! Do I understand correctly?
    If we purchase a Photodune extended license, we can include the photo in our Videohive After effects item?

    • http://videohive.net/user/cgpation Cgpation

      Hey Steve,

      Sure, you can use the extended license bought on your main download file, and sell it, but you have to write a note inside of the ZIP, which says that this file (you name it) is only used for this project, if you wanna use it elsewhere, you should buy it from the author (Link back).


  • http://www.kennybuck.de Kenny

    What about if you could simply enter the url to the used file and envato automatically creates a standardized view/object of that file in the description. With the image preview or the sound preview. I think after the preview but before the description should be appropriate.

    • http://idesignstudio.net BaGeRa

      Hi Kenny;

      This is a very Good idea +1

  • eXorcist

    Hello, why my item (template) was rejected for using Envato sites screens in the preview?

  • Pingback: Gorgeous Creative Commons 3D Renders to Use in Item Previews | Envato Notes()

  • http://www.wpexplorer.com/ AJ Clarke

    That’s nice to let people use the watermarked versions.

    Buying them is better though 😎

  • http://idesignstudio.net BaGeRa

    Hi Jordan;

    Really this is a very Good news to let us all time create Good previews in marketplaces 😉

    Best regards.

  • http://livelyworks.net LivelyWorks

    Hi Jordan,

    If I use multiple images from same author in my Project Preview, Do I need to link back each image or simply can give link back to the Author profile page?


    • Jordan McNamara

      Hey LivelyWorks!

      You will need to link back on each image.

  • http://livelyworks.net LivelyWorks

    Hi Jordan,

    If I use multiple images from same author in my Project Preview, Do I need to link back each image or simply can give link back to the Author profile page?


  • chikondi

    how should a watermark on photos that you shot be like?

  • PeakGraphics

    Does this also apply to Graphicriver items? Suppose I need a logo to put in the preview of a Business Card?

  • http://johnsmith.com John Smith

    >Yes! You may re-use the image you purchase multiple times, for example in multiple item previews.

    Before you claimed it was only single-use and we have to re-purchase same photo for every new project, I believe it’s what stated in license terms too. Please clarify.

  • fiz0l

    Ex7Reme – I’m gonna follow your example! That’s so nice!

  • http://csscollector.com Alex

    This is a good idea! But how about example below?
    If I bought couple images from Photodune to use them for demo version of my html template(only for sale on Envato marketplaces) via Regular License.
    Can I place same images into main archive(for customers download) if I make all of them watermarked?

    • http://decart-design.com Alex

      In my opinion, you can

    • arrowthemes

      I’ve also got the same question as @alex: Is it ok to include watermarked versions of photos I’ve purchased a regular licence in the package that the buyer downloads?

  • http://www.aragt.com aragt

    great discussion i need it really

  • http://www.tomrennen.com Tom

    This is a BAD idea. Piggy backing on the talents of others to make yourself look better or more talented is unconscionable. If you need to maintain the appearance of professionalism, CREATE IT YOURSELF. Nothing could be more professional.

  • http://codefusionlab.com CodeFusion

    @TOM; I have to disagree. Most people have their “given” skill-set. They may be able to design a template for the gods, but may not be able to take a photo to save their own life.

    I’d like to push the envelope a little bit [understatement] and come up with a way for CC to utilize the talents of TF. I can develop an Alien Spaceship – but on the outside it looks like a Ford Pinto.

  • # Helios Design


    I’m a new Author my Question whas
    where can i down the Watermark ?

    Anny idea guys ?


    Helios Design

    • http://Www.psawyer.co.uk Peter sawyer

      When you have your item accepted envato will place the watermark on your item automatically.

  • http://www.cypressy.com cynthia

    Hey there, my question is a bit odd but when i saw that creative way to link back to other authors in the description i didnt know how i’d do it… i mean, how do I place and image in the description of my items?… or simply, can I add HTML code in the description field? .

    thanks a lot. this is great btw, using watermarked images from photodune and helping each other in this marketplace was a good idea.

    • http://envato.com Jordan McNamara

      You should use HTML code to link back to the item :)

  • Maurul

    We can use photos with watermark (royalty-free) in our preview files from: gettyimages.com, corbisimages.com?

    Or imdb.com?

    • http://envato.com Jordan McNamara

      No – you can only use them from the Envato Marketplaces.

  • http://greenwald.me Scott

    Several items on 3D Ocean do not have watermarks. Can I use those on my template demo?

    • http://envato.com Jordan McNamara

      You should only use items which have the watermark.

  • Pingback: Achieve More: VideoHive and AudioJungle Author Collaboration | Envato Notes()

  • http://www.e-msjed.com emsjed

    This is a good idea! But how about the free image directories?

  • GA89

    hello i have a quiestion, 2 weeks ago i uploaded videohive project, and it included images, which i found on google with free use and remake, but the reviewer said to me to show the licence of the photoes, when I showed him google`s license about these photos, they banned my project, then I uploaded it again, but I changed the photoes, I painted it every single one with special painting program so it was not as same as it was when i found on google, so the reviewer banned it again and said to me this: “Painting images that you found on Google does not change the licensing of the image”

    it is city photoes, so i have no idea how should i get these photos to use it for project, I think painting should be enough, I am not able to taking a photograph on single cityes, so what can i do any help please?

  • http://stephanlindsjo.com Stephan Lindsjo

    Can I take a watermarked preview file from another author together with my watermarked music and make a new video of those two watermarked files and promote those files on youtube?

  • http://silenceithouse.com/ akankha

    is it still valid ?