Is My Usage Covered by Your License Agreement?

Usage rights are determined by the type of license you purchase. All of our licenses allow for worldwide use of the media in perpetuity. (Note that some items in the Pond5 Select Collection are available only for use in a single project.) Items marked Editorial may not be used in any form of advertisement, endorsement, commercial, or promotion, while those marked Commercial are generally available for commercial use.

The amount of merchandising allowed depends on which license level you choose. Our Individual license includes a run of 500,000, printed use only; our Business and Premium licenses include unlimited printed use, print resale, and digital resale.

Note that you cannot use Pond5 licensed content for logos, trademarks, reselling, or for sensitive use materials without a custom license. If you are in need of a custom license or are interested in a specific amount of indemnification protection, please contact us at or give us a call: +1 (855) 410-6789.


For some related usage questions, please see:

All About Our Extended Licenses

Which Files Are Fully Cleared For Commercial Use?

PRO Tracks and Cue Sheets


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    Because we are not lawyers, we cannot offer you legal advice. But we understand a buyer's need to understand the license agreement. We are able to share our understanding of and experience with the license with you, and we are able to answer most any question you may have about it, but at the end of the day the responsibility for ensuring that the usage is covered does fall on the buyer.

    If you have specific usage questions, please contact customer support directly. We'll be happy to help. :)

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    I'm afraid I don't understand legalese but I do have a very simple question that I'm sure many people will want a straight answer to;
    Can we use this pond5 material (music, video & SFX) in "monetised" YouTube videos? assuming the pond5 material purchased is woven into a project and is not the sole or main focus of the project?

    Also, if the material generates a 3rd party match on YouTube, would we have to wait a whole month for the claim to be lifted when it is disputed? Appreciate a candid and frank reply - thanks.

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    @thehonestguys - That's a great question, and we actually have another help center entry on that subject. You can absolutely monetize your YouTube videos with Pond5 content.

    Unfortunately, this is a situation that some of our users do run into. The real crux of the issue is that one does not have to actually be the copyright holder to make a claim on YouTube. YouTube has opted to only do the absolute minimum necessary for them to be DMCA complaint, which means that they don't require proof that you are the rights holder when making a claim.

    Often it is a third party company like AdRev making the claim on behalf of the artist, very often without even informing them. We'll always be willing to do everything we can to help in these situations. The article I linked above contains directions on how to go about disputing the claim and getting the flag removed. While you go through the appeal, we can also reach out to the artist, the actual copyright holder, and they can easily get the claim released as well.

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    Thanks for that reply. I guess that was what I was looking for when I saw and made my original comment. I later saw the section you shared the link for about youtube claims, but still, the original answer pond5 supplies to the FAQ "Is my usage covered by your license agreement" is hogwash. It should be updated to include your response above, or just removed completely.

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    Much thanks for the reply and clarification. I did read the other page earlier, but it makes no mention of monetization or commercial use, so just wanted to check :o)

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    @GarettMcD - That's a fair assessment, I'll see about getting some changes made to this article. :)

    @thehonestguys - Yeah, my pleasure man. I actually got a notification with a message you left on the other article, but I see that it's not there now so I figured you must have deleted it. I hope it's okay for me to go ahead and offer a reply here, since your question was a really good one.

    For everyone else, thehonestguys had asked about what reassurances we can give to users buying content for use in YouTube videos that they won't have to deal with any copyright flags. And the honest truth is that there is absolutely no guarantee we can make that you won't experience that. Really, no one can make that guarantee. We are not affiliated with YouTube, and have made many attempts to work with them on this issue but they are completely unwilling to make any effort to help. Between their unwillingness, and the state of copyright law in the United States, Pond5 is largely as powerless as its users.

    But! What I CAN promise is that we will always be here to do everything we can to help in the event of a flag. Additionally, we are continuing to work on other possible permanent solutions by working with some of the third party companies like AdRev who are responsible for making the claims. We know this is a big issue, but it's also an incredibly complex and challenging obstacle to overcome. But that won't stop us from working on it until we find an answer, rest assured.

    One final thing to note: the YouTube flag issues we see are 100% audio related. I've never seen Pond5 video content getting a flag, it's always audio. So perhaps that's a little reassuring. :)

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    Thanks again Jonathan for a very full and complete answer.

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    Please help, I just want to know if I can use footage for a film, independent. I don't want to be sued. Please confirmed I can without and legal actions. Am I buying a license?

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    @Rahamanstudios - I'm sorry, but I'm afraid it's just not that simple. We cannot clear your usage for you, so it is important that you read over our license agreement to ensure your usage is covered. Our license grants you lifetime, unlimited, world wide usage, in perpetuity, across all media platforms. If you're still unsure about your usage, please contact customer support and we'll be happy to speak with you about your concerns.

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    I see on my receipt my download will expire in 2 weeks. Is that true? I can only use it for 2 weeks?

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    @billjackson - No, rest assured, you have lifetime usage rights. It's just the download itself that becomes inactive after two weeks. You can click directly on where it says "1 Reactivation Left" to turn it back on yourself, or you can write in to with the transactoinID from the receipt and we'll turn it on for you. There is no limit to how many times you can reactivate a transaction, so you'll always be able to download your purchases.

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    can a video from your site (we will buy the licence) be used in Premium Templates? We wouldn't give the video to end client, it would be only hosted on our servers and used for preview purposes. Thanks!

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    @pixel_industry - No, they cannot. Such practice is explicitly forbidden by our license agreement. Basically, you cannot buy Pond5 materials, then resell or give them out again as materials in any way, even as part of a program or template.

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    Hello, I read the question/answer above about monetizing files used in Youtube videos, thank you for clarifying that. I was wondering, does that include EVERY song in the music database in pond5? Or are some songs not cleared for Youtube monetization?

    Also, what does it mean when a file says, "Available for musical works: No."?

    Thank you very much for your time.

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    @DtRockstar1 - Nothing on Pond5 is "cleared" either way for YouTube. Rather, what's happening is this: some Pond5 music sellers register their items with companies like AdRev and Audiam. These companies have access to YouTube's ContentID system, so when you sign up for their service, they place your content into that system. Then anytime your work appears anywhere on YouTube, the system automatically places a copyright claim on the video. The idea here is that AdRev and Audiam are helping musicians get paid for their work when it's used commercially on YouTube. However, this has the unfortunate side effect of wrongful flags for users who legally licensed their music through Pond5.

    We've developed successful workflows for resolving the flag issues, so if you ever get hit with one for Pond5 content, don't hesitate to contact us. We can help.

    New musical works refers to the act of recording lyrics over an instrumental track to essentially create a new song, or new musical work. So, if a song is marked "no" for that, then while you cannot add lyrics to it, you can still use is as a music track or background music in a video or other project.

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    Hi there I'm across the pond in the UK where would I look in the License Agreement to see whether I'm able use audio material in a monetised video for streaming only?

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    Have to agree the answer to the Licensing is meaningless, for the 'average' person, running it past a qualified attorney negates the simplicity of using your site. My question should be quite simple to answer (although I doubt your reply will be). I want to use a 'dragon illustration' from Pond5 for a book (fantasy novel), to place it on the back cover of print copies, and the on-line e-book, including the occasional advertisements specifically related to this book. Is this permissible under the licensing agreement or not?

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    @beachcomber - I understand where you're coming from, but the issue is that as customer service agents, we cannot offer you legal advice. There's simply no way around that, as we aren't trained in law at all.

    But you're right, we should be able to answer simple questions about the license, and I don't believe I've implied that we can't do that. We can and do. What we can't do is explicitly "clear" your usage for you. Ultimately and legally, the responsibility for doing that falls on the buyer.

    So you can ask us if your usage is okay, and we'll tell you what we think. But you must understand that it's not legal advice, and we can't offer any of that to you.

    With that out of the way, as for your question, I'm afraid the answer is indeed more complicated. Our license agreement has some stipulations about book covers and physical printings in section 4.e.i and ii.

    For photograph and illustration Content, you may not permit:

    • more than 250,000 physical analog (non-digital) reproductions of the Content (whether as Unincorporated Content or as part of a Work For Distribution), except as part of a Work For Distribution that is (A) advertising or promotional material that is not for sale, or (B) packaging or informational or promotional collateral that accompany media containing music or video (e.g., a CD or DVD) where the Work For Distribution containing the Content is not sold separately from the music or video; or
    • printed book or magazine covers with a distribution of more than 1000 copies to be made.

    So, if you were going to be printing more than 1000 copies of the book, you would need to re-purchase the item however many times to get additional allotments of 1000 printings. The e-book shouldn't be any sort of an issue though, it's just the physical printings that have the extra restriction.

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    Wish you had user friendly terms like other sites. I wish I worked for Pond5 I could double your revenue with one page --- simplified licensing.

    Anyway can you confirm this line "Our license grants you lifetime, unlimited, world wide usage, in perpetuity, across all media platforms."

    I didn't go to law school and couldn't find it in your legal document.

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    Can you give your opinion if this legalize means I can buy and send my video editor a song to be added to a video he is editing for me. I'll own the song but the editor won't and can't use song for his projects outside of mine.

    "You may, however, transfer Content to a third Person for the sole purpose of allowing such third Person to produce, duplicate or distribute your Work for Distribution, provided that you should take all commercially reasonable steps to prevent third parties from extracting or duplicating the Content."

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    Actually, we already have the simplest licensing around. Many of our competitors offer various licensing deals, at different prices, depending on your usage or needs. You'll have to pick the right plan, with the right rights for your project, and hope you can afford it.

    Not so at Pond5. We only have one license agreement, and it grants you lifetime, unlimited, world wide usage, in perpetuity, across all media platforms. And our prices don't change based on your needs.

    Ownership rights remain with the artist, what you are purchasing is a license for usage rights. But yes, you are absolutely allowed to have an editor work on your project for you using licensed materials, that's not an issue.

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    We have purchased audio to use in all of our YouTube videos. If it gets flagged once and the claim released, will we have to do this with every video or does it release the claim for us permanently? The music will be part of our intro/outro, so it will be on EVERY video. I hate to have to deal with the claim process every time. If so, seems like the only way around would be to use YouTube's limited selection of audio which is not ideal. :(

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    How many clients can I use a song or AE template on? "lifetime, unlimited, world wide usage, in perpetuity, across all media platforms."
    Can I use the same item on as many client projects as I like? thx

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    @hideit - Yeah, it can be a pain to deal with. But I'm afraid that because so much of YouTube is automated, there's no way around it. The good news is that we've built a strong relationship with one of the biggest companies responsible for adding content to ContentID, AdRev. When we get an AdRev claim notice, we're often able to get the claim removed in just a few hours. But either way, contact us and we'll do everything we can to help.

    And for our other friend, the person/entity who holds the license has unlimited usage, yes. You can specify the licensee on the checkout page, after entering your billing information.

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    Hi I would like to use a song from this site for a corporate web video. I find the license agreement a bit wordy... so i wonder if you could confirm for me that a corporate web video would be an ok form of use. thanks

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    @David - Yes, there aren't any special restrictions on corporate videos, so that usage should be perfectly acceptable. :)

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    So confused because I'm reading to much into the License.

    Can I put a piece of music in my film, sell tickets to see it in a theatre, and sell it online and DVD/ blu ray?

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    @Beckershark - Sure, there aren't any inherent obstetrical to doing that either. Assuming we're talking about selling DVD's of the physical, staged performance, then then only thing I would say is to watch out for music that is registered with a PRO. Using PRO (Perfomance Righsts Organization) registered music won't cost you anything extra, but it would mean having to submit cue sheets to the appropriate party, so a little extra paperwork.

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    I would like to know if we can use a video, which has a song from pond 5 on it, on tv, as part of a tv show?

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    @SilverlineFilms - As it mentions in the answer on the top of this page, I can't "clear" your usage for you. But no, there aren't any inherent restrictions that I could see getting in your way. You should be golden. :)

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