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Terms & Conditions of Magnum Photos Licensing


You shall indemnify Magnum Photos, its agents and licensors against any losses, expenses, costs or damages incurred by any or all of them as a result of your breach of the terms of this Agreement or your unauthorized use of the content and related rights.



Magnum Photos was established in 1947 with the clearly defined aim of protecting the copyright of its members' work. Since then much has changed, and the copyright laws around the world now offer statutory protection for the copyright of photographers' work except where photographers have willingly agreed to part with the copyright to a client. Magnum remains highly protective of photographers' rights, and will not agree to undertake editorial assignment work where the client wishes to hold the copyright subsequently. Magnum remains at the forefront of the campaigns for photographers' rights generally, and is aggressive in pursuing circumstances where it perceives the copyright of its members' work has been breached and where it perceives the law has been broken.


Image Licensing

All images requested and purchased through Magnum Photos are offered on an individual license basis - sometimes referred to as Rights Managed Licensing. The copyright of the image is always retained by the photographer and Magnum Photos. The licenses serve to protect the rights of all the photographer, Magnum Photos, the licensee and even the subject matter of the images. Rights management has advantages for the licensee as it can be used to limit the use of a particular image, even allowing the use to be licensed exclusively, which effectively embargoes the use of the same image within the requested media. When an image is licensed, there will be standard terms and conditions outlined with your specific usage rights. This will be sent to you by post or email once the license has been agreed, with the full Magnum Photos terms and conditions.


Usage Rights

When an image is licensed by Magnum Photos, the usage is specified on the website order and/or on the subsequent invoice and cannot be used for any other purpose without further agreement by Magnum. The license will state the media use, language rights and the territories for the usage.


Usage Fee

A fee is generally payable to license any rights managed image. The fee is based on how the image is going to be used. This will be calculated by such factors as the print run, media, the reproduction size, and territory distribution and whether the requested use is exclusive or non-exclusive. Magnum Photos calculate this fee by relying in good faith on the information provided by the licensee. Incorrect information can lead to a surcharge on the originally agreed fee and may lead to a cancellation of the license.


Cropping and Image Manipulation

Magnum Photos was founded on the ideal that photographs must not be altered, cropped or manipulated in any form without permission from Magnum Photos. The rights to alter any photograph rests with the photographer and Magnum Photos will seek their opinion on any alteration request. Today, many alterations are granted by Magnum photographers, but it is necessary to submit a request before the image is reproduced as this may affect the terms of the license and result in an additional charge on top of any agreed usage fee.



All images must be reproduced with or in the spirit of the accompanying caption. If there is any doubt by the licensee, then verification should be sought before publication. For example, an image of a doctor on a lunch break looking tired, cannot be captioned by the licensee as a lazy doctor taking time off when they should be working.


Credit Lines

With all editorial rights managed photography, the photographer should be credited with any reproduction of their work. The credit line should read © photographer's name/Magnum Photos. The preferable location for this credit line is immediately adjacent to the image or in the acknowledgements or credits section. For all commercial and advertising uses, we would request that the licensee would use reasonable effort to provide the same credit line.


Published Images

Magnum would always request at least two copies of any publication featuring an image reproduction upon publication.


Model Releases

Most Magnum photographers' work is of a documentary nature, whereby the photographer is documenting the world around them. This style of photography does not lend itself to the obtaining of model releases or other releases. Unless specified by Magnum in writing, no model releases or other releases for any images. The licensee is responsible for clearing all necessary permissions from third parties, be they people, buildings, art, art animals, which may include trademarks, personality rights, property rights, fine art rights, etc. The licensee shall indemnify and hold Magnum harmless against any and all claims, liability, damages, costs, and expenses (including reasonable legal fees and expenses) arising out of the use of any Image for which:


(a) no release was furnished by Magnum in writing.


(b) the use of any Image exceeds the scope of the release provided by Magnum.


The licensee will also indemnify and hold Magnum harmless against all claims, liability, damages, and expenses (including reasonable legal fees and expenses) in connection with any third party claim arising out of the use of the Images, including, but not limited to, defamation, right of privacy, right of publicity, and obscenity claims. Magnum's liability for all claims shall not exceed in any event the total amount invoiced per particular image. Magnum makes no representation or warranty with respect to the use of any names, trademarks or works of art depicted in any image or the accuracy of captions accompanying any images.


Copyright Infringement Tracking

Magnum Photos strives to protect the interests, intellectual property, and livelihoods of the contributors with whom we work, and for this purpose has mandated License Compliance Services (Globally), ImageRights or PixTrakk (France Only) to manage copyright compliance on our behalf.