Do you still “google” your pictures or are you sminting already?

By Gert Fahrnberger

Why we should take license rights seriously

Searching on the internet has become so easy that the name of the platform that brought this convenience to us has quickly become synonymous for internet search altogether. We don’t just search any more, we “google”.

In the context of intellectual property, “googling” can be quite dangerous as the temptation to just use that perfect image found on the internet can be quite high.

Because after all, the hassle of legally licensing an asset may seem overwhelming: Search through (multiple) stock image providers? Create an user account? Ask the boss for expense clearance? Wait for the marketing department and risk missing the deadline?

Whatever the reason – there is one fact: every picture belongs to someone. Using images, videos, text or sound found on the internet without proper permission can be a very costly and time-consuming venture.

Surely you know that, and like most large organizations you are very serious about copyright compliance. Nevertheless, too many people still consider license infringement a trivial offence. And if being compliant is too hard, some people might give in to the temptation.

Why free stock image platforms are so dangerous

But what about platforms that offer great imagery completely for free? Usually there is big letter offers that allow for unlimited commercial use, without any restrictions or worries. And the content seems to be perfect!

Well, in this case the devil is in the fine print. When studying the legal terms, it quickly becomes clear that those platforms do not take over any responsibility for model or property rights clearance, nor for clearance of any rights related to brands or artwork shown.

Last but not least, legal disclaimers will financially leave the unsuspecting downloader left alone in the rain, if any legal issues arise.

So again, using free stock image platforms can as well quickly become a really expensive and time-consuming problem.

Now what?

Is there a solution that makes it super easy to search, find and buy images across many sources without hassle, and where license infringements can be easily avoided?

The solution is: start sminting!

To smint or not to smint is not the question!

Erwin Bakker CFO BBDO Group Germany

Search, find and purchase content using one powerful tool

One of the use cases available with Portals is the Content Buying Portal use case. It makes searching images, videos, text or sound even easier than on the internet, while always helping users to stay safe and license compliant.

The tool is integrated to all major stock content sources like Getty Images, iStock, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, 123RF or even to local or specialized agencies such as mauritius images or PantherMedia.

It provides all those specialized search and AI capabilities that are not available through conventional search engines, but that users have come to know and appreciate through their favorite stock agency. Those really help in finding great content much quicker than otherwise.

The plugins for Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office 365 even bring the power of your Content Buying Portal to the preferred everyday working environment – be it Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Premiere Pro, Microsoft Powerpoint or Word.

The organizational context

Of course, in organizations there is always additional things to consider. There is existing contracts with stock providers, and there is processes, permissions and other requirements that need to be satisfied when buying content.

The Content Buying Portal use case was designed with teams, companies, enterprises and agencies in mind and supports collaboration features, approval processes, user and permission management, Single Sign-On, localization, project support and more.

Also, customers can use their own, existing contracts with their favorite stock image agencies, or can benefit from pre-negotiated standard contracts and prices – or even both. In each case, their choice will only become more complete.

On top of that, once purchased, the assets will be synchronized to any of the major DAM (Digital Asset Management) systems together with authoritative metadata and license information, enabling all users in an organization to continue working with the content in a license compliant way.

You see: To smint or not to smint (really) is not the question.

Learn more about the Content Buying Portal use case here.

Gert Fahrnberger

Gert is Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at He is a really cool guy, very funny and super smart – but he doesn’t take any jokes when it comes to image right violations.