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Shutterstock FAQ

How Auto Renewal Work?

Monthly subscription plans are rebilled a few days before the month ends, while Basic/Enhanced Image packs are rebilled when you make your final download or a few days before their one year expiration, whichever comes first.

How Do I Turn Off Auto Renewal?

If you see a charge from STK*Shutterstock on your bank account, that's from Shutterstock. If you're unsure of why you were charged, it's probably the result of Auto Renewal being active on your plan.  

When you purchase a Shutterstock plan, the Auto Renewal feature is on by default. When Auto Renewal is on, you’re automatically rebilled before your current plan expires, providing uninterrupted access to over 50 million incredible images. 

You also get Shutterstock’s Price Protection service (for image plans only). This locks in the base price of your image plan (excluding discount codes) so that you continually pay the same amount, even if prices go up in the future. Price Protection works for 15 months after your original purchase, as long as your plan stays active with Auto Renewal.

Why Pay for Images and Videos?

If a production company is making a TV commercial and wants to use a piece of music for it, they need to license the music, whether the music is by a Top 40 star or a local band. Otherwise, the music is being used without permission and the production company can end up with legal issues due to copyright infringement. 

It’s similar with royalty-free images and videos. Paying for images means that you have documented permission to use them, and the creators of the images get their fair compensation. Shutterstock even offers at least $10,000 indemnification for all licensed content (depending on which product/license you choose).

What is Royalty-free?

Royalty-free is a type of license for copyrighted intellectual property, such as images and video. The license allows you to use the content for multiple applications in multiple media, without having to pay a royalty for each use; you pay just once for use of a particular image or video. For example, you can use an image on your website, in a print ad campaign, and web banners without having to pay for each use. And you can use the image globally and without time limits. 

In contrast, rights managed licensing gives you a license to use a piece of content just for specific media, regions, industries, etc. For example, in magazine print ads for the food industry, only in the US, for the duration of one month. None of Shutterstock's content carries these limitations.

How Can I Use Editorial Content?

Images and Footage marked as "Editorial Use Only" are made for use in stories or articles about newsworthy events or items of public interest. This type of content can not be used for any kind of commercial purpose. These guidelines apply even if your organization is non-profit.

Editorial content can be used in: 

  • News articles 
  • Non-fiction books 
  • Documentaries 
  • Other newsworthy purposes 

Editorial content can not be used in: 

  • Advertisements 
  • Merchandise 
  • Product packaging 
  • Any other commercial/promotional use 

How to Vectorize an Image In Illustrator?

Illustrator is an application made by Adobe that is used to create vector images. Because vector images are the native format, vectorizing images within Illustrator is fairly straightforward. You’ll be using the Live Trace functions to create paths. 

  1. Open the image in Illustrator and make sure it’s selected. 
  2. Navigate to the “Live Trace” option on the control panel. Click the “Tracing Presets and Options” menu icon next to it. 
  3. Browse the existing preset options and select one to vectorize the image. For example, selecting “16 Colors” will vectorize the image in 16 separate colors. 
  4. In order to create a separate path for each color click “Expand” under the options menu. 
  5. To customize the settings for each path, navigate to the “Tracing Presets and Options” menu and click “Tracing Options.” From here you can edit settings such as “Mode,” “Blur” and “Threshold.” 
  6. Click “Preview” to view the resulting vector images. Using this tool you can modify the paths as needed and experiment with the settings before saving the image.