Adobe Stock And NDAs

Posted on 10/27/2017 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Photographers at PhotoPlus Expo report that they are receiving invitations to join AdobeStock, but Adobe wants them to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before they get information about what the invitation is all about.

It appears that these invitations go to select photographers asking them to join Adobe’s higher priced Premium Collections where the licensing fees are either $49.99 or $249.99 for a small file size and $99.99, or $499.99 for a large file. Adobe says these images are, “Hand-picked from our most inspiring artists.”

However, the people I talked to seemed to think that their images would be included in Adobe’s general collection which is licensed via subscription at much lower prices. That was something these photographers were not interested in doing.

Instead, the photographers said they had decided to go to Redux Pictures or Trunkarchive where they might make fewer sales, but their images would be licensed for higher prices. They also liked the idea that these two agencies seemed to be much more open and easier to work with in terms of contracts and other information than Adobe.
    (Given current market conditions, I’m not sure what kind of prices Redux and Trunkarchive “regularly” get for the uses of their images, but we know that Getty Images licenses very few of the images it represents at prices in excess of $250 or $500.)
It is not clear whether individual photographers who might like to have their work included in the Adobe Premium Collection can approach Adobe and ask that their work be considered, or how they might go about doing that. I understand that some well known photographers have made such an approach.

I have not seen the Adobe NDA so I’m not sure what all is included in it. Are photographers prohibited from telling others that their images are being represented by Adobe? Are they prohibited from sharing the royalty percentage, or the kind of return they receive from future sales? Are they prohibited from telling others which of their images are being used? Maybe, they wouldn’t want to share some of this information, but if they do are they in legal violation of the NDA and what would the penalty be.

The lawyers have taken over the world. Handshake agreements are gone. Personal privacy has disappeared, and yet every activity in which we are involved must be kept private. It is becoming increasingly difficult to conduct normal commerce because all we have time to do is read increasingly long and complex legal agreements.

Copyright © 2017 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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