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How Long Should I keep My Stock Image License Information?

In our Virtual Service Provider Facebook group (click to visit)  a question was posed regarding documentation you should keep when you purchase or download stock images.

If it is from a free site with a Creative Commons license do the same-Keep documentation.

Here’s the exact post:

I responded in our group and reached out to several premium stock resources in the event there was information I forgot to share. Generally speaking you don’t need to keep anything in your personal files as all information will be stored in your client portal for the company you licensed from.  If you close your account with that company and  won’t have quick access it’s a good idea to download a copy of the license agreement or do a screen capture that you store along with the actual image.

If you’re looking for peace of mind a screen capture or print out of the license agreement can’t hurt anything. Store it in the same location as the actual image and use the same file name as the ID on the license so you can match it up easily later.

No, you do not need to keep a log of use.  It is more important to make sure you are using the image in accordance with license usage terms. Most stock sources will go to bat for you if a legal challenge arises as long as you have used the image properly.

This is what Jackie at Creative Market had to say:

I also reached out to iStock  and here’s what Curt had to say:


Yes, I can help with this.

And yes, you are correct with the licensing of content – the download history is the record of the file that was licensed, and is your proof that you have a right to use that intellectual property in your projects.

As you may know, when you download any file from iStock, it is saved in your Download History as a record of the license you have for the file. You can review your Download History by logging in to your iStock account and then clicking the icon of the person in the top right and then ‘your account’. Once on your account page, you can click ‘Download History’. All your file download information is included in that section, including date of download, credits used to download each file, and the license attached to each file. (Under “License” you will see either ‘Standard’ or ‘Extended’ depending on what license you have for each file).

In your Download History you can click ‘Download’ on the right hand side of your Download History to download the file again for free (at any size) if you ever need to. You can provide a screen capture of your download history for proof that you have licensed the content.

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