Images such as photographs and drawings are protected by a copyright. Publishers and image owners agree on terms of a license to use the image. As part of the creative community, you must obtain a permission from the copy right-holder on every image that you want to use. A Rights-managed license is a method widely used in commercial transactions, while small businesses depend mostly on Free-Royalty.
Royalty Free is the kind of license that a consumer pays one time. Then, you use the image as many times and in many places as you choose. It is the most common license in purchasing stock photography or clip art. Conditions and limitations are usually attached pertaining to the use of an image in the license agreement.
The price of royalty free images usually depends on the resolution. Whether it will be used for editorial purposes or promotional purposes does not really matter. The length of time may be used, the level of exclusivity granted for the image used and other factors that establish the image value are usually used to determine the price of a rights-managed license.
As long as you are within the guidelines of the stock photo agency, no repetitive royalties are charged for the continued used of the image. Additional fee may only be charged by the copy right holder if an image is used for additional purposes than originally agreed.
As a member of the creative community, it is important for you to know and understand the royalty free definition. You will be working with images of the same license, so you need to know what you can do and what you cannot do to maximize your usage. Keep in mind that the intellectual property of the copy right holder remains on the image, even if modified or changed. You need to protect the intellectual property of the image from all illegal use by others.