I am baffled by "Editorial Use Only" licenses offered by stock photo sites. It seems that even if photographer wants to sell his photo under "Standard" license, stock photo company can force it into "Editorial Use Only" license. For example, iStockPhoto says following in their information for photographers:
The Editorial Use Only license means that the image can only be used this way, and cannot be used for commercial advertising purposes.
From that, it seems that photographer do not have any say as to what license will be given to designer who use that stock photo website to buy license. I am not sure why that is the case in many situations. I understand that famous person who did not agree for her image to be used for commercial purpose might object such use. I also understand that company that owns a brand can object to use photograph of their product for commercial purposes third party.
However, there are often images of public places, bridges and buildings that are licensed under "Editorial Use Only".
- Who can have objections to the commercial use of such public like places, bridges or buildings? In other words, who can sue desginer for the use of such "Editorial Use Only" photograph if photographer does not have any objections?
- Is there such thing as "Editorial Use Only" for images in Public Domain? For example, if I find image of Big Ben, London Bridge, White House or Statue of Liberty that is in Public Domain, can I use it for commercial work? Or is it "Editorial Use Only" kind of image even though it is in Public Domain? If so, who could sue desginer for using such Public Domain image?
I want to emphasize that I have no intention of infigining on anyone's copyright. I am asking those questions to better understand who, if anyone, owns copyright to "Editorial Use Only" images.