For most items, the basic rule is that each license allows you to make one unique end product. We call this a single application. However, some licenses allow you to make multiple end products with the same item. Also, in some special circumstances you can use a single license when you are making an end product that is sufficiently related to the original (called an allowed variation). Examples of allowed variations include releasing the same end product in a different language or making a minor change.
So, the first step is to check if your item can be purchased with a license that allows you to make multiple end products. The second step is to check whether your intended use is an allowed variation.
Step 1: What item type do you need?
For tools (such as fonts) the Tools License allows you to use the tool an unlimited number of times on an unlimited number of end products.. For more information see the FAQ "What does the Tools License allow me to do?
For video stock footage, video motion graphics and sound effects you can purchase either a single-use or multi-use license. If you’re buying an item from one of these categories you’ll usually want to choose a multi-use license if you’re planning on making more than one end product with your purchased item.
For photos, you can purchase either a PhotoDune Regular or PhotoDune Extended license. The PhotoDune Regular Licenses allows multiple end products, subject to the 500,000 copy reproduction limit. The PhotoDune Extended License allows you to use the photo in merchandising and make unlimited copies of your end product.
For all other types of items, each license you purchase only allows you to make one unique end product (which can be copied and made available to end users of that product). The end product depends on the nature of the item.
- A website theme can only be customized to create one customized website. If you want to create a second website from the same theme, you’ll need to purchase another license.
- A plugin can be added to one website. If you want to create multiple sites with the same plugin functionality, you’ll need to purchase a new license for each separate site.
- A logo template can be used to create a final, unique logo - this logo can then be used without limitation, but you can’t use the template to make a different logo.
- A piece of music can be added to video footage to create one complete video. If you want to make a different video with the same music, you’ll need to purchase a new license.
- A print template can be used to create a poster for your Halloween party. If you want to make a similar poster next year, you’ll need to purchase a new license.
Step 2: Will my second (and subsequent) end products be considered an ‘allowed variation’?
You can rely on a single license (or, if applicable a single-use license) to make multiple end products if your use fits into one of these specific categories:
You’re making different translations (of anything but a website)
Translations of the same end product simply translated into a different language (e.g. alternate text or alternate voiceover) do not typically require a separate license.
However, translations of web pages or entire websites are not allowed variations. These will require a separate license unless they are on the same domain (and are therefore the same end product) as the original site.
- You use a CodeCanyon plugin as part of your English-language website at “myfantasticenglishwebsite.com”. You then create a French version of the same website at “newfrenchwebsite.com”. If you want to use the same plugin in the French website, you need a new license for that plugin, even if the only difference between the sites is the domain and the language.
- You use a ThemeForest theme to build an English-language website at “mylanguageexamples.com”. You then create a French version of the same website at “mylanguageexamples.com/french”. Whether or not the French version is different from the English version, you won’t need a new theme license since both sites are on the same domain.
You’re making a cut-down version of the original: You don’t need a separate license to create a shortened version of an end product where no new content has been added (e.g. a 15 second "teaser" version of a film trailer)
- You buy a piece of music to use in a 2-minute film trailer video you’re creating for a client. Your client requests that you also create a 15-second ‘teaser’ trailer. As long as the teaser contains no new content compared to the 2-minute version, you don’t need to buy a new license. You can rely on the same license that you used to make the original.
You’re making a version with a very minor revision to text or content:
- You buy a single-use license to some video stock footage, and use the footage in an advertisement for a new store. The advertisement says, in text and in a voiceover, that the new store is ‘COMING SOON’. Once the store opens, your client wants a new version of the advertisement that says ‘NOW OPEN’ instead of ‘COMING SOON’. Since the new version is otherwise identical, you do not need to buy another license to use the footage in the new version.
- You buy a print template to create a flyer for your client’s New Year’s Eve party. After you deliver the original flyer, your client asks you for a version that corrects the start time from 7:30pm to 8:00pm. You do not need to buy a new license to use the print template in the corrected flyer. However, the next year, your client is hosting another New Year’s Eve party and wants you to make a different flyer. If you want to use the same print template you will need to buy a new license since the revision will not, in this case, be minor.
You’re distributing the same end product via multiple media: As long as it's all truly the same end product, you can distribute it via different media without having to purchase new licenses.
- You buy a license to use some stock music in a commercial. With a single license, you could play the same commercial online and on TV.
- You buy a license to some code and use that code to create an app. You release the app on iOS and an identical app on Android.
You’re making a series: You can use a single license to make a series of end products (eg TV series, webisodes, or a magazine with monthly editions). To be considered a series, all things in the series (eg episode, edition) must be connected, and be released within 1 year of the first installment. There is also a maximum of 52 episodes or editions within the series.
- You buy a video template to create the opening credits of a 12 episode TV series that starts in December and ends in July. Just one license will allow you to make 12 versions of the credits.
- You buy a sound effect file which you use in every episode of a YouTube series that releases an episode every week (52 total). A single-use license will allow you to make all 52 episodes. If you want to make more than 52 episodes, or if some episodes will be released more than a year after the first, you will need a new license (or a multi-use license).
- You buy a graphic template which you use in every edition of a magazine which comes out once every 2 months. You need to buy one license every year. The ‘year’ starts when the first edition is released.