Can someone Explain After Effects Licenses to me?

Lately buyers have been asking me to explain the videohive license terms and whether they need the regular or extended license… and I can’t say that I understand them enough to give them a firm answer.

It sounds like any time a buyer wants to use a template for a paid end product they need an extended license:

Please note that this is not the case for After Effects and other video templates, which fall under the Regular and Extended Licenses. After Effects templates used in paid end products require the Extended License.

What is a paid end product? Is that any time they make a video for a client? or only if that end product is a “paid end product”? Is an advertisement an “paid end product”?

Does that mean that the standard license is only ever to be used in non-paid work?

If anyone can explain this out to me once and for all that would be awesome. I’d love to be able to tell clients the right answer! Thanks in advance!

The license itself gives a better description than I could, of what’s a paid end product or not, but just to clarify one of your points…

Creating work for a client is not classed as a paid end product, even though you might be getting paid for it. It’s what that client will be doing with the video you’ve made for them that dictates what license is needed.

Thanks for your reply SpaceStockFootage. I hear what you’re saying about client work, but all I can seem to find that defines a “paid end product” is:

If the end users need to pay to see the end product, you need an Extended License. There can be more than one end user as long as there is only one end product.

If I understand this correctly, there are very few times that purchasing the extended license is necessary in the case of AE templates, since most customers will not be charging to view the end product. It is hard to even think of a reasonable time that they would (since most customers aren’t selling movie tickets).

It does seem like there would be some delineation over whether the end product is commercial (for instance, in an ad that is selling something) vs non-commercial (a home video you put on youtube). But I don’t think envato makes that distinction.

I can’t be the only person who finds the license page utterly confusing. What makes it worse is that the information for all the marketplaces is crammed together, even though the various types of products obviously have specific nuances. From what I can find, there is no “After Effects Standard License”" page.

It’s as though the obfuscation is intentional. I am willing to bet most users who buy the extended license think that they are buying an “unlimited license” or the ability to use the file repeatedly, when that’s not at all what it’s for. Does anyone else have this suspicion?

Well, that was more of a rant than I intended. I’d love some more clarity if anyone can help!

Well the general rule of thumb is if it’s going on Youtube or Facebook or something like that… then you just need a regular license. If it’s going to be in a film, TV show, TV commercial, on a DVD that’s sold, some kind of training course that people have to pay to access, in a paid for app etc etc… then you’ll need an extended license.

So it doesn’t just have to be in a blockbuster movie at the multiplex, there are plenty of reasonably common instances where an extended license might be required. Then main question to ask is will your client be directly earning any money from the video that includes a render made using your After Effects project.

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Yeah - I think that’s about it.

This should really be answered by staff, but staff are not always on hand to answer this kind of thing. I think the wording of the licenses is fairly clear though.

As I understand it.

You buy a template, customize it and sell the end product (the render of the customized template) to the client. If the client is going to use it in a way that’s free to see -i.e. a TV commercial, Youtube video, in-store promotion etc. then you need a Regular License.

However, if the end product is something that’s for sale, or part of something that’s for sale - for instance a computer game, a DVD, a set of web tutorials that are sold as part of a subscriptions service… then that would require an Extended License.

The key factor is whether the end product is sold or free.

Edit: Incidentally, there is no multiple license any more (although a Tools License is a bit like this). But for templates in general, a new license (whether Regular or Extended) is required for each new customization. You can’t buy a template once and then customize it for multiple clients.

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Thanks @SpaceStockFootage & @felt_tips : your answers are very helpful and I think I am closer to being able to explain it to clients with confidence. Incidentally, I tried to figure out how to contact envato about this issue and couldn’t figure that out, so maybe the issue is with me :confused: .

I do still feel that the licenses information provided on the site is unclear. For most use cases I agree that the easy rubric of “is the final product for sale?” is a good one… The problem is, that question is sometimes hard to answer.

Notice that you two disagree on whether a TV commercial is a “paid end product”… I think this is a paid end product, since the viewer had to pay for the cable subscription (a pay wall essentially). But you might argue that since the viewer didn’t pay directly for the ad, it doesn’t count. To that end, they don’t pay directly for the shows either. And if you count cable subscriptions as a pay-wall, can you count internet subscriptions? (I don’t think so)

The other issue I have with the lack of “multi-use” licenses are the multi-pack items that are very popular… Do we really expect that the buyer of “250 cartoon effects” is buying a license for each end product they make with it? Seems unlikely… If that’s the rules, fine, we can look the other way, but it seems like they ought to bring back the multi-use option to capture at least some the revenue that is surely lost from lack of enforcement of the standard license.

I know we just want this to be simple- that’s what Envato wants, what the clients want, and it’s what I want too. But it isn’t simple, which is why almost any other stock license terms I’ve seen separate out specific use cases with different licenses for each. I would love to keep the simplicity of Envato’s two-license system, but also see proper documentation all in one place based on the specific market- not in an ancient and sprawling FAQ thread.

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Ok, I was maybe wrong on the TV commercial bit. As for 250 cartoon effects… double check this, but the word on the street is that you can use each of them once, no matter what you’re using them in. So in theory, you could use each different effect in 250 different videos. But if you only use two effects in two videos, and they’re the same effects, then you need two licenses or a multi use license (no multi use license for AE stuff, but if that’s a motion graphics item then there is.)

Just to confuse matter slightly more!



You’re quite right that it’s not quite clear. I also don’t really understand how author-own multipack items are allowed or priced. Generally they undercut the market massively by offering a far lower price point.

TV commercials are a tough one. I don’t really watch TV, so I don’t know. I thought that channels you pay for generally don’t have commercials, whereas free ones are paid for by commercials. That’s probably hopelessly naive. But I don’t think anyone paying a subscription to a TV channel could ever be seen as buying the commercials as content. An ident for the channel itself inhabits even more of a grey area. I would advise buyers who are generating a concrete revenue stream from a product that contains some Envato stuff to be on the safe side and get an Extended License. It’s not exactly expensive!

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Cheers @SpaceStockFootage @felt_tips

I agree that TV commercials partially subsidize the shows found on basic cable, but in the US, you also pay a hefty subscription just to see those channels that host the shows. In short, in the US, almost everyone pays directly to watch TV and only sees commercials as a by-product. So, like you say, its a total grey area for broadcast TV. We can surmise that commercials certainly don’t count as paid end product, since no consumer is subscribing for them (except during the superbowl), but the idents, or show opener remains a big question mark.

It has been reported to me that my templates are shown in sports arenas… That seems like an case where the customer bought a ticket to the sports game, and thus the template is used in a “paid end product” since my template is part of the show. Unless it is an advertisement that is shown in the stadium (not paid for)! Oh dear.

And the question of the multi pack is such a big can of worms. @felt_tips I hadn’t thought about their effect on the market- they certainly are super-popular and tend to crowd out similar stand-alone items… I will have to ponder that question some more. And you’re certainly right that customers are getting a tremendous deal even with the extended license.

@SpaceStockFootage that is an interesting interpretation of the license for multi packs, and seems pretty logical. I wonder if this is how they are really used!

My other thought on all this is that even though it seems pedantic, we should be very concerned about these issues. Right now it seems like we’re all getting a good deal, so why mess it up by making it overly complicated? But looking at the situation of streaming music, youtube commercials on “free” content, ect starts to suggest a future where paying directly for something wont be all that common… “Paid end product” will be a poor marker for adequate compensation. It’s all good and fine so long as Envato is extending the market to new types of customers who would never have paid for motion graphic services in the first place… But increasingly this is becoming a commercial space, where companies are paying pennies on the dollar (instead of hiring someone) and we should be worried that we don’t destroy our own livelihoods. And that’s where licenses matter.

Ahem, I’ll get off the soapbox now.

What shakes out of all of this for me is that I don’t envy lawyers.

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@SpaceStockFootage I am making video based review about one Smartphone and i want to use one of your After Effects Template. Then I am uploading it in my You Tube Channel which has a YOUTUBE ADSENSE account attached to it.

The End Product (Completed Video) is Free to access for all my Viewers in You Tube. But i might be paid for the number of views in You Tube (CPC & CPM) even though it may not be too much!

Please let me know whether i have to buy - the Standard License or the Extended License?

If you conclude that i have to buy a Standard License - Will the Author give me rights to use it commercially (Adsense Payments involved). Because You Tube Regulations needs it…

Or Should i buy a Extended License? If so in your guidelines - It is mentioned that it can be SOLD to 1 End User Only! Nothing is mentioned about COMMERCIAL RIGHTS! So will the Author give me this right?? According to me - Video Media (Single Use & Multiple Use) clearly mentions Commercial Rights??

I am interested only in After Effects as the Video Media didn’t impress me at all!

Its all confusing and even my Lawyers are scratching their heads from past Two Days!

Please let me know!

Commercial use is fine under a regular or extended license. Like if I used another authors item in my preview video… it’s commercial use, as I’m using it to try and sell/describe a commercial product, but I’m not directly making money from the preview video, so a regular license would be fine.

Although you would be earning direct money from the video, monetizing Youtube videos is allowed under the standard license.

As for the end user part… the end user isn’t the people watching your video. The end user, for the purposes of the license… is you, or your client. So if you were creating a product for sale, lets say it’s a t-shirt, the one user part means you can use the item to make a t-shirt, or you can charge one client to make the t-shirt for them. But then… you or that client can sell the t-shirt as many times as they want.

Is it one of my templates, or one of VideoHive’s templates? Hopefully it’s the first one! :smiley:

Answer to my Queries was to the point! Perfect! Nobody answered this like how you did!

I am buying a Template and will produce the Chroma Key Video so that i can put inside the Template and Post it in my Own Youtube Channel.

I am new to this Videohive! Are you selling After Effects Templates??? I want to see those! I dont know how to look for a PARTICULAR AUTHOR dude! Is it in same name - SpaceStockFootage!

I will check it now!!

No problem! I’ve only got a few templates, I mainly do motion graphics stuff, space and sci-fi scenes and the like. You’re welcome to click on my name/avatar and there’s a link to my portfolio there.