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How can I tell if a photo is cleared for commercial or editorial use?

Photos uploaded to Twenty20 go through an extensive content review process. As part of that process, every image is looked at by our clearance team, who are rigorously trained in the legal requirements for different types of licensing.

Some of the most common reasons that images can't be cleared for commercial use are:

  • There is a visible trademarked brand or logo in the photo
  • The people in the photo haven't provided a signed model release
  • There are distinct, identifiable buildings, properties, or recognizable interiors in the photo without express permission from the property owner

When our clearance team comes across images with identifiable people in them, they'll notify the photographer via email and ask them to provide a model release. If the photographer can obtain a release from the people in the photo, we'll make the image available for commercial use. If there's logos, company branding, isolated buildings, or other identifiable property in the image, that photo can't be made available for commercial use but can still be licensed for editorial purposes.

What's the difference between commercial and editorial use? Get started here.


When you're viewing a photo, you'll be able to find information about that photo's availability (as well as more licensing information) under "Photo Details".

If the photo details look like the screenshot below, it means the photo has been cleared for both commercial and editorial use.

If the photo details look like the screenshot below, it is because something about this photo means it’s not cleared for commercial use. 


What does it mean when a photo is "Pending Review"?

If the photo details show that commercial use is "Pending Review", it means the photo might be available for commercial use, but our editors just haven't personally reviewed it yet. It might also mean that we haven't yet received the model releases for any recognizable people in the photo. If you'd like to know if this photo can be used commercially, just click "Get it reviewed today" and we'll notify one of our editors to take a look at it right away.

How long do photo reviews take? 

If you request a photo review, we'll typically get back to you within 1 business day!


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