As I understand it, a stock photo for which an extended license has been purchased can be used as long as "the print run does not exceed 500,000 copies." I'm curious about some of the nuances of this rule as it pertains to book covers. Ebooks don't have print runs because they're digital. So, if I use an image from Adobe Stock with an extended license and use it as a component in a book cover, then proceed to sell a million ebooks with that cover, are there are ramifications from the 500,000 Adobe Stock limit? Perhaps a little more nuanced is this: what if I'm using a print-on-demand model for printed editions of the book with the very same cover as mentioned above? Is each order considered a print run? Or would the stock limit pertain to total number of copies sold? For example, if I sold 501,000 copies of a print-on-demand book (not all at once, but over time), would the very last copy sold violate the stock limit? If so, what happens? What are the repurcussions? Thank you for your time!
Well, congratulations for selling 500k books. You must be a famous writer by then and doing a lot of cash and you can pay for relicensing the asset.
Indeed the 500,001 copy of your book would violate the licensing terms. You would be in breach of the licensing terms and Adobe could ask damages for that, I suppose.
Consider the total of books printed and distributed (in the case of e-books) to be limited to the 500k, regardless of the printing technique or the distribution method.
Look here for more information on licensing: https://helpx.adobe.com/stock/help/usage-licensing.html
(Disclaimer: As always with licensing, this is my interpretation of the rules. I think they are correct and advice is based reading and interpreting the license terms and on fair use for both the buyer and the artist/stock company, but I can not rule out that my interpretation is wrong. I'm not an Adobe employee)
For the question: what happens - you are in breach. Just like going over the speed limit, nothing happens right away, but it is your responsibility not to do it, and there could be serious trouble if you do it. (Adobe do not have anyone counting books!) It's your responsibility- or your publisher's, according to your contract - to monitor licenses, terms, and make adjustments as needed.