Can I use a stock photo with the standard license for a book cover? Also, can I modify the image, add words, lighten or darken it, etc?
First of all, you may modify stock images to your needs. There are only few limits laid out in the licensing terms. One limitation is highly er0tic art, generally anything where the peple on the picture are represented in a way that the dignity of them may be hurt heavily.
Second as the book cover is not the main incentive to buy the book and as long as your print run (both paper and digital) stays below 500k, you are good with a standard license.
see here for more information: https://stock.adobe.com/license-terms
I am a graphic designer. When I design a book for a client and they are self publishing should I
license the image or have the client license the image under their own name?
You can license, or the customer can license. It's the same effect. You will need to relicense for a different customer or even the own need, if the same asset will be used again.
Look here for more information on licensing: https://community.adobe.com/t5/stock/links-for-licensing-terms/td-p/11366788
(Disclaimer: As always with licensing, this is my interpretation of the rules. I think they are correct and advice is based on reading and interpreting the licence terms and on fair use for both the buyer and the artist/stock company, but I cannot rule out that my interpretation is wrong. I'm not an Adobe employee).
Thanks so much for your reply!
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