As someone who paints from reference, the Resources & Stock Images section of this website is my lifeline as an artist. The same goes for a time when I was almost strictly a photo manipulator. Suffice it to say that finding a decent stock image is a good 20 percent of my process. Before I really get into this, I just want everyone to know that I respect stock providers, I respect their work, and I will abide by any rules to be able to use their images. Some of you, however, take it too far. Examples below.
1. Permission - I want to use an image that you created, but you would like a proposal from me explaining the project. There are a great deal of stock providers who ask that they be asked before an image is used, but then never check their inboxes. I brought this up to a young lady who responded, "Sorry, I have a life outside of this website." Hey, so do I. We all do. I'm just saying that if you're going to make people ask for permission to use your work, you may want to try a little harder to engage. Nine times out of ten (unless the image is just INTEGRAL to my project), I won't even bother and will just find a less restrictive provider.
2. Credit - This makes sense. I've used something of yours and you would like to receive credit where due. I have absolutely no problem with this. What I have a problem with is people who have crazy crediting rules. If I use something of yours as reference, I provide a simple link to your name or image. I don't bother with icons or thumbnails or any of that malarkey. Your name should be all that's required. I once read a list of stipluations that required anyone who used a certain image to put the stock provider's name ON the photo so that THEY could sell it. To that, I say hell no. It's my work. It may contain references to your image, but it's mine and I'll be damned if anyone else's name is going on it.
3. No commercial use - This aggravates me. I have broken into the professional side of art and I am looking to sell everything I create. Most of the time, I find that the "no commercial use" rule comes from the provider's own greed and selfishness (i.e. "If I don't make any money off of it, nobody else should be able to"). If I were a stock provider, I would absolutely provide my work for commercial use, as long as there was a little something thrown my way. Nothing exorbitant, just something. I feel like that's the route a lot of people need to go.
4. Location restrictions - when I see "only for use on DA", I immediately close out the image and continue my search. As someone who is trying to gain exposure, there is nothing more frustrating than being told I have to keep my art in one place. This website is huge, don't get me wrong. But there are so many more out there. I want my work to be seen by as many people as possible. Restricting use of your image to deviantART only will make me think twice about using it.
5. Revoking rights - Instead of providing an explanation for this one, I'm going to give you a real life story. I was working on a photo manipulation and found the perfect stock image for what I had in mind. I spent 13 hours creating the piece and showed it to the stock provider, who loved it. It went on to become one of my most popular works. A couples weeks later, I received a note from the provider telling me that she is pulling the image from her gallery and that all work using it needs to be taken down. I demanded an explanation. Her flimsy excuse was that she was going on a weight loss kick and that all "fat" pictures of her needed to be taken down. Obviously, I was fuming. My most popular piece of work that took me over half a day to create now had to be deleted because she felt she "looked fat". If you're going ot provide a certain license to someone, that license should stick, no matter what. I've abided by your rules; you need to be abide by the original agreement.
Like I said before, I respect others' work and any rules they put down. But please keep in mind that overkill is going to drive away any potential use of your images.