The biggest disadvantage for photo-buyers using clip-photo CDs is in not knowing who else is using the same image. Widely distributed clip-photo images can look tacky when an attempt is made to use them professionally. While the quality of these images has increased over the years, most images are not as good as what you'll be able to find from stock photography libraries.
In addition, it is generally assumed that clip-photo images are "royalty-free" when, infact, there are often enumerated hidden costs and surprise restrictions that one never seems to hear about (Davis, 1997). There is often a licensing fee due when the image is used in certain specified ways, as well as restrictions on how an image can be used at all even when, as PhotoDisc claims with their products, "creative professionals [have] the right to use an image as many times as they would like, in any project, for one standard price" (Beaudet, 1997). The mistake that many consumers make is to believe that this freedom from paying royalties frees them from paying licensing fees as well." Consumers are warned to read the fine print before making a purchase (Beaudet, 1997).