Licensing for Jon Hodgson Backdrops

We’re now ready to publish the commercial licences for Jon Hodgson Backdrops Books.

If it’s something you think you’d benefit from, you can grab one here on our web store.

The commercial licence was something we offered during the Kickstarter campaign, and due to the runaway success of the project we’ve taken a little bit of time to hone the wording and make sure it’s the plain English, easy to understand document we wanted it to be.

This licence allows you to make commercial use of the images in each book for a small fee. There are no royalties payable, and provided you abide by the terms of the licence, it is perpetual. There’s no limit on how many projects you can use the book for in photographic and video media, but the licence is limited specifically to those media: it is specifically aimed at figure painters, figure manufacturers, figure retailers, magazines, games involving miniatures, commercial blogs and news outlets, and anywhere that makes money from photographing their miniatures or models.

And being 100% transparent? The point here is that if you make money using our images, we think it’s fair we get some of that money. We don’t want loads of it, we don’t want to make you constantly pay, and it’s about as close to a courtesy payment as we can get it.

Of course if it’s just a hobby for you, you don’t need any kind of commercial licence!

Ghoul miniatures from Bad Squiddo’s current kickstarter. Click the image to visit!

For your reference, here is the full text of the licence – in this instance it is the licence for the Sci-fi Backdrops book. Each book has it’s own individual licence, required for commercial usage:

This is a license between you [the license holder] and Handiwork Games Limited.

By using Jon Hodgson Backdrops books in your photography, you agree to the terms of this agreement. Upon breach of any of the terms of this agreement, the license is immediately revoked.

As a license holder, you may use the content of the Jon Hodgson Sci Fi Backdrops book, ISBN 978-18382086-4-6, to create, or have created on your behalf, new photographic or video works [new works].

This agreement is:

  • Perpetual, meaning there is no expiration or end date on your rights to use the content in new works.
  • Non-exclusive, meaning that you do not have exclusive rights to use the content. Handiwork Games can license the content to others.
  • Worldwide, meaning that the content can be used in any geographic territory.
  • Limited, meaning you can use the content in an unlimited number of projects, but only in the photographic or video medium.
  • Royalty-Free, meaning there are no additional payments to be made.
  • Non-assignable – you cannot sell or give this license to anyone else. Only Handiwork Games can assign licenses.


Any new work created is owned by the licensee. You may sell that work or profit from it without the need for further payment to Handiwork Games Limited.

This means if you hold a license to the content, you may make commercial works and sell them to a third party. The third party does not need to hold a license, as long as you do.


As part of the terms of this license, where reasonably practical, “Jon Hodgson Backdrops” should be credited. It is understood that in some venues this will not be possible, but where it is possible, a credit should appear. This includes but is not limited to: social media posts, print media, packaging, publishing in books and games.

Preferred credit line:

Backdrop by Jon Hodgson Backdrops

Limits on Usage

As part of this license, you can never use the content for the following uses:

  • within pornographic or defamatory works
  • uses that promote violence or incite hatred

As part of this license you may not:

• resell the backdrops as digital files

• sell or transfer this agreement to another party

And below is a bunch of guidance to help you make use of the licence, which is included on the second page of the licence:


To help you understand if you need a licence, and how the licence works we present the following examples:

Dave is a miniatures photographer. He buys a backdrops book. He wants to publish photos he’s made with the backdrop book on his blog and social media, in order to gain paid commissions. This is a clear commercial use, and Dave needs a licence.

Jenny runs a miniatures company. She wants to take some photos of her miniatures in front of the backdrops book in order to make nice photos for her web shop. This is a commercial use, and Jenny needs a licence.

Jenny could alternatively buy photos from Dave that use the backdrops book, provided he has a licence. Jenny doesn’t need a licence to buy in photos using the backdrops, as long as the photographer has a licence. 

Kendall runs a YouTube channel, and wants to film some miniatures in front of the backdrops.  Kendall makes a little bit of money from the adverts on his channel, and get paid to promote products. Both entail commercial usage, and he needs a licence.

Bob has a miniatures blog. He sells some advertising space, but he doesn’t make much profit. That’s also commercial usage, and Bob needs a licence.

James runs a blog about his hobby of painting miniatures, It has no adverts. No money ever changes hands in connection with his hobby. James does not need a licence, and can use the backdrops book for his hobby.

Paula paints models, and uses a blogging platform and social media to show off her work. They all use adverts, but she doesn’t get any of the money from them. Sarah doesn’t need a licence.

Mike promotes his Patreon on a blog. The blog doesn’t make any money, but the Patreon does. That’s a commercial usage and he needs a licence.

Mike has bought a PDF of backdrops from He wants to use them with this licence. He cannot, since this licence does not cover any PDF product. Mike should drop Handiwork Games a line to talk about licensing the PDFs.

Rule of Thumb

The simple rule of thumb is: if money comes to you as part of your project, however much or little, or however you chose to spend it, or whatever costs your project incurs, that is commercial usage, and you should buy a licence. 

If you run a business and want to use the content, it’s probably commercial usage.

Commercial usage is not determined by profitability, nor how much money is involved.

We believe that the licence is very reasonably priced and presents great value as a one-off fee for 32 backdrops, with unlimited usage in as many projects as you like. There’s no recurring fee, no royalties to be paid. 

It has a plain English contract which is simple to understand and easy to abide by. We want this to be as straight forward as possible.

Proving you have a licence

We sporadically check in with people using the content, to check they are licence holders. To show that you have a licence we’ll check you own the email address connected to the purchase of this licence. 

Showing us this PDF is not proof of purchase.

Important note:

Each individual volume of Jon Hodgson Backdrops require their own licence in order to make commercial usage of the content found in that book. For example, having a licence for the Sci-fi Backdrops book confers no licence for the Fantasy book.

Tagging and Sharing

We very much encourage you to tag Handiwork Games when you share photos using our backdrops. We’ll usually share it too!