Image fees (ctd).

May 1 2018

Image of Image fees (ctd).

Picture: Wellcome Collection, via ArtUK, 

Europeana has an interview with Tom Scott, head of digital engagement at the Wellcome Collection, on why the Wellcome chose to abolish image reproduction fees, and put their images (some 36 million of them) in the public domain:

[...] we wanted to make it as easy as possible for researchers and others to use and reuse the material and because we wanted to reach as many people as possible, not just on our own website but also elsewhere - on Europeana Collections, Wiki Commons, the Internet Archive and elsewhere.

This is the choice museums face: do they want their objects to be seen by as many people as possible, or do they want to control them, for the chance to make a tiny bit of income, if they're lucky? It's as simple as that.

Update - a reader writes, in response to my first choice of image (don't click if you're easily shocked, I just thought it was interesting to show the range of the Wellcome's collection, apologies for any offence caused):

With respect, as I read you every day and share your posts with others, I was disappointed that, of the 36 million images in the Wellcome archive, you selected that particular one to illustrate your post. It is a bit jarring to be scrolling through first thing in the morning and not be forewarned of what is about to appear. If the story headline was about erotic art, or an artist known for such output, I could understand the image's inclusion. However, neither your post nor the linked article in question is about that piece, or even mentions it. If seeing it and being shocked makes me easily offended, so be it, but I am likely not the only one of your many readers who will be so.

Update II - another reader adds:

Regarding the image from the Wellcome Trust collection.

Surely no more shocking to see over breakfast that many other old master images such as Judith with the head of Holofernes?

Another says:

It’s not often that you read a snowflake comment on AHN however this morning, without warning, I was confronted by the reader comment about your choice of image. It’s hardly a jarring image and fortunately most AHN readers are made of sterner stuff!

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