[INDOLOGY] NGMCP images and copyright law

Andrew Ollett andrew.ollett at gmail.com
Wed Apr 13 02:40:07 UTC 2022

I neither work at the Rijksmuseum nor live in the Netherlands, so the
others who have contributed to this thread might have access to "inside
information" that I don't have, but in my understanding, the Rijksmuseum
was a pioneer of the "CC-0" license, which allows commercial use (and
indeed any type of use whatsoever, completely for free), as explained in
their open data policy
<https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/research/conduct-research/data/policy>. The
Rijksmuseum has high-quality photographic documentation for a lot of
objects in its collection, but not all of these images are released under
CC-0 licenses. Photographs of works in the public domain
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain> (like this Mañjuśrī
<https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/AK-MAK-240>) are available for
free download under a CC-0 license, but photographs of works that are still
under copyright (basically: anything produced within the last couple of
decades) are not.

The point is moot for manuscripts, which (as far as I understand) are all
in the public domain <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain>, but as
others have alluded to, repositories and collections may try to get
scholars to agree to (verbal or written) terms of use before making or
acquiring photographs.  Enforcement of those terms is another issue.

On Tue, Apr 12, 2022 at 9:22 PM Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear Anna,
> On Tue, 12 Apr 2022 at 05:40, Anna Slaczka via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>> [...] It is only not allowed to earn on the photographs, for instance by
>> producing Rijksmuseum ‘souvenirs’ on a large scale and selling them.
>> Downloading for research purposes, using in (scholarly) publications and
>> small-scale reproduction for yourself (like printing it on a mug or a
>> T-shirt) is allowed.
> How is this "not allowed" achieved?  Does the Rijksmuseum itself take the
> photos and only hand them over if the scholar signs a contract with the
> above terms?
> Best,
> Dominik
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