The dbnl or "Digital library for the Dutch literature" has decided to remove all illustrations from after 1900 because a Dutch copyright organisation demanding millions for the use of pictures made by some photographers used by the dbnl.
The dbnl newsletter states that the position of the copyright organisation was such that there was no room for a less drastic action. Obviously many of the illustrations used by the dbnl were in the public domain and as obviously many of the illustrations are not by photographers associated by this copyright organsiation.
This incident shows again why Commons is such an important resource. Important cultural institutions are pushed into actions that are completely and utterly against the public interest. The amount of money demanded, millions, is utterly unrealistic. They are demands of organisations that try to create a niche for themselves and in the final analysis the photographers will not make much money in relation to what is extorted in this way.
Increasingly relevant material becomes available in the public domain or becomes available under a Free license. This and the noxious attitudes of these copyright organisations will make a great argument for organisations like the dnbl to consider making their content available under a Free license as well