Friday, December 17, 2010

Making Dutch orphan works available to the public

The Dutch National Archive and Pictoright, a branch organisations for copyright holders of graphic and illustrative material have come to an agreement to make digitised material that is without a known rights holder.

As part of the "images for the future" digitisation project there is so much material without known rights holders that it is impossible to research them all. The agreement makes it possible for the Nationaal Archief to make all the digitised pictures available on its website.

Voor Nationaal Monument op de Dam in Amsterdam hebben vrouwen vandaag liggend gedemonstreerd tegen aannemen van Abortuswet v
Women protesting the 1980 abortion law

This is good. This is important. However... when the images are to be made available elsewhere on the Internet, payments are still required and it will be Pictoright that will do the research into the rights holders. Maximising the money generated will allow Pictoright to do the best it can.

The experience with the Bundesarchiv proved that making images restricted in size to Commons made a huge difference to the sale of high resolution images. It would be wonderful if we can persuade the parties involved to share with us this treasure trove so that we can better illustrate our projects and they will make more money.
Thanks,
     GerardM
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