|Title:||Images of Works of Art in Museum Collections: The Experience of Open Access|
|Citation:||Kelly, K. (2013) Images of Works of Art in Museum Collections: The Experience of Open Access. Mellon Foundation Study <https://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub157/> (accessed 6 January 2022)|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Kapsalis (2016)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data were collected via a survey, which was distributed to 50 museums in the UK and US, with 11 respondents in total. The survey concerned the museums’ policies on image rights and includes an overview of the museums’ terms and conditions applying to image use.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||Yes|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
“This report describes the current approaches of 11 art museums in the United States and the United Kingdom to the use of images of works of art that are in their collections and are in the public domain. Each approach is slightly different. By presenting the thought processes and methods used in these institutions, this report aims to inform the decision making of other museums that are considering open access to images in their collections.”
Main Results of the Study
• Restricting commercial usage of museum images is important, but increasingly difficult to define. By contrast, non-commercial uses of museum images are largely viewed as unproblematic, and most will allow public access images for educational and personal use.
• Open access image policies are implemented by museums for a variety of reasons, ranging from philosophical (purpose-driven, existence of museums to educate) to business orientated (responding to declining revenues, access to technologies).
• Whilst museums fear losing control over the use of their images, this is mitigated by access to newer image detection services, such as the Google Art Project. Further, these fears do not appear to have manifested, as no museums reported detecting unauthorised usage.
• Overall, museums experience positive changes as a result of adopting open access image policies. Museums cite increased goodwill and recognition, increased website visits, and fulfilment of purpose. Perceived losses are, by contrast, minimal, citing increased workloads and (as anticipated) stable or slightly declining revenues.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The study does not make any explicit policy recommendations.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Museums|
|Period of material under study:||November 2011 – May 2012|