Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, December 26, 2008

More on the barriers to the use of images in scholarly publications

The International Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art (RIHA) adopted a Resolution on Copyright on November 8, 2008.  Excerpt:

...RIHA, the International Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art, is concerned that recent developments in technology, legislation and practice have meant that the various copyright exemptions that exist to promote the advance of creative and scholarly work are not being applied to achieve their intended effect. RIHA strongly believes that neither copyright nor licensing rules should inhibit the development and diffusion of original scholarly research, regardless of the way in which it is published or otherwise disseminated.

RIHA calls upon copyright holders and other stakeholders including publishers, galleries, museums, and collecting societies, when dealing with scholarly research, to:

Subscribe to the definition of scholarly research as stated in section 2 of this document ["A type of non-commercial research whose principal objective is public benefit rather than private profit"]

Apply the existing copyright exemptions in keeping with their intended purpose

Refrain from demanding or refusing unnecessary permissions, or granting these permissions on unreasonable terms.

RIHA further calls upon collecting societies and monopoly copyright holders, when charging for the use and reproduction of images in scholarly publications, to charge solely the marginal cost to the institution of making the specific reproduction for delivery to the researcher, rather than the costs of creating and maintaining a collection of images or of making provision for a profit margin on transactions....

Thanks to Klaus Graf for the alert and for collecting together links to similar statements and links more generally to the "art history image permission crisis".  Also see our own past posts on permission barriers in art history.  Because RIHA generally adopts the recommendations of the British academy, also see our past posts on the BA recommendations (1, 2).