2009/3/31 Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen(a)gmail.com>om>:
The Romans and whoever in 1709 did not have photography nor did they have
Internet. The practice of considering digital re-use is definitely a recent
invention. Our current best practices were not in place until recently. The
notion that this can be expected of our recent past is interesting to say
the least it is not realistic.
It's the same legal concepts.
The notion that a commissioned work means a transfer
of copyright is not
necessarily right. This has been considered in court in several countries
and this is not necessarily how it can be safely understood.
Commissioned works thing can be messy yes but that is nothing new.
Superboy for example.
collections that have been given to museums and archives with the express
understanding that the works would be preserved. Current best practice has
it that part of such preservation is the digitisation and the publication on
When we cooperate with museums and archives in this, we will find that it is
extremely unlikely to get problems with their material.
That entirely misses the point.
There are all kinds
of measures that can be taken to lessen the impact of an unlikely copyright
holder to object. One of them is the release only in a low resolution.
Either a work is free in which case we go for the highest resolution
possible or it is unfree and not our concern.
In some of the responses in this thread I find that
people take a position
where a museum or archive is the "opposition". This may be true for some
museums or archives, but in this context we are talking about organisations
that want to partner with us. They want to partner with us because we
provide a platform that makes this material relevant again.
If it is unfree material making it relevant is a bit outside our
mandate. There are many archives containing solidly free material that
we do not yet have useful access to. Far better to focus on those.