[Open-education] [OER] Wellcome Library: 100, 000 high resolution images (CC BY) of manuscripts, paintings, etchings, early photography, and advertisements

Phil Barker phil.barker at hw.ac.uk
Wed Jan 22 09:13:49 UTC 2014

There is a Jisc Legal briefing that covers some of the copyright 
implications of UK law (which are not the same as those of US or 
Canadian law) here 

Section 2.14 is pertinent
"Where you have digitised out-of-copyright works if you have exercised 
enough skill and judgement to be considered to have made an identifiable 
original contribution, then you may be able to claim a copyright in the 
digital image."


On 21/01/2014 23:19, Cable Green wrote:
> Thanks Stephen.
> We noticed the same thing at Creative Commons.
> Wellcome calls the some of the works "out of copyright images" but 
> asserts copyright in the digital reproductions that it offers under 
> the CC license.
> CC is in active discussions re: if Wellcome should be able to apply an 
> open license to a reproduction of a work that is in the public domain. 
> Some have been trying to explain that it might be a consequence of UK 
> copyright law, which may give some sort of "sweat-of-the-brow" right 
> to those making the digital reproductions. But that's not entirely clear.
> Of course, it's a positive move for big cultural institutions moving 
> into the world of "open," but if a work is in the Public Domain, the 
> work needs to be properly marked as such (e.g., 
> http://creativecommons.org/choose/mark/ 
> <http://creativecommons.org/choose/mark/>).
> This is an active, ongoing conversation.
> Warm regards,
> Cable
> On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 2:40 PM, Stephen Downes <stephen at downes.ca 
> <mailto:stephen at downes.ca>> wrote:
>     Hiya all,
>     It's worth noting that a great many of the images in the database
>     are also listed as 'rights managed', which I'm finding frequently
>     means this:
>     Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc-nd 2.0 UK:
>     England & Wales, see
>     http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/page/Prices.html
>     The page listed says:
>     "All low res images on this site are freely available for download
>     for personal, academic teaching or study use, under one of two
>     Creative Commons licences. For further details please see our
>     Terms of Use <http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/page/Terms.html?>.
>     "Hi-res historical images are also available to download from this
>     site free of charge, for any usage, under a Creative Commons
>     Attribution Only -- CC-BY licence.
>     "For new photography, larger electronic files or prints, please
>     see the price list below. Prices exclude VAT and postage."
>     I'm not sure what the cut-off is between 'historical' and
>     'contemporary' images, but the historical images appear very old
>     (several are dated 1906) suggesting they may actually be in the
>     public domain (making the CC-by license overkill, and arguably
>     inapplicable).
>     So I would say that this is **in fact** a distribution of a great
>     many of CC by-NC-SA images, with an additional distribution of
>     many public domain images.
>     Not that I'm criticizing them; it's probably how I'd do it. But I
>     would refrain from saying this is a large release of CC-by images.
>     -- Stephen
>     *From:***Cable Green
>     *Sent:* January 21, 2014 3:15 PM
>     In case you missed this good news.
>     Cable
>     ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>     From: *Joris Pekel* <jpekel at gmail.com <mailto:jpekel at gmail.com>>
>     Date: 21 January 2014 13:03
>     Subject: [OpenGLAM] Wellcome
>     To: "open-glam at lists.okfn.org <mailto:open-glam at lists.okfn.org>"
>     <open-glam at lists.okfn.org <mailto:open-glam at lists.okfn.org>>
>     Dear all,
>     For those of you not on Twitter, yesterday the Wellcome Library
>     announced yesterday that they have made over 100,000 high
>     resolution images of manuscripts, paintings, etchings, early
>     photography, and advertisements available using a CC-BY license.
>     http://blog.wellcomelibrary.org/2014/01/thousands-of-years-of-visual-culture-made-free-through-wellcome-images/
>     The images are of really high quality and many great treasures in
>     general to be found. See for some highlights the selection made by
>     the Public Domain Review. The article says:
>     "This move by the Wellcome is yet another recent example of a
>     hugely respected institution releasing digitisations of its public
>     domain content under an open license -- with the last 6 months
>     seeing The Getty and The British Library making similar moves.
>     It's a really promising sign of a more general shift toward
>     opening up public domain content that we've seen taking place in
>     the cultural sector over the last couple of years. Wonderful stuff!"
>     http://publicdomainreview.org/2014/01/20/selection-from-wellcome-librarys-release-of-100k-openly-licensed-images/
>     Enjoy!
>     Joris
>     _______________________________________________
>     -- 
>     Cable Green, PhD
>     Director of Global Learning
>     Creative Commons
>     @cgreen <http://twitter.com/cgreen>
>     http://creativecommons.org/education
>     /reuse, revise, remix & redistribute/
>     We've kicked off our Annual Campaign!
>     donate.creativecommons.org <http://donate.creativecommons.org>
>     teamopen.cc <http://teamopen.cc/>
>     _______________________________________________
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> -- 
> Cable Green, PhD
> Director of Global Learning
> Creative Commons
> @cgreen <http://twitter.com/cgreen>
> http://creativecommons.org/education
> /reuse, revise, remix & redistribute/
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