[OpenGLAM] Italy: ICCD publishes 50k historical images "for personal use only"

Ben O'Steen bosteen at gmail.com
Fri May 23 10:39:17 UTC 2014

I agree that it is a terrible shame to see these two 'releases' be
encumbered in this way, effectively making them of little (re)use.

However, I can imagine the internal struggle that likely took place to get
these images out there, with no technological restrictions on use and
without trapping them in a portal, widget or viewer. While their efforts
fall far short of what is ultimately needed, I think a better discussion
could be started about how we can show them the value of what they have
already done, and why opening further will only benefit them in the long

The people who are pushing internally for their institution to open up need
to show things like improved engagement, higher views, written letters,
increase in donations and referrals, news articles and so on. These kinds
of responses give them the ammunition to battle those who condemn these
efforts out of hand, those who dismiss their efforts saying it will lead to
loss of revenue and be of no real academic use. Yes, they may be opening up
content because they feel that is the prevailing fashion, but there are
people who have been fighting within institutions like these for years who
*need* to show positive responses to opening up content, even if the
content is initially encumbered with an onerous licence.

tl;dr - we need to encourage, educate and provide the evidence to push
further, as well as pointing out the problems with licences.


On 23 May 2014 11:17, Lieke Ploeger <lieke.ploeger at okfn.org> wrote:

> Hi Stefano,
> This is definitely a pity for the open movement. Another recent release
> had a similar non-commercial limitation (for public domain material): the
> Mtropolitan Museum's release of 400.000 images, under their OASC program:
> http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-museum/press-room/news/2014/oasc-access
> .
> Kennisland wrote a good blog post on this issue yesterday called 'Why the
> Met does not open any real doors':
> http://www.kennisland.nl/filter/opinies/why-the-met-does-not-open-any-real-doors.
> Hopefully this will help raise awareness of the importance of truly opening
> up content instead of limiting the options for reuse.
> We will be organising a workshop at the upcoming OKFest (15-17 July in
> Berlin, see http://2014.okfestival.org/festival-programme/) discussing
> this, which has just been announced on the preliminary programme this week:
>    - Maintaining a healthy and thriving Public Domain – exploring the
>    notion of originality and copyright when digitising analogue works – Joris
>    Pekel (Europeana), Paul Keller (Kennisland), Lieke Ploeger (Open Knowledge
>    Foundation), Thomas Margoni (University of Amsterdam) & OpenGLAM Open
>    Knowledge Working Group
> Anyone interested in discussing this further is of course very welcome to
> join!
> Best, Lieke Ploeger.
> On 23 May 2014 12:07, Barbara Fischer <barbara.fischer at wikimedia.de>wrote:
>> Hello Stefano,
>> this keeps on happening, it might be an idea do ask the responsibles what
>> they gain restricting the reuse and refer to the legal policies in other
>> European countries like Norway or UK.
>> But what I do is writing an blogpost pointing out to the readers why this
>> content is yet unfree. Keeping the issue in the public.
>> just my 2 cent.
>> Barbara Fischer
>> Kuratorin für Kulturpartnerschaften
>> Jeweils persönlich von Montag bis Donnerstag für Sie erreichbar
>> Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | NEU: Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
>> Tel. (030) 219 158 26-(0)44
>> http://wikimedia.de
>> Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e.V.
>> Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
>> der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
>> Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.
>> 2014-05-22 12:29 GMT+02:00 Stefano Costa <steko at iosa.it>:
>> Hello all,
>>> this has not received much publicity (perhaps understandably), but
>>> recently the ICCD (Italy's Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la
>>> Documentazione) opened up ~ 50k images from their historical archives
>>> http://www.fotografia.iccd.beniculturali.it/
>>> Unfortunately, as anyone familiar with Italy's cultural institutions
>>> will guess, this material, albeit in the public domain, falls under the
>>> annoying cultural heritage rights law so it's basically unusable for
>>> commercial use and "can only be shared" (sic) for personal use, even if the
>>> images are totally low-res (I can't even imagine how ridiculously small
>>> they appear on a retina display).
>>> The terms of service provide an indication of CC-BY-NC-SA but additional
>>> requirements are stated here http://www.iccd.beniculturali.
>>> it/index.php?it/417/termini-e-condizioni-duso based on various decrees.
>>> Summing up: another epic fail.
>>> Any comments or suggestions?
>>> Ciao
>>> steko
>>> --
>>> Stefano Costa
>>> http://steko.iosa.it/
>>> Editor, Journal of Open Archaeology Data
>>> http://openarchaeologydata.metajnl.com/
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> --
> Lieke Ploeger
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