Magazine article Times Higher Education

High and Arbitrary Fees

Magazine article Times Higher Education

High and Arbitrary Fees

Article excerpt

Charging high fees for the right to reproduce photographs of out-of- copyright artworks in academic publications is, as Robin Simon has written in the British Art Journal, a "loathsome practice" that obstructs "not only scholarship but also wider familiarity with (museum) collections". Both the British Art Journal and Jane Masseglia's opinion article in Times Higher Education ("Snap decisions", 23 May 2013) cite the British Museum as leading the way in abolishing this practice, saying that it is among those that now offer free use of images.

This seems to be a misrepresentation of British Museum policy. According to its website, the British Museum offers free image use for "reproduction within ... an academic and scholarly (peer reviewed) book, journal article or booklet". This is providing, however, that "the publication is published by an organisation set as a charity, society, institution or trust existing exclusively for public benefit". …

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