I usually cover copyright issues of a different nature; ones regarding audio. But as a keen photographer and designer I love images, and know how hard it is, or was, to find open source images. One big addition to this is Flickr Commons – several big museums and collections have gotten together with Flickr to share imagery that has no copyright, old photographs or has governmental uses like the legendary FSA and wartime images. The collections are good – from Smithsonian who started this, to Library of Congress, George Eastman House, Bibliothèque de Toulouse and so on.
Sadly I’m surprised (although not shocked having dealt with these organisations via John) that there are no British museums or collections yet taking part. Certainly governmental ‘public’ works has a different stance here – Crown copyright vs the US model where if public money is used it rightly stays in public domain – and a non-sharing approach with British galleries and museums means yet again America and Europe lead the way in copyright advances and public amenity. Sigh. I hope that changes – because I know the likes of the V&A, British Museum, British Library, The Hulton/Picture Post archive and the Tates have amazing treasures to share.
Will we ever be allowed to, though?