The Getty announced that it was lifting restrictions on the use of images to which the Getty holds all the rights or are in the public domain. Getty President and CEO Jim Cuno made the announcement in a post on The Iris, the Getty’s blog.
“As of today, the Getty makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds all the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose,” wrote Cuno, citing the new program.
As a result, there are roughly 4,600 images from the J. Paul Getty Museum available in high resolution on the Getty’s website for use without restriction—representing 4,689 objects (some images show more than one object), including paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities and sculpture and decorative arts. The Getty plans to add other images, until eventually all applicable Getty-owned or public domain images are available, without restrictions, online.
The Getty Research Institute is currently determining which images from its special collections can be made available under this program, and the Getty Conservation Institute is working to make available images from its projects worldwide.
“The Museum is delighted to make these images available as the first step in a Getty-wide move toward open content,” said J. Paul Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts. “The Getty’s collections are greatly in demand for publications, research and a variety of personal uses, and I am pleased that with this initiative they will be readily available on a global basis to anyone with Internet access.”
Previously, the Getty Museum made images available upon request, for a fee, and granted specific use permissions with terms and conditions. Now, while the Getty requests information about the intended use, it will not restrict use of available images, and no fees apply for any use of images made available for direct download on the website.
“The Getty was founded to promote ‘the diffusion of artistic and general knowledge’ of the visual arts, and this new program arises directly from that mission,” said Cuno. “In a world where, increasingly, the trend is toward freer access to more and more information and resources, it only makes sense to reduce barriers to the public to fully experience our collections.”
“This is part of an ongoing effort to make the work of the Getty freely and universally available,” said Cuno.