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The Getty moves toward open content

March 26, 2014

Goya drawingThe Getty Museum in Los Angeles houses one of the world’s premiere art collections. Last summer it launched an Open Content Program with a goal of sharing as many of the museum’s digital resources as possible. The initial focus is to provide images of public domain artworks in their collections.

NOTE: This has nothing to do with Getty Images, a collection of photos you can license for a fee.

“The Getty” started by offering roughly 4,600 works and that number has more than doubled. These are high-resolution images, which you are free to use, modify, and publish for any purpose. All they ask for is attribution (example below). You can find the images on the Getty Search Gateway; open content images are identified with a “Download” link.

“Open content” is a broad term describing creative work that does not follow conventional copyright restrictions. The public is typically given rights to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the work. Creative Commons licensing is a specific method of providing open content. Many higher ed faculty members make their course materials available for public use through course websites, Open Courseware, and other means.

[Image credit: Francisco de Goya, “It’s a Pity You Don’t Have Something Else to Do!” Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.]

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