Hi, all -

This question recently came up in our registrars dept. and I thought I'd kick 
it out to MCN to see if anyone else has encountered this issue and might have 
guidance. We'd be most grateful for any insight. Our rights specialist sent the 
following question to a registrars' list-serv and hasn't gotten much of a 

"It has recently come to my attention that Bridgeman Images has been selling 
images from our museum's collection (about 17 of them). We do not have an 
agreement with them, and the images are poor quality. I contacted our counsel, 
and he seemed to state that because everything they have is in the public 
domain, we have no legal ground to stand on. That said, I think it would be 
reasonable to contact them and ask them to take the images down, especially 
since the images are of such poor quality. Has anyone else had this experience?"

It might be a non-starter since the underlying works in the images are public 
domain, but we thought it was worth asking colleagues. Any precedent would be 
useful. To be clear: this is not about us asserting rights, just about wanting 
to disseminate better images of the works in our collection (esp. when we'd 
provide better images for free!).

Thanks, all! See you in Pittsburgh!

Maggie Hanson
Head of Library and Collections Information
Portland Art Museum
503-276-4224 | direct

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