View Full Version : Question about who pays for image reproduction fees?

10-17-2008, 08:58 PM
Hi everyone, Iím new here. I hope this topic isnít redundant (and that I am posting in the right forum) but Iíd like to ask about image reproduction fees. Does anyone know if thatís the responsibility of the author or of the publisher? Iím interested in doing a history book and I need images from museums. From some queries Iíve made so far fees can be hefty.

Thereís also the issue of whether one needs to pay in the first place. The link below mentions a legal case (Bridgeman vs. Corel) in which the ruling was that
copyright over old images cannot be claimed by museums, institutions, etc. (even though they still try to). Does anyone have any more info on this?


Much thanks!

10-17-2008, 09:07 PM
I would suggest using [insert image of xxxx here] in the manuscript and discussing it with the eventual publisher.

The museum is normally asserting copyright over their photograph of the archive item--that is their ownership right to restrict access to the item means they can make you pay for their reproduction of it.

10-17-2008, 11:33 PM
Larger publishers generally pay all reproduction fees as part of the cost of doing business. A small publisher might have a harder time doing that, and ask the author to bear some of the costs (generally by agreeing to a lower advance or royalty) or to substitute images that are available for lower or no cost.

10-18-2008, 04:24 PM
Or there is fair usage.

Just ask IceCreamEmpress about her avatar.

10-21-2008, 11:03 PM
Or there is fair usage.

Just ask IceCreamEmpress about her avatar.


Publishing something in a book that you're going to sell takes it out of the realm of "fair use".

10-22-2008, 08:19 AM
I meant for a print of something that is not available to the public, yet is old enough that no copyright is enforceable.

Not the Mona Lisa, but DaVinci's notebook sketches or some such.

10-22-2008, 08:01 PM
I'm amazed that the museums you've queried are charging hefty fees. All I paid for was copying charges. I guess it depends how the museum is funded. Mine was funded by residential taxes paid to the city.