I'd like to get some quick reactions from list members to some ideas
that are being explored as part of a European project that we and the
LMA are involved in. Imagine that you have digitised some or all of
your archive's photographic collection and that you have agreed to
make this available through a portal which provides multi-lingual
searching for photographs from archives across Europe. Imagine further
that the portal, which is a non-profit organisation run by archives,
covers its costs by charging a small commission fee on sales of your
images which are referred from it. You are happy with this in
principle because the portal generates extra visitors and sales for
you through activities such as themed virtual exhibitions.
Our original thought was that this commission should be flat-rate, on
the order of 1 Euro/print. But it has been pointed out that some sales
are not just of prints, but of the rights to use an image in a book or
in advertising. In some cases this can mean a price of some thousands
of Euros for a single sale.
Our question is, do you think it is reasonable in these circumstances
for the commission to be related to the price charged; say between
5%-10%, with a minimum of 1 euro and maximum around 100 euro ?
Answers please to [log in to unmask] in the next few days. We're
interested in quick reactions rather than considered answers. If you
don't like the idea of a variable commission charge, we would like to
know why. If you think it's OK, "Yes" is a sufficient answer.
[In case you are interested, the portal is a reality: the European
Visual Archive at www.eva-eu.org. The EVA portal is a searchable image
resource containing historical photographs dating from 1840 until
present day and currently makes available over 20,000 digitised
photographs from various repositories throughout Europe. The current
project is to identify a sustainable business plan for the service.]
University of London Computer Centre