Can I use Images from Te Papa’s Collection Online? – The difference between Commercial and Non-Commercial Use

Te Papa’s released a bunch of images for you to reuse if you meet certain conditions. One of the conditions is your use must be non-commercial. Here are some examples that will help you figure that out.

A non-commercial use in a non-profit setting
Judy is a student putting together a power-point presentation for her university paper in biology. Judy finds images of birds and bird bones in Collections Online and notices that many of these images are released under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND copyright licence or No Known Copyright Restrictions rights statement. Can she copy those images into her power point presentation?
Yes, because the power-point presentation is not a commercial use. It is not “primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.”

Red- crowned Parakeet , Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae, collected Aug 1996, no data, New Zealand. Reproduced courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa under a CC BY-NC-ND licence (OR.025159)

Red- crowned Parakeet , Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae, collected Aug 1996, no data, New Zealand. Reproduced courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa under a CC BY-NC-ND licence (OR.025159)

A commercial use in a non-profit setting
Members of the not-for-profit Historical Widget Society would like to sell calendars as a fundraiser for their widget preservation efforts. They find a group of historical widget images in Collections Online, and notice that many of the images are released under the No Known Copyright Restrictions rights statement or Creative Commons BY-NC-ND copyright license. Can the Widget Society use these images in its fundraising calendars?
No, because the calendars are “primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.” Even though the “private monetary compensation” will be collected by a not-for-profit organisation, the purpose of selling the calendars is to make money, which makes the use commercial.

A non-commercial use in a for-profit setting
The CEO of a for-profit widget manufacturing company is retiring. For her retirement party, some of the staff make a humorous video A Day in the Life of the CEO. The video will be shown at the retirement celebration, and the CEO will get a copy on DVD as a gift. The staffers decide they’d like to include images of products the company has created over the years and find examples in Collections Online with the No Known Copyright Restrictions rights statement or Creative Commons BY-NC-ND copyright licence. Can they use these images?
Yes, because the video for the CEO is not “primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation”. No one is selling the video, using it to sell something, or being paid to create it, so it’s a non-commercial use.

A commercial use in a for-profit setting
An author is doing some image research for a book that will be published for sale. The author has received no advance nor is likely to receive any profits from the sale of the book due to the limited print run intended for the book. The publishing company will retain the revenue and any profits from the book to cover the cost of publication. The author finds an image in Collections Online that is perfect for the cover of the book and notices that the image was released under a No Known Copyright Restrictions rights statement or Creative Commons BY-NC-ND copyright licence. Can he use the image in his book?
No, because the book is for sale. The sale of the book is “primarily intended for or directed towards commercial advantage or private monetary compensation”. The author or the publisher should request a commercial licence to use the image from Te Papa’s Picture Library.

Coastal moa, Euryapteryx curtus, Purchased 2006. © Te Papa. Reproduced courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa under a CC BY-NC-ND licence (S.044281)

Coastal moa, Euryapteryx curtus, Purchased 2006. © Te Papa. Reproduced courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa under a CC BY-NC-ND licence (S.044281)

Want to contact the Picture Library?
If your use is commercial or if you are still not sure and you want to use the image click on the “Buy or Licence this Image” link below the image in Collections Online and fill in the form that will pop up. Te Papa’s Picture Library will be in touch and fees may apply.

Te Papa Picture Library charges fees for the use of images owned by Te Papa to cover the costs of administering requests for images and also to support the ongoing photography and digitisation of the collection.

Credit
The examples are adapted from this blog post by Molly Kleinman, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License

Edit: 10 November 2011 – I’ve added the registration number of each collection item into the creditline. The registration number is the unique number used to identify objects and specimens in Te Papa’s collections.

7 Responses

  1. Jonathan

    I’m glad Te Papa is making images from its collections available. I’m concerned about the additional restrictions Te Papa is applying to images with “No known copyright restrictions”. Why not simply leave it at that? Why does Te Papa impose additional license terms such as Non-commercial and Attribution on images that are effectively public domain?

    Reply
    • Victoria Leachman

      Te Papa does have additional restrictions on images with no known copyright restrictions. As the owner of these images Te Papa believes crediting of images is important because it helps people trace images back to the source. It’s good scholarship. Te Papa also charges for commercial use of its images because Te Papa wants to benefit from this type of use. One of our values is to act commercially as Te Papa is tasked with raising funds to cover around 50% of its operating costs. Charging fees for the commercial use of images through Te Papa Picture Library is one way Te Papa works to cover its costs. Without these charges in place we would be more limited in the activities the museum undertakes.

  2. onetruecathal

    This still leaves lots of grey area I think. I’m interested in fringe cases, where use is noncommercial but in a clearly commercial context.

    Eg: I want to set up a pop up free culture cafe on a street, with pay-what-you-can food and drink. I want music and cardboard art stands. Some of the music or art is CC-XX-XX-NC. I’m not directly selling or profiting from the work, but it’s clearly associated with commercial activity. So can I use it?

    Reply
    • Victoria Leachman

      The grey areas in the non-commercial creative commons licenses were a concern for us when we chose to assign creative commons licenses to Te Papa’s images. But we felt it was better to work through the issues as they come up rather than stick with the All Rights Reserved statement on all images. Anyone that has any uncertainty as to whether they can use the images should contact us if they aren’t sure. When we do get an inquiry that isn’t clear I consult with the Te Papa Picture Library staff and we work through the issue. In your example we consider the use of the art to be a commercial display and consequently a commercial use not covered by the Creative Commons licence. You can still use the images – you’ll just need to pay a licence fee for the use.

  3. Victoria Leachman

    Thanks for the kind comments. There are over 13,000 images with either No Know Copyright Restrictions or CC-BY-NC-ND statements so far and I’ve still got a fair bit of the collection to go…

    Reply
  4. about snakes

    very nice gesture!! lovely images as well.

    Reply
  5. Ron Brownson

    This is a great initiative by Te Papa.

    It takes on board the critical mass of the public’s need to access images of works held in public collections.

    The more we see of this openess by New Zealand’s public collections the better.

    In the end, it is all about getting images available in the easiest and best manner.
    Ron Brownson

    Reply

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