Reproduction & Licensing Fees at the Royal BC Museum and Archives

Over the last few years, the FBCA has heard growing concerns from members about the high cost of reproduction and licensing fees at the Royal BC Museum & Archives. These concerns range from BC authors seeking to publish images and documents in books, to university students, local museums, and social media groups seeking to use materials for educational purposes.

Although the FBCA has raised these concerns with the Royal BC Museum and Archives (RBCM&A), the board felt that a report detailing the barriers that high reproduction and licensing fees create could help to move the conversation forward (link to report below).

Overall, our report makes the following recommendations:

That the RBCM&A should:

Short-term (6 months to 1 year)
1) Eliminate licensing fees for non-commercial use of digitized items
2) Re-evaluate licensing fees for commercial use of digitized items within works
published/distributed in British Columbia

Medium-term (1 to 2 years)
3) Re-evaluate reproduction fee framework
4) Develop a clear and accessible Open Access/Fair Dealing policy9
5) Investigate Creative Commons or other open licensing to facilitate
appropriate use of digitized materials from RBCM&A collections.

Long-term (2+ years)
6) Increase digital file size available for download through the Access to
Memory (AtoM) database10
7) Develop an annual report that identifies where collection items were used,
free of charge, to the benefit of British Columbians.

We are proud of our working relationship with the RBCM&A and we look forward to working together to address these concerns.

You can read the report in full by clicking here (link to PDF)


2 thoughts on “Reproduction & Licensing Fees at the Royal BC Museum and Archives

  1. The current fees for use of BCA images are extortionate.
    Many of us, with books in preparation, are actively seeking other sources for images (City Archives, Vancouver Archives, LoC, etc.). But we would much prefer to patronize our own BC resource, if the fees were more reasonable.
    Currently I am working on one book for a non-profit and am reluctantly trying to minimize BCA pictures, although they would be very helpful.
    I am contemplating a second, commercial, book, about a Victoria artist, but will probably shelve the project as the current BCA fees would be prohibitive.
    The present fee structure gives the impression of a money-grab, instead of a community service.
    -Nick Russell

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