If I buy an image of a page of a manuscript from the BL, I can’t put it here without paying the BL some huge fee a year. So of course I don’t. So I don’t commission the photograph either.
Imagine if it cost nothing. Wouldn’t we all tend to use these images? Wouldn’t we all buy more images? We would, wouldn’t we?
So all this access is being stifled. Well, I wondered how much the BL make from this. After all, if they don’t make any money, they shouldn’t be doing it.
I’ve just placed a Freedom of Information request here. Let’s see what they made over the last five years. How many licenses they sold.
I bet it’s very few.