NDMC Report 'Striking the Balance'

The National Gallery Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Dear The National Gallery,

My questions are posed in the context of the 2015 NMDC report ’Striking the Balance’ here:
https://www.nationalmuseums.org.uk/media...

Firstly, the report found it ‘notoriously difficult to identify detailed information about the commercial return which museums realise’ from the licensing of images, which was ‘often attributable to a fear that management will perceive the activity as not worth it (and hence that it may place jobs at risk)’ [p.30].

Secondly, the report found ‘a growing body of evidence that open access to digital content for both commercial and non-commercial re-use drives value back to the existing business model or revenue streams of the institution.’ [executive summary]. Participants in the research expressed ‘an emerging recognition that indirect, even non-financial return-on-investment (such as improved reputation, brand equity or audience profile) may be of equal or greater value than direct financial income, with all of its associated costs.’[p.29] Finally (in case the point was not yet clear) the report stated that ‘Many times during the course of this study, participants have expressed the view that the return on investment on open access in terms of increased revenues through existing business channels is greater than the actual or potential return to be had from image licensing.’ [p.38]

In the light of the above, could you please tell me:

[1] What research, discussions, reports etc have been undertaken at your institution to measure the profitability or return on investment of the institution’s licensing of either or both of (a) any images in its collection; and (b) its images of out-of-copyright works of art specifically, as distinct from measuring the gross income that such activities might produce?

[2] Given the findings of the NMDC report ‘Striking the Balance', about the benefits of open access for both non-commercial and commercial re-users, could you please tell me what research, discussions, reports etc have been undertaken at your institution to assess the idea of moving to open access for digital images of works of art in your collection? (ie its general desirability and/or feasibility)

[3] If any such work has taken place as envisaged under [1] and [2] could you please share the main documents or written communications with me, to the extent that this is compatible with the museum's commercial interests? I will understand, obviously, if you would need to redact certain financial details from documents.

[4] Has your institution considered whether licensing images is compatible with its legal obligations under charity law to deploy the charity’s assets in the best possible way for its beneficiaries and to act with reasonable care and skill? To explain: I am wondering if this may have been something your Trustees have felt necessary to consider, (a) if a proper assessment hasn’t been made as to profitability, and (b) in view of NMDC’s finding of the superiority of the open licensing model, and (c) in view of the fact that preservation of jobs was cited in the NMDC’s report to justify the current model rather than maximising charity assets for the public benefit.

[5] Concerning the NMDC report ‘Striking the Balance’ specifically, can you please tell me what discussion and/or actions that report prompted at your institution? Could you very kindly give me particulars?

Thank you very much for considering these questions.

Yours sincerely,
Richard Stephens

Visitor-Engagement-Department, The National Gallery

Thank you for contacting the National Gallery.
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Dear The National Gallery,

I would be grateful if you would disregard my question [4] from the FOI request I made yesterday. I don't think it would produce an informative answer, therefore it wouldn't be right for me to ask you to spend time on it.

Best wishes
Richard

Visitor-Engagement-Department, The National Gallery

Thank you for contacting the National Gallery.
We aim to respond to all our enquiries within ten working days. On occasions, it may take us longer to reply , depending on the nature and/or complexity of the enquiry.
If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please call our Visitor Engagement Department on +44 (0)20 7747 2885 for assistance.

Visitor Engagement Department
National Gallery
Trafalgar Square
London WC2N 5DN

Membership: Be part of the story and join today
http://nationalgallery.org.uk/membership

Sign up for news, offers and exclusive competitions from the
National Gallery:
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/stay-i...)

As a charity, the National Gallery is dependent upon the generosity of the public to ensure we continue to be one of the world’s great galleries. To make a donation, please visit www.justgiving.com/nationalgallery<http://www.justgiving.com/nationalgallery>, or to find out more about the various ways to support us, please visit www.nationalgallery.org.uk/support-us<http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/suppor...>.

Crookham, Alan, The National Gallery

Ref. F436

 

Dear Mr Stephens

 

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 which was received on 20 December 2017. We will start
looking into this for you and will be in touch within the 20 working day
deadline which I calculate will expire on 22 January 2018.

 

If you have any questions about this request in the meantime, please don’t
hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Alan Crookham

 

Alan Crookham

Research Centre Manager

+44 (0)20 7747 2831

[1]The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
[2]Monochrome: Painting in Black and White

References

Visible links
1. http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/
2. https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats...

Wragg, Richard, The National Gallery

Ref: F436

Dear Mr Stephens,

Further to your email, please could I seek clarification on the timeframe that you wish your request to cover. Particularly under point one, but also for your other points, is there a particular time period for which you are interested - for example, a span of years or the years since the NMDC report was published?

Please note that we will not progress your request until clarification is received. Once your clarification has been received, a new 20 working day time limit will be set.

Yours, Richard Wragg

Richard Wragg
Archivist
+44 (0)20 7747 2576

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Richard,

I'm sorry I was not clear. I envisaged the timeframe would be from the publication date of the report (September 2015) to the present date.

I am interested in the role this report played, if any, in museums' internal debates on the issue of open image licences; and, more broadly, the extent to which open licensing is an issue within museums (in the light of a certain disjointedness described among the report's findings). I thought that as the report was only issued quite recently, it would be ok to ask museums to consider the entire period from its publication to the present date.

Thank you very much for looking into this for me.

Richard

Wragg, Richard, The National Gallery

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your email and clarification. We will now start looking into this for you and will be in touch again within the 20 working day deadline. Please note that the revised deadline is 2 February 2018.

If you have any questions about this request in the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Yours, Richard

Richard Wragg
Archivist
+44 (0)20 7747 2576

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Wragg, Richard, The National Gallery

Ref: F436

 

Dear Mr Stephens,

 

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. You asked:

 

                [1] What research, discussions, reports etc have been
undertaken at your institution to measure the profitability or return on
investment of the institution’s licensing of either or both of (a) any
images in its collection; and (b) its images of out-of-copyright works of
art specifically, as distinct from            measuring the gross income
that such activities might produce?

 

[2] Given the findings of the NMDC report ‘Striking the Balance', about
the benefits of open access for both non-commercial and commercial
re-users, could you please tell me what research, discussions, reports etc
have been undertaken at your institution to assess the idea of moving to
open        access for digital images of works of art in your collection?
(ie its general desirability and/or feasibility)

 

                [3] If any such work has taken place as envisaged under
[1] and [2] could you please share the main documents or written
communications with me, to the extent that this is compatible with the
museum's commercial interests? I will understand, obviously, if you would
need to redact certain financial        details from documents.

 

                [4] Has your institution considered whether licensing
images is compatible with its legal obligations under charity law to
deploy the charity’s assets in the best possible way for its beneficiaries
and to act with reasonable care and skill? To explain: I am wondering if
this may have been something your Trustees have felt necessary to
consider, (a) if a proper assessment hasn’t been made as to profitability,
and (b) in view of NMDC’s finding of the superiority of the open licensing
model, and (c) in view of the fact that preservation of jobs was cited in
the NMDC’s report to justify the current model                 rather than
maximising charity assets for the public benefit.

 

                [5] Concerning the NMDC report ‘Striking the Balance’
specifically, can you please tell me what discussion and/or actions that
report prompted at your institution? Could you very kindly give me
particulars?

               

In an email dated 21 December 2017 you asked that we disregard your
question 4. Following a request for clarification, you  specified that the
timeframe for your request is from the date of publication of the NMDC
Report (September 2015) to the date of your clarification (5 January
2018).

 

I have now consulted with colleagues in the Director’s office and the
Communications department. Having conducted all appropriate searches, the
Gallery has not identified any information within the scope of your
request and therefore has concluded that there is nothing to release in
response to any of your four points.

 

If you are unhappy with the way the National Gallery has handled your
request you may ask for an internal review, by writing to:  Susan Foister,
Deputy Director, The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN.
We would ask that you submit your request for an internal review within
two months of the date of this response.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:  Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.

 

If you have any queries about this email, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Richard Wragg

 

 

Richard Wragg

Archivist

+44 (0)20 7747 2576

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Wragg,

Thanks so much for looking into this for me.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Stephens

Wragg, Richard, The National Gallery

Thank you for your message. I am away from my desk until 2 February 2018. I will reply to your message when I return.

If your email is urgent, please resend it to [email address].

If your email relates to Freedom of Information, please resend it to [email address].