The Dutch National Archive is placing a selection of photographs from the Ministry for Labour collection on the Flickr photo-sharing web site. This initiative forms part of a wider project to digitise more than one million photos from the Dutch archives.
The photos are shared on a "no copyright restriction" basis. "This means that there are no copyright restrictions on the works designated, either because the National Archive owns the copyright of the photographs and authorises others to use the work without restrictions, or because the copyright may have expired" say the Dutch archivists.
In the Netherlands, copyright protection runs for the whole life of the author and 70 years after his/her death. Some photographers are credited on the Flickr gallery but many remain unknown and may still be alive.
" If there is a chance that the author might still be alive, the photograph is shared under a creative commons licence", says Judith Moorgat, head of the digitisation project.
The Dutch National Archive received 300,000 visitors to its Flickr page in one week. They told the IFJ/EFJ that photographs will be taken down if a live author happens to recognise one of his/her works.