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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Open Content Program is a new initiative to offer an ever-growing selection of the Getty's digital resources for free and without restriction.
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What is the Open Content Program?
Announced in August 2013, the Open Content Program is an initiative to make available, without restrictions, as many of the Getty's digital resources as possible.
Why did the Getty adopt the Open Content Program?
The Getty was founded to promote "the diffusion of artistic and general knowledge." The Open Content Program is an important step toward making our work more freely accessible to the public we serve.
How is "open content" different from "open access"?
The Getty refers to its digital resources available for free and without restriction as "open content." There are many terms used to describe unrestricted digital content that is made publicly available. To avoid confusion with established ideas of open access and open source, the Getty opted to refer to its offering as open content.
"Open access" tends to be used by institutions when providing unrestricted access to scholarly publications and research. "Open source" often refers to software subject to one of the open-source licenses. So we elected to use the term "open content" for this program.
Are there copyright restrictions for the Getty's open content images?
No. The open content images from the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute's collections are of works of art believed to be in the public domain—in other words, works not protected by copyright under U.S. law. The Getty does not claim copyright in digital images of works in the public domain.
Are the J. Paul Getty Trust and its Open Content Program affiliated with Getty Images?
No. The Getty Trust and its operating programs—the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation—as well as their departments, including Getty Publications and the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute, are not affiliated with Getty Images. The Open Content Program is an initiative of the Getty Trust and is not connected in any way with Getty Images.
How do I find images made available under the Getty's Open Content Program?
Look for a "Download" link underneath an image, which indicates that the image is available under the Open Content Program. Search or browse the Getty's open content images on Getty Search Gateway.
How can I tell whether an image is from the J. Paul Getty Museum or from the Getty Research Institute?
Entering a term into the search box brings you to a Search Results page containing the related records. Each listed record on this page contains the source of the image.
How can I limit my search to only the J. Paul Getty Museum's images or only the Getty Research Institute's images?
For search tips, visit Search Gateway Help.
The image I want isn't available for download. Why not?
If a specific image is not available, the Getty may not have a high-resolution digital file or the rights to release it due to:
- Privacy or publicity issues surrounding people depicted in an image
- Contractual obligations concerning how the Getty may distribute the material
- Copyright that is held by another party, or not yet fully researched
Images that fall into these categories may still be seen on the Getty's website in many cases, but we are unable to offer them for free download.
May I request that an image be added to the Open Content Program?
We are currently examining our digitization plans, and will be releasing more images as high-quality digital files become available and as rights are reviewed. We are unable to take individual requests due to the complexity of this review process.
How do I obtain images that are not available under the Open Content Program?
To request permission to use or reproduce images of artworks from the J. Paul Getty Museum's collection, please contact Museum Rights & Reproductions. Fees may apply depending on the type and nature of your intended use.
To request permission to use or reproduce images of artworks from the Getty Research Institute's collection, please contact Library Reproductions & Permissions. Fees may apply depending on the type and nature of your intended use.
To request permission to use or reproduce images of Getty Center or Getty Villa architecture and gardens, please contact the Communications Department at (310) 440-7360 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I download an open content image?
1. Look for a "Download" link underneath an artwork image (sample shown below), which indicates that the image is available under the Open Content Program.
2. Click the "Download" link and answer the two questions—requester's status and intended usage—by selecting the most closely applicable answers from the drop-down menus.
Note that if you click "Publication" as your intended use, you will be asked for additional details, such as the requester's name and email address, and the publication title and date. This information helps us to maintain the collection bibliography.
Optionally, during this step, click "Copy text to clipboard" to copy the text of the artwork's title, maker, date, and other relevant details to your computer's clipboard (short-term data storage).
3. Click the "Submit" button. The large JPEG (digital image) will load in your browser window.
4. Once the JPEG has loaded, right-click on the image and choose "Save As" or "Save Image As" from the contextual menu to save the image to a location of your choice. On an iOS device, tap and hold the image to save.
What sizes are the digital files offered for download?
Digital files range from approximately 5 megabytes to, in the case of particularly large or detailed artworks, over 200 megabytes. All digital files are of sufficient quality for publication use.
Guidelines for Successful Printing (PDF, 312KB) are available for reference.
I can't download an image because its file size is too large. Can you help?
We make extremely high-resolution images available to facilitate the widest variety of uses. You can request a smaller image by contacting Museum Rights & Reproductions (for J. Paul Getty Museum images) or Library Reproductions & Permissions (for Getty Research Institute images). We charge a fee (PDF, 91KB) for this service.
I need a larger digital file than what you offer for free download. Can you help?
You can request a larger image by contacting Museum Rights & Reproductions (for J. Paul Getty Museum images) or Library Reproductions & Permissions (for Getty Research Institute images). We charge a fee (PDF, 91KB) for this service.
Why does the Getty request information as part of the download?
We ask for a description of who will be using the image (individual or organization) and for what general purpose. We hope that this information will allow us to continually improve access under our Open Content Program. Publication users are asked for more detailed information so that we may maintain our collection bibliography.
What uses of the Getty's Open Content Program images are permissible?
There are no restrictions on the use, modification, or reuse of open content images.
May I crop, overprint, or otherwise alter images I've downloaded as part of the Getty's Open Content Program?
Yes. There are no restrictions on the use, modification, or reuse of open content images.
What credit line should I use for images downloaded as part of the Open Content Program?
We request the following credit line:
Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.
Detailed caption information for individual artworks is provided as part of each download.
When using open content images, you should not suggest or imply that the Getty endorses, approves of, or participated in your projects. The Getty name should not be used in the title or the name of your product, and it should not be used as a metadata search term, website name, or web address, or be large or prominent, as these uses and presentations tend to cause confusion among consumers by leading people to believe that the Getty Trust and its operating programs are affiliated with your project or service.
Are images made available through the Getty's Open Content Program approved for commercial use? I'd like to use one for my company's website/product/brochure.
Yes. However, please do not suggest or imply that the Getty endorses, approves of, or participated in your company, product, service, or project.
My editor or publisher requires a permission letter. Whom do I contact?
Permission to use images made available under the Getty's Open Content Program applies broadly and equally to all users, for any purpose. Hence, no specific permission letters are issued.
If I previously licensed an image that is now available under the Open Content Program, do I need to request permission to re-use the previous image?
No. Permission is no longer required to use or reuse an open content image, even if you previously obtained a digital file under a license from the Getty.
Do you require a gratis copy of publications in which an open content image is reproduced?
No, but we would appreciate a gratis copy of any scholarly publications in which the images are reproduced in order to maintain the collection bibliography. Copies may be sent to the attention of:
Open Content Program
The J. Paul Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1000
Los Angeles, CA 90049
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