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Smithsonian announces licensing deal with Corbis for images from Smithsonian collections

Smithsonian announces licensing deal with Corbis for images from Smithsonian collections

The Smithsonian Institution and Corbis Corp. announced a deal to begin selling images from the Smithsonian's collections for editorial and commercial use through the digital media company.
Under the licensing agreement, Corbis will provide hundreds of images from the Smithsonian museums, including archival photos and images of cultural objects, paintings, sculptures, aircraft and space vehicles. A photograph of the 45.52 carat Hope Diamond is among the first images being made available on the company's Web site.
Smithsonian officials said Wednesday they hope the agreement with Corbis will make museum resources more easily accessible and offer some images in a digital format for the first time.
"We expect this partnership will foster a stronger global awareness of the institution and its archives and generate important revenue that supports its educational mission," Gary Beer, chief executive officer of Smithsonian Business Ventures, said in a statement.
There is no guaranteed annual revenue under the deal, and Corbis did not provide any money up front, said Smithsonian spokeswoman Samia Elia. Licensing fees charged for each image would go back into the museum's educational programs. The royalties from image sales vary each year, she said. No other financial terms were disclosed.
At least 200 images from the Smithsonian have already been added to Seattle-based Corbis' image database with hundreds more to follow by the end of the year, Elia said.
Corbis has similar arrangements with the National Gallery in London, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, said Corbis spokesman Dan Perlet.
In the past, a researcher or publisher would have to go to the individual Smithsonian museums to search for an image and pay the required reproduction fee for that image.
"You can still go to the museums to get the images," Elia said. "But Corbis' Web site _ it's kind of like one-stop shopping."
The Smithsonian's Board of Regents approved the deal with Corbis at a meeting last year, Elia said.
The deal follows the Smithsonian's semi-exclusive TV deal with Showtime Networks Inc. for use of museum resources for filming projects. The joint venture will launch a new TV unit called Smithsonian Networks this spring that will be available as an on-demand channel from cable and satellite television providers. Under the deal, the Smithsonian reviews proposals for commercial documentaries from other filmmakers before granting access to its archives. Of the 117 applications received during the first nine months of the contract, two proposals were denied due to the Showtime deal, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.
The Showtime deal guarantees the Smithsonian $500,000 (euro384,500) a year for 30 years and possibly more, depending on the popularity of the Smithsonian channel, Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence Small has said.
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On the Net:
http://www.si.edu
http://www.corbis.com


Updated : 2021-06-14 18:08 GMT+08:00