The file types of digital images in the libraries (Lossy & Lossless). After understanding all kinds of the digital images, how do you think that librarians could benefit from them? Can you think about the other services in the libraries that could use other types of images with smaller size? How do librarians choose between lossy and lossless types?
Brian already alluded to this potential in his excellent post about the MN Historical Society, but I wanted to return to the topic of how libraries could benefit financially from differentiating their materials between lossy and lossless offerings. I see not only a sound way to prevent copyright infringement, but also a way for archives to generate financial resources by selling TIFF files of selected items. So many photo archives are bound by constraints (personnel and funding) that make them unable to fully digitize their collections. I know from experience that the MN Historical Society hasn’t come close to digitizing their entire collection of photos. They are browsable within an index, but not all offer even a simple reference JPG, certainly not the high-quality TIFF one might desire. If museums can obtain copyright, they could market their collections, and create financial resources that could be returned to their ongoing efforts to digitize even more of their collection. I guess I wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on this potential.
One final question… As many academic and public libraries offer flatbed scanners to their patrons, are they simply turning a blind eye to potential copyright infringement by users digitizing their collections? I know they post warnings near the scanners, but do you think these work? Just wondering if this ever come up with anyone professionally. I have an friend who is an Assistant Art Professor here at the University and I was a bit uneasy when he described spending his break visiting a photo archive with a portable scanner appropriating photos for his “research”.