Making it easier to reuse and share Thérèse Bonney photography

Woman holding a child wrapped in a blanket at Parroquia Del Dulce Nombre de Maria in Donna Carlotta, Madrid
Spain: Parroquia Del Dulce Nombre de Maria in Doña Carlota, Madrid.
BANC PIC 1982.111.03.0287–NNEG
Thérèse Bonney, © The Regents of the University of California, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. This work is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

As part of UC Berkeley Library’s trend-setting efforts to make all our collections easier to use, reuse, and publish from, we are excited to announce that: 

We’ve just eliminated hurdles to the reuse of renowned photographer Thérèse Bonney’s photographs. Every photograph ever taken by Bonney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC-BY 4.0). This means anyone around the world can incorporate Bonney’s photos into papers, projects, and productions—even commercial ones—without ever getting further permission or another license from us.

Thérèse Bonney Copyright

Thérèse Bonney (1894-1978) was a documentary photographer and war correspondent. She concentrated much of her work on documenting conditions in Europe during World War II. Prior to her work as a war correspondent, Bonney extensively photographed French architecture and design, as well as writers and artists such as Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, and Gertrude Stein. Her photographs have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress, and Carnegie Hall. 

Bonney transferred copyright to all of her work to the UC Regents to be managed by UC Berkeley Library. This includes Bonney materials at the UC Berkeley Library and any Bonney-authored or Bonney-created materials held by other institutions. 

Although people did not previously need the UC Regents’ permission (sometimes called a “license”) to make fair uses of Bonney’s because of the progressive permissions policy we created, prior to July 2022 people did need a license to reuse Bonney’s works if their intended use exceeded fair use. As a result, hundreds of book publishers, journals, and film-makers sought licenses from the Library each year to publish Bonney’s photos. 

The UC Berkeley Library recognized this as an unnecessary barrier for research and scholarship, and has now exercised its authority on behalf of the UC Regents to freely license Bonney’s entire corpus under CC-BY. This license is designed for maximum dissemination and use of the materials. 

How to use Bonney’s works going forward

Now that all Bonney photographs have a CC-BY license applied to them, no additional permission or license from the UC Regents or anyone else is needed to use Bonney’s work, even if you are using the work for commercial purposes. No fees will be charged, and no paperwork is necessary.

The CC-BY license does require attribution to the copyright owner, which in this case is the UC Regents. The Library suggests the following attribution:

Thérèse Bonney, © The Regents of the University of California, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. This work is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

What’s ahead for the Library

The Library now has some work to do to make our catalog and other information sources about the Bonney photos reflect this application of the CC-BY licenses. This means we have to update things like the Bonney collection finding aid and the metadata for individual photos in the digital versions of the Bonney photos that we make available online. In the meantime, you can rely on written confirmation that we’ve applied the CC-BY license by consulting the Easy to Use Collections page of our permissions guide.

In the coming year, we hope to add many more collections to that Easy to Use Collections page, too. We’ll be spending some time reviewing materials for which the UC Regents own copyright, and seeing what we can “open up” with other CC-BY licenses. Stay tuned.

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This post was written by the Library’s Office of Scholarly Communication Services