On Tuesday, June 16, the legal affairs committee voted on my report on the review of EU copyright rules. While I managed to negotiate compromises with all political groups on most of my proposals, one area where we couldn’t agree to a compromise was the right to publish pictures of public buildings and artworks such as sculptures permanently installed in public places. In some countries such publications require a permission from the architect or rightholder of the public artwork, while the majority of EU member states enjoys the so-called Freedom of Panorama, which allows anyone to publish photographs, documentary films and other works depicting public places without restriction.

My draft report pointed out that the need to acquire a licence for such everyday activities as sharing one’s holiday pictures on social media was anachronistic and that Freedom of Panorama should become a rule in the entire European Union. Unfortunately, the members of the legal affairs committee turned this proposal on its head, by adopting the most restrictive amendment on the question of Freedom of Panorama, tabled by the member of the Liberal group Jean-Marie Cavada:

Original proposal from my draft report: Amendment 421, adopted in committee with the votes of European People’s Party, Socialists & Cavada (Liberals):
Calls on the EU legislator to ensure that the use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in public places is permitted; Considers that the commercial use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in physical public places should always be subject to prior authorisation from the authors or any proxy acting for them;

If this amendment became law, what would that mean in practice?

Freedom of Panorama in Europe. CC-BY-SA King of Hearts based on Quibik's workFreedom of Panorama in Europe. CC-BY-SA King of Hearts based on Quibik’s work

This map shows whether EU countries have Freedom of Panorama under their national copyright laws. Countries marked in Green already have Freedom of Panorama (light green: for buildings only), yellow countries allow the publication of pictures of public artworks only for non-commercial purposes, red ones have no Freedom of Panorama at all.

My initial proposal was to introduce Freedom of Panorama in the entire EU, that would turn all countries on the map green. Jean-Marie Cavada’s proposal that was adopted in committee would turn all the green countries yellow or red. According to his proposal, any Freedom of Panorama laws that are not restricted to non-commercial use should be removed.

Why should I care?

You may think that a restriction of Freedom of Panorama for commercial use may only be a problem for companies who want to make money by selling photographs. But in practice, the distinction between commercial and non-commercial is much more complicated.

Dona i Ocell by Joan Miró in Barcelona, CC-BY VriullopDona i Ocell by Joan Miró in Barcelona, CC-BY Vriullop

If you upload a holiday picture to Facebook, you don’t make any profit from that. You do, however, agree to the terms of service of Facebook, which state that you are giving permission to Facebook to use your picture commercially (Section 9.1 of Facebook’s Terms of Service), and that you have cleared all the necessary rights in order to do so (5.1 of Facebook’s Terms of Service). That means, if the commercial use of photographs depicting a public building requires a licence from the architect, it is your responsibility to find out whether the building is still protected by copyright (that is whether the architect died more than 70 years ago) and who actually owns the rights today. You then have to conclude a licence agreement with the rightholder or responsible collecting society that explicitly allows the commercial use of the picture by Facebook before you can legally upload your holiday pictures to Facebook. The same applies for other social networks and commercial image hosting sites that typically draft their terms of service in a way that protects them from liability. A restriction to Freedom of Panorama to non-commercial use would therefore bring millions of Europeans into conflict with copyright law over their perfectly harmless, everyday online usage. And, please keep in mind that violating copyright is not only a matter of civil law but there is also criminal law applying (which is enforced by varying degrees).

In general, it is far easier to transgress the limitations of a non-commercial restrictions than commonly understood. For example, we have seen conflicting interpretations by various courts on whether an advertisement-free public broadcaster is allowed to use works with a restriction on non-commercial usage. If there is a consensus on this matter, it’s that the realm of commercial usage is entered long before a person makes a profit. You can expect your personal website to be considered commercial if you have advertisements or a Flattr button or other micro-payment service in use, even if you make a lot less money than you pay for hosting your website. In a time when new ways of value sharing on the Internet are being tested and the lines between consumers and producers of works are starting to blur, making your usage rights under copyright law dependent on your status as non-commercial will actually discourage new value-sharing mechanisms such as micro-payment from being developed and adopted widely.

Everyone should be able to use public space freely – without having to negotiate a licence first Tweet this!

The restriction of Freedom of Panorama would also greatly complicate the business of journalists, professional photographers or documentary filmmakers, whose activities are clearly commercial, but who have for decades been able to rely upon the public space as a resource that can be used freely by anybody without having to negotiate a licence first. If one goal of copyright law is to stimulate the creation of new art and information, this change would clearly be counter-productive. In contrast to some artists relying on the public space to create their works, the main source of income for architects certainly isn’t the sale of illustrations of the finished building. It’s easy to see that the overall effect of a restriction of Freedom of Panorama for creators would be negative.

Non-commercial use and free culture

Finally, a non-commercial restriction is problematic for the use in projects that rely on freely licensed works. Wikipedia does not accept any pictures with restrictions that contradict the Open Knowledge Definition and this includes non-commercial clauses, even though the Wikimedia Foundation that runs Wikipedia is itself not aimed at making a profit. If the proposal by the European Parliament were adopted into law, all pictures of public buildings and permanent artworks depicting a work whose author has not been dead for 70 years would have to be deleted from Wikipedia.

Deleting pictures from Wikipedia, while tragic for the public access to knowledge and culture, would at least be technically relatively easy yet it would require manual efforts sifting out those images that relied on Freedom of Panorama exceptions. But what about all the physical publications that have been made under the Freedom of Panorama law that has been a cornerstone of many European copyright systems for decades? Usually, new laws to extend the reach of copyright law have applied retroactively.

London Eye in London, CC-BY-SA Kham TranLondon Eye in London, CC-BY-SA Kham Tran

For example, when the protection term for copyrighted works was extended from 50 to 70 years after the death of the author in many European countries, this did not only apply to works created after the change of the copyright law, but also to any works created in the past whose copyright term had not yet expired. That raises the question whether a restriction of the Freedom of Panorama would also apply retroactively and render all the works that have been created under this freedom illegal. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, one would have to assume so. That would mean that lots of books, post cards or calendars of public art that are perfectly legal today would have to be taken off the market and could no longer be made available to the public until a licence from the archtiect had been obtained. It’s obvious that this would create a bureaucratic nightmare for publishers and cultural institutions alike, and the damage of such a change would greatly outweigh any questionable benefits.

What can be done?

On July 9, the plenary of the European parliament is going to vote on my report. This is the last chance for the MEPs to discuss and change the stance on the subject of Freedom of Panorama that they want to communicate to the Commission.

Call your representatives, send them a post card, contact them on social media and explain to them why it is important to you that the public space remains free to everyone and that it should not be burdened by licence agreements.

If you live in a country that already has Freedom of Panorama (any of the countries marked in green on the map above), let the MEPs from your country know that they are about to vote for a proposal that would, if put into law, restrict rights that their constituents are relying on. Explain to them that you want to follow copyright law, but that changes such as the one proposed on Freedom of Panorama make it impossible for regular people who are using the Internet to know their rights. Urge them to simplify copyright law and make it fit for the digital age rather than inventing ever new restrictions. Copyright law should strike a balance between all parts of society. Let your parliamentarians know that Freedom of Panorama is an important part of that balance.

Read the follow-up post: Was a shadowy lobby behind the attack on freedom of panorama? The truth is more worrying.

To the extent possible under law, the creator has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.

My name is Julia, I'm the Pirate in the European Parliament.

I'm fighting to make copyright in the EU unified, progressive and fit for the future. Will you join me?

102 comments

  1. 1

    The new regulations concerning “panorama law” suggested by Jean-Marie Cavada seem totally absurd to me. How can you imagine for example a travel magazine applying for licence to publish a panorama image of a city from everybody concerned? If EU parlamentarians are paid to invent such idiocies, for me alone this is a reason good enough for abolishing he organisation. Enough is enough!

    • Christopher Clay

      Likely such a — very misguided — law would only apply to photos of particular works, not shots of skylines. But you’re right: The way Mr. Cavada worded the amendment (that the big groups then agreed to) actually does not clarify this.

    • Jerzy, why in the world do I get the idea that aou would not really need a reason to “abolish the EU Organisation”? If there is one thing, that I am sure off, it will be that “EU Parlamentarians are not paid to invent idiocies”. If they show a draft like this one, they certainly had many discussions before and they have an agenda. It is probably more valuable to learn about the thought behind the words than calling them or the organisation names. And maybe, this thought has a valid Point and is worth thinking about.

      And yes: I am not a MEP nor do I work for ist institutions in any direct or indirect way. Neither do my relatives.

      • next_ghost

        Frank, the only “thought” behind Cavada’s amendment about copyright on buildings and many other pro-copyright amendments to this report is to “show Julia who’s the boss.” If you don’t believe me, fire up Google Translate and read MEP Svoboda’s blog post about freedom of panorama where he openly insults Julia: http://blog.aktualne.cz/blogy/pavel-svoboda.php?itemid=25463

        Here’s my translation of the nastiest part, you can find it in the original by the number at the beginning:

        “(1) We’re in the process of ex-post evaluation of one already existing directive, and the Pirate rapporteur Reda abused this evaluation for her ideas about the future of copyright – and these ideas have been torn to shreds through 550 (!) amendments in the EP’s Legal Committee …”

        As you can see from his attitude in that article, MEP Svoboda is certainly not interested in doing the right thing as you suggest. It also makes me wonder whose ideas he’s pushing in his own report on copyright, if not his own.

        • Richard

          MEP with the name Svoboda. How ironic, but I cannot believe that such an arrogant man has a sense of humour. His name means “freedom”. We should remember Charter 77 and the Velvet Revolution, because he clearly comes with the tanks of the law. Shame on him.

      • Jordan Evers

        @Frank
        The whole concept of Europe, the EP and Brussels is a big failure and we are ruled by idiots.
        So ‘many discussions’? Yeah, right, the only thing the EP members have to do is show up, stamp their card and off they go; they don’t need to attend anything to get their money.
        There is no valid point whatsoever to EP or Europe. The people never wanted one Europe, let alone a monster like Brussels that’s eating away billions each year – and to what avail? Stupid new laws, invented by megalomanic imbecils who don’t give a rats ass about the people; they don’t care about you either. Remember that before defending them.

        • Christopher Clay

          Internet regulation simply does not make sense limited to national borders. 28 copyright laws, 28 data protection laws, 28 net neurality laws on a single continent – that’s a horrible idea.
          We need a much better union, no doubt! But we do need one.

          Also, it makes no sense to attack the EP in particular. Its members are elected by you. If you want them to act differently, tell them, and if they don’t listen, elect better members.

          • Philip Smith

            While it may seem straight forward to contact an MP, or to know how to go about doing so either by phone, website, email etc., most of modern society have neither the knowledge, or in many cases even the time to jump through hoops learning about political agendas, to try to straighten out what is done by others (the MP’s).

            The reality is that all societys are made up of different people, all doing their own part to make society function, even at its lowest level. If we all knew every detail of becoming conversant in politics, then we’d all be applying to these highly paid jobs, everybody would be fighting to be heard in meetings, and all the shops and places of work would close down due to there being no staff left lol.

            The true reality of having ‘some’ people in charge making all of the rules is at best, a bit of a hit and miss affair with little logic unless ‘everybodies’ opinion is brought in by force (i.e. voting is mandatory), which to me is only logical, since we all have to fill in census forms to stay legal, so why not the same for voting?

            The last general election in the UK shows how badly organised all such voting/contact is carried out, since everybody I know of that ‘bothered’ voting, voted for a party that then closed down after getting 1 seat lol.

            Sorry, just ranting on after a long day :)

    • Maciej Jur

      It is good to see that some of the MEP are not changed yet and they hopefully stay this way. I have contacted about 50 MEP and majority has responded with confirmation that p.46 is, in the view of some of them, nonsense. Good work, Julia.

  2. 2
    Guillaume Allègre

    Hi, and many many thanks for your great work!

    I’m french, and I would like to help spread your work and your call to contact MEPs.
    Have you a french version of this article ? If not, I can translate it, if you agree to release translated versions.

    Sicerely,

  3. 3
    Sally Galletti

    Please keep me informed. I suggest an international agreement of copyright law making it clear what is counterfeit, unlicensed and stolen ideas of artistic works. I have heard many stories of people taking their work for production to China only to discover the Chinese manufacturer is copying their design work and selling as his own. I understand with a photograph it is dependent on when the shutter of the camera took the picture and any two people could have been standing in the same position taking a similar frame and this does not break any copyrights on a public highway.

  4. 4

    Dear Sirs,
    on your map you show Kosovo as part of serbia. Please change that. Kosovo is no longer part of Serbia.

  5. 5
    Stefan Heidrich

    Hi Julia,
    könntest Du diese sehr wertvollen Infos auch auf deutsch veröffentlichen? Die meisten Deiner Wähler stammen aus Deutschland und sprechen deutsch und verstehen englisch, wenn überhaupt, nur bruchstückhaft. Da ware es toll wenigstens von ihrer Europa-Abgeordneten die Infos auch auf in ihrer Muttersprache zu bekommen.
    Danke und Gruß
    Stefan

  6. 6

    i can understand not photographic children but this is beyond belief, and that is it. I do not believe it.

    what a waste of time!!

  7. 7

    Just sent this to my MEPs:
    Attn:

    Paul Nuttall MEP
    Julie Ward MEP
    Theresa Griffin MEP
    Afzal Khan MEP
    Steven Woolfe MEP
    Sajjad Karim MEP
    Louise Bours MEP
    Jacqueline Foster MEP

    North West
    Wednesday 24 June 2015

    Dear Afzal Khan, Julie Ward, Paul Nuttall, Theresa Griffin, Steven Woolfe, Louise Bours, Jacqueline Foster and Sajjad Karim,

    On 9th July, my right to the Freedom of Panaorama is being threatened by a vote on the amendments to the report submitted by Julia Reda around the need to update and standardise copyright laws around the EU.

    If you are not familiar with this, please take time to read Julia’s page here: https://juliareda.eu/2015/06/fop-under-threat/

    As a hobby photographer, this Freedom of Panorama is important to me so that I can express my art online. If I need to obtain express permission for publishing of images of public buildings, then my enjoyment is gone, and what was an easy to achieve hobby and past-time becomes a struggle to partake in, and potentially illegal. If you have a facebook account, or other social media outlet, you too will be impacted by this.

    I ask that as my MEP, you represent me and millions of others that will be impacted by this, and reject Amendment 421 which “Considers that the commercial use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in physical public places should always be subject to prior authorisation from the authors or any proxy acting for them;” and instead support the original report which “Calls on the EU legislator to ensure that the use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in public places is permitted;”

    This just extends the current Freedom of Panaorama from the countries that have this in the existing copyright laws and legislation to the remaining countries that don’t.

    Please don’t allow the EU to take away my freedom in this way.

    Hope this helps!

    • Christopher Clay

      Thanks for reaching out to your MEPs! It definitely helps.

    • _Dear Paul,

      I read your letter carefully and I find it to be written with passion. From my understanding, which of course is influenced by the local rules, I think some parts of your arguments are not really valid.

      You are an hobby photographer. That is great (I am too) – and all of your work should not be impacted by law, even by the new copyright law als shown in the draft. But then you do go one step beyond and claim to be an artist with the necessity to express your art online. Being an artist and showing your work to the public is an entirely different thing than using pictures for private purposes. No one would blame you for showing around a picture of your family on, let’s say, Trafalgar Square (a lot of permanent installations are present there :-) ) But it would be an entire different way to display such a picture as art.

      Furthermore you suggest that you would -maybe – upload it to Facebook. Things get entirely messed up then. By uploading to Facebook you grant the right of commercial use to Facebook. You want receive any fees, but Facebook can use the picture as they like. Giving away a right which you do not own is somewhat risky. Make one guess to whom the lawsuit will be redirected if the holder of a right sues Facebook?

      Finally, besides buildings and other permant installations: have you ever considered that you would need consents and/or permissions of individuals shown recognizable on your photos when publishing them (=putting them online and making them available). And again there is a risk if you grant the right of commercial use to third parties without having consent.

      So, the easy solution could be: we take away copyrights from everyone and everything and make everyone and everything “public”. But this would also mean that we trample the rights of individuals, who work creatively and make our culture possible – be it in writing, photograhy, architecture, music or any other art. For all of them a copyright is something like a trademark of a tradeable good. And obviously most people would agree that it is necessary to protect the trademark.

      Finally – of course the discussion of copyright touches a lot of different arts. But let’s stick to the often used example with the photographer and the architect. Why is the right of the photographer to take a photo more important than the right of the archtitect to protect his work? Why should the photographer be allowed to commercially use an object, which he has not created? (And to be honest: for an architect in our times it is extremely difficult to put a building in a place which cannot be seen by the “public” ….)

      Maybe you will will think about one or the other thoughts. Then the time for this letter was well spend.

      Best regards

      Frank

      • “Why is the right of the photographer to take a photo more important than the right of the archtitect to protect his work?”

        It’s a false dichotomy. The argument against freedom of panorama is as nonsensical as saying that you shouldn’t be able to look at a building in a public place without the architect’s permission.

        “Why should the photographer be allowed to commercially use an object, which he has not created?”

        He has created it; the photograph is his own work. The onus is on the person seeking greater restrictions on freedom to justify them, not the other way around.

      • next_ghost

        “Why is the right of the photographer to take a photo more important than the right of the archtitect to protect his work?”

        Because it’s not “protecting work”, it’s a monopoly infringing the freedom of 7 billion people to do something completely harmless. The whole concept of permission culture is toxic to creativity.

        If you want a specific argument for freedom of panorama, here’s one: The architects were already paid very generously for designing the building in the first place. Any additional income from picture copyright would be less than the cost of doing the paperwork for collecting it. The architects don’t need it because they work in a completely different business. On the other hand, such change of law would most likely stop thousands of future books from being written and force hundreds of existing books to be removed from bookstores for the next hundred years.

    • Hi Paul, A great letter, would you mind if I used the basis of this for my own letter?
      Thanks
      Tom

  8. 8

    Hello. I must admit I can’t find any licensing information on this website, therefore I must presume everything here has all rights protected. It has become kind of relevant, as we’re currently trying to spread the message all over Europe, translating it into many languages to inform local media – and your blog entry has become one of the key texts. If it is (c), no one is allowed to publish their translations, unless they have acquired your written consent for each particular case. Could you confirm or deny this, please? Thank you.

    • Christopher Clay

      Thank you for catching this — our default license must have gotten misconfigured recently. The text now has a CC-0 attribution at the end!

      • Thanks! Now, an Estonian translation has been prepared for publishing in Wikimedia Eesti’s blog (the Estonian organization on Wikipedians). As we’d like to spread the message more widely, we’ve considered offering that text to local news outlets (particularily Estonian Public Broadcasting), possibly with a short comment on the Estonian situation (we do not have FoP yet but have been working towards that intensively, so this proposal would make all our efforts void). Would you be okay with that?

  9. 9
    Nils Torvalds (MEP)

    Julia is of course perfectly right in this case. We have to find a way out of this stupid formulation.

    All the best,

    Nils

  10. 10
    Luis Ulzurrun de Asanza y Bueno

    Thanks for your efforts! I’ve emailed all Spanish MEPs and I’m trying to convince people to do so. My wife and I upload many pictures to Wikimedia so that they can be used freely by anybody. We take pictures of places, not just monuments, because we think that’s how you know what a place looks like. Now we find that new rule that forbids us from using CC-BY-SA license unless we have an authorization from the architec or whoever owns those rights. So I couldn’t publish a photo of the building I live in without asking permision to a person I don’t know who around 1972 designed an unnamed block of flats, who probably doesn’t care at all about the picture, the block, the flats or CC-BY-SA. That would be ridiculous if it wasn’t hindering people’s right to knowledge.

  11. 11

    Hello,

    I found the discussion about the Freedom of Panorama Act a Little earlier tonight. After some reading of drafts and Statements I found some photographers predicting the end of photograhy (I am sure they only thought about commercial photography). And to some extent I can understand that they are upset if they have to ask other people like for instance architects for their consent. Of course, there is no art other than photography.

    But, for a moment, let us imagine there would be an exhibition of photographs in public places – railway stations, for example. (It is not a coincidence that I Chose that example – it is exactly what the German Society of Animal Photography currently is doing all over Germany.) Now let’s think of another person. One with a camera – an architect maybe. He is wandering around and taking pictures with his camera (not as good as a professional, of course!). And because he is a grasping person he uses the pictures he took in a commercial brochure to demonstrate the cultural use of public places.

    So, if I understood the draft correctly – the architect would have to ask the photographers of all recognizable photos for their consent, wouldn’t he?

    I think that mutal respect for the work of others should be extremely distinctive, especially amongst artists. And I also think, it is a much better solution than to negate the rights of all of them.

    • Christopher Clay

      If the photographs in your example are not permanently located in the public, they would not be affected by changes to “freedom of panorama” either way.

      This is about not unduly imposing restrictions and royalties on public space, which should belong to us all. If you choose to install something permanently in everybody’s view, it seems fair to apply rules that give the public more rights.

      • I may appear to be not able to get the point: as far as I can see, the public is not restricted in viewing or admiring or even takting photographs. It is fascinatingto see that almost everything is claiming a loss of freedom. But as far as I can see, the only loss is the loss of the right, to use something in public for own commercial purposes. And I can see neither loss nor mistakes in that ….

        • Well, the problem with the commercial restriction is that the borders between commercial and non-commercial do not lie where many people would intuitively suppose. E.g., if a village society wants to publish a calendar with the pictures of their village, sold to finance building a little garden on the village green, they would need to ask for permission from the architects of all the buildings (if the architects have not been happily dead for 70 years at least). Or if I’d want to use an example of a building in a lecture in a university, I might need a permission as private education establishments are most likely considered to be businesses (the case might be unclear for public institutions of higher education). Or, indeed, if I want to make a book with pictures from Wikipedia, selling it for a low price just to have part of the costs covered – most people would not think such a use should be prohibited or even hindered by the need to hunt down hundreds of possible copyright holders, but this would be a commercial activity. Now, I have uploaded hundreds, if not thousands of my own pictures to Wikipedia, made in many countries, most of them in Europe. If this proposal makes it into a law, many of those would have to be taken down. I can’t see a reason why that should make me happy.

        • I’m afraid your mistake is in looking at copyright (which is a limited subsidy to the holder) and thinking of it as a fundamental right, which it isn’t.

  12. 12

    this is completely ridiculous legislation. even now in countries where Panoramic freedom exists responsible pro photographers contact property owner for permission already to meet the needs on non Panoramic Freedom located stock sites. For amateurs this can only discourage tourism and enjoyment of photography as an artistic cultural experience.

  13. 13

    I find it difficult to argue that the choice which wording gets adapted for the report modifies the legal situation on the ground. An ini report as a mere wish list to the Commission and has no legislative effects whatsoever.

    You walk a thin line that may reinforce wrongful public expectations and fears via the Chinese Whispers scheme. In the eurosceptic UK press it reads accordingly:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/11695345/Freedom-of-panorama-EU-proposal-could-mean-holiday-snaps-breach-copyright.html
    and a friend of mine posted “the proposed EU law that would abolish “Freedom of Panorama” (i.e. the freedom to take and distribute pictures of public scenery without needing copyright licence from the designers of any buildings appearing in them) in countries where it exists.”

    We know there is no “proposed EU law” and regardless the outcome of the vote on a position amendment panorama freedom won’t be abolished or established.

    • Christopher Clay

      This blog post makes the situation clear: “report on the review of EU copyright rules”, “If this amendment became law”, “if put into law”.

      That the tabloid press oversimplifies and is in some cases spreading outright falsehoods (without ever contacting us to check their facts) is unfortunate — we send corrections when we see something being misreported.

      However, when the third-largest group in Parliament proposes to adopt a text basically saying “Hey Commission, we want you to restrict this right that exists in half of the member states” and the two biggest groups agree to that in Committee unanimously, it is fair to say that this right is “under threat” even when no legislative proposal is on the table right now.

      Commissioner Oettinger has, after all, shown a worrying interest in really bad ideas (ancillary copyright law for press publishers, no net neutrality) — there is absolutely no reason for the Parliament to add this one to his todo list.

      At the end of the day, the big groups in the Parliament are responsible for the unpopular ideas they voted for, no matter what stage of the lawmaking process they are in.

  14. 14
    Denise Ogilvie

    Would this apply to monuments such as Stonehenge, historic castles etc.

    • Christopher Clay

      Nope — copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author.

  15. 15
    Dewi Morgan

    As soon as a building is being built its in the public domain, once built its there for all to see in all its glory. The builders and architects will have been paid handsomely for their work and their design skills. Its just the same for a sculpture that decorates our streets its there for all to see, but, is now in the public domain and cannot be hidden away. To say all photographers and artists must now pay a licence fee to publish photographs or art work of whats there for all to see is a nonsense. It seems the architects and designers of our cities are trying it on to rake in more money from the art and photography world who in turn will charge their customers. There is another slant to this, the EU is very sensitive to criticism, it would not take too much of the imagination to see photographers artists and satirists work stifled by the EU mandarins who do not like adverse comments or photographs. This new EU law could be the start of censorship via the back door, a very slippery slope for everyone in the creative world, the freedoms that have been hard won could soon be lost in the mire of EU laws and diktats. If anything the map shown should be deep green not red across the EU.

    • Christopher Clay

      It’s not “the EU” who is at fault here though; it is the democratically elected MEPs who supported this idea.

  16. 16

    What happens to services like Google StreetView if this goes through?
    I couldn’t care less about not being able to share images of modern monuments on Facebook but it would be horrible to lose access to a service like StreetView that offers so much for navigation, discovering places, etc.

  17. 17
    Alexia Death

    Public space is public – to be used by the public for the public. If you do not want to give your work to public use in sense of seeing and capturing what you see(this does not extend to creating a replica for commercial uses), you do not install it in a public space. It’s quite ridiculous to think it’s sensical to require people to license the right to see and utilize that sight in any way they desire from random unidentifiable third parties. Capturing a news cast or even a feature movie from a real street would become a copyright minefield… It’s just stupid.

  18. 18
    Alexia Death

    A simple analogy for you – If i draw a big fat red line across a public street an put up a discrete plaque – “Personal busines crossing – free. If you go to work or do busness anywhere on the other side of this line you owe me X money.” This is a trap. A nasty one at that, because the person demanding X money is not always identifiable beforehand or there can be hundreds. Or you simply donk know yet if you will be doing business or not. The only way to not run foul with it is to not use the public space at all, witch majes it no longer a PUBLIC space.

  19. 19
    Olaf Fiedler

    Um mir keine justitiablen Fauxpas zu erlauben, schreibe ich hier in meiner Muttersprache, denn so weit ist meine persönliche Angst vor der Juristenzunft inzwischen gediehen. Zur Sache:

    Es gilt u. A. zu verdeutlichen, dass der Urheberrechtsschutz von architektonischen Werken bereits besteht und intakt ist. Niemand darf ein Werk, welches das Abbild eines geschützten Bauwerks als ZENTRALEN Inhalt hat, ohne Genehmigung kommerziell nutzen.

    So wahr die Anmerkung von Alexia Death in dieser Diskussion ist, dass auch niemand die Öffentlichkeit vor Errichtung eines Gebäudes nach einer Genehmigung der entstehenden Optik gefragt hat (funktional und formal gibt es – zumindest in Deutschland – Planfeststellungs- und -einspruchsverfahren), so frage ich mich umso mehr um den eigentlichen Sinn dieses dreisten Vorstoßes in der weiteren Beschränkung öffentlicher Interessen und kann nur einen erkennen: Der Anwaltszunft einen weiteren riesigen Abmahnmarkt zu erschließen.

    Da die meisten politischen Vertreter vieler Länder dem Berufsstand der Juristen angehören, sind diese in den gesetzgebenden Gremien der Parlamente meistens “unter sich” und scheinen nach meinem persönlichen Eindruck immer mehr zu vergessen, wem sie eigentlich verpflichtet sind. So lange wir weiter Juristen als Volksvertreter wählen, fördern wir nach meiner Ansicht diesen Umstand, den ich persönlich als Interessenkonflikt begreife, und werden in Zukunft immer mehr erleben für welche Zielgruppe diese Delegierten Politik machen: Für sich selbst.

    Im konkreten Fall führt das zur teilweise schon grotesk anmutenden Diskussion welche Teile von einstmals frei abbild- und betrachtbaren Bildern in Zukunft geschwärzt werden müssen, wobei das Medium Internet immer im Vordergrund steht – nach meiner Vermutung weil hier das höchste Umsatzpotenzial für die großen Patent- und Markenrechtskanzleien zu finden sein wird. Niemand scheint aber über die Auswirkungen auf z. B. Bibliotheken und auch Schulbücher (ja,die gibt’s noch) nachzudenken: Sollen unsere Kinder in Zukunft Bilder historischer Panoramen primär an der Anordnung geometrischer schwarzer Flächen erkennen? Dass man über derlei Absurditäten ernsthaft diskutieren muss, zeigt eigentlich nach meinem Empfinden schon die Verderbtheit einer Rechtsmaschinerie, welche – wieder nach meiner persönlichen Wahrnehmung – die Interessen der Werkerschaffenden nur vorzuschieben scheint.

    Deshalb meine Bitte als betroffener Bürger: Sollte nach vorherrschenden Macht- weil Stimmverhältnissen dieser von mir als böser Spuk empfundene Vorstoß nicht aufzuhalten sein, dann mögen die Verfechter bitte ehrlich Ross und Reiter, also Initiator und Nutznießer, nennen.

    Bei der Gelegenheit möchte ich nicht versäumen, Ihnen für Ihre Arbeit und Ihren Mut zu danken, die Sie auch persönlichen Anfeindungen auszusetzen scheinen, wenn den Diskussionsgegnern die rationalen Argumente fehlen.

  20. 20

    Does this mean if this policy is passed if I take a photo of a building I cannot publish it on my Facebook page without permission of the architect or company who own the building even though it’s only for my photography to share and not make any money from it?

    • Christopher Clay

      Yes, if interpreted strictly it would mean that. But it’s not a proposed law just yet, it’s “just” a statement of approval for such a possible future law by the Parliament.

      • Please may I also ask:

        1) If the building is over 70 years such as the Houses of Parliament or Buckingham Palace in London we would be allowed to take a photo and post it online without this law being an issue if it is implemented?

        2) However, if we took a photo of say The Shard or The Gherkin in London we would need permission from the architects to 1) take the photo or video and 2) post the photo or video online – for both commercial and hobby (making no money from it) reasons?

        3) How would this effect the film industry or map services such as Google Maps?

        I know this isn’t law as yet, however, I’m sure many people would be grateful to know.

        Thank you for your reply.

        Carl

        3) if this happens who would we contact – the owner, the architect, the developer of the site, the property owner?

        • Christopher Clay

          A lot of these details hinge on the exact wording of the EU-level “law” (likely a directive) once written, and then its 28 national implementations, which may vary. But assuming the current text as adopted is transposed into law:

          1) Yes you would be allowed — this would only affect buildings still under copyright. But beware: For the Eiffel Tower they claim that its lighting at night is its own artwork that is still under copyright, even if the tower itself is not.

          2) Taking a photo but not showing it to anyone is always okay. This is about publishing it, and about “commercial use”. You publishing it on your ad-free personal website would not be affected (although German courts have decided that a Flattr donation button already makes a website “commercial”), but a commercial entity like Facebook or Flickr publishing it for you would no longer be okay.

          3) Commercial users like these would need to clear all the rights to comply with the law. It’s possible that collecting agencies would crop up to make this easier — pay a lump sum, submit a list of addresses, let them worry about the distribution. It’s also possible that this law would be largely ignored by the rightholders, as it is in most countries that don’t have freedom of panorama today. Until one day you’re suddenly sued for damages…
          So in either case, it would impose a burden of increased legal uncertainty and/or immense extra effort.

          3b) That is unclear, because the creator (e.g. the architect) can sign over the reproduction rights to someone else. It’d be like clearing rights for reproducing an artwork in a book or an audio sample in a song today: There is no central registry of who holds which rights, you have to go and research who exactly (if anyone) holds the rights to a certain work. In many cases, that would be cumbersome process that might quite frequently lead you down dead ends.

          • Thank you for your clear explanation. I and the photography community are grateful.
            Last question and thank you for your help.
            If I put a photo of say The Shard in London on my own personal website which I make using Wix and make no money from it – will this be allowed with or without permission of The Shard? Thank you and good luck. Carl

  21. 21
    Salajean

    As a stock photographer and a non-Facebook user I don’t seem to have a dog in this fight, but after more than 100 pictures you upload are rejected on the basis of not providing a property/building/sculpture release – you definitely become interested in the business side of the issue!
    While seeing the potential of ms. Reda’s propositions I have to say stock photographers – and I think common users as groups are completely left out – there are very long lists of landmarks that cannot be used for stock (Royalty Free) photography (or not for commercial purposes) – a lot of which are in these green countries – I got burned with the London Eye, some photos from the Shard, various sculptures (you have to name the author and title of the piece before even getting a chance to have your photo reviewed – and in case of >70 years you need a property release) and Royal Residences (Windsor, Buckingham palace etc);
    So basically as a user interested in providing images for commercial purposes there are three options you can work with: 1) personal website where you sell the images 2) prints or 3) stock photography and I have to say I’m not interested in the first two because of the SEO / overhead costs. And I really have doubts on successfully calling FOP provisions in these cases.
    Regarding Facebook – this might turn into a rant – ms. Reda’s efforts on making sure users are protected are commendable! But if you’re protecting users while granting Facebook more power to use YOUR IMAGES for commercial purposes without paying you – that sounds too big of a compromise and an additional reason for me not to join them. It’s great to know you’re on the safe side regarding copyright but granting a company free access to your images to make BILLIONS while pushing ads down your throat that just sounds perverse and we really need a better way! You have entire marketing companies making millions and billions out of your data and Facebook doesn’t even bother to take your side at least on the copyright issue?

    • FXPirot

      @Salajean, about FB policy : One step at a time. First let’s deal with this right of panorama question. If necessary, we might have to deal later with the abuse in the social networks, notable FB, with the appropriation of user content.

  22. 22

    Do Flickr have same policy as Facebook for me to give permission to Flickr to use your picture commercially? I cannot find on Yahoo site? Can you advise? Thanking you.

    • Christopher Clay

      They must have such a policy: Displaying your photos on “your profile” (= their commercial website, with ads, etc.) is of course a commercial usage. So to do what you want them to do — host and display your photo — they need that permission from you. There is no way around that unless you host your images yourself.

      Beyond that, Yahoo also demands the permission of using that photo “to promote Flickr or Yahoo”:

      “For photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available on publicly accessible areas of the Yahoo Services, you give to Yahoo the worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive licence to use, distribute, reproduce, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, publicly perform and publicly display the User Content on the Yahoo Services:
      – for the purposes for which that User Content was submitted; and
      – for the purpose of promoting the Yahoo property to which the User Content was submitted or the Yahoo Services anywhere on the Yahoo network or in connection with any distribution or syndication arrangement with other organisations or individuals or their sites.
      This licence exists only for as long as you continue to include the User Content on the Yahoo Services and will end at the time you remove, or Yahoo removes, the User Content from the Yahoo Services.”
      http://info.yahoo.com/legal/eu/yahoo/utos/en-ie/

      My impression is that they usually demand these rather broad rights not to go print books and make millions from your work (if they did that, there would be an outcry and everyone would stop using their service), but to be on the safe side because copyright law is such a mess.

  23. 23

    Yeps,

    Photography will be reduced to:

    1) Still photography of natural growing flowers (carefull breeded varieties can be patented)

    2) Protrait photography in al of it’s forms using tons of informed concents….and a team of lawyers for every photographer.

    3) Wildlife and natural landscape photography (ecluding some national parks in the US which prohibit photography altogether).

    So it’s goodby to a nearly 200 year old artform. Well personally I could not care less…..but remeber it’s not the law that killed photography, it’s the social media in combination with the ubiquitous CMOS sensor, which are to blame. In the 80th and 90th amateur photographers made pictures on film…..that cost 15 euro’s for 36 shots (at least professional film did). These shots got printed and never made it any further then the local enthousiasts meeting (in order to be filleted by our peers) and sometimes an exhibition catalog (yeah!). Totally no problemo.

    Nowadays a National Geographic photographer lands in a godforsaken part of the world and shoots 4000 frames on his first afternoon. That is more then I shot in my entire analog photographic carreer.

    And also nowadays a selfie of you plumeting to your death can be on Instagram before the brave lad or lassie makes contact with terra firma (and have a few thousand hits in the proces). IMHO we should keep our panorama rights but we would also be wise to curb the zeal with which we publish everything and everybody on the Interweb.

    So photography is to blame for all these actions in order to curb the use of photography. It has tuirned itself into a completely irrelevant, useless medium, P-shopped, mangled, all over the place and mostly silly.

    Greets, Ed

  24. 24

    I am an independent travel blogger and produce a small independent website that promotes Great Britain and all of the wonderful places to visit here. My site achieves thousands of visits daily and is a useful resource for tourists who live here and those that visit from abroad. If this law is passed I would be forced to remove virtually all of the images from my website! The task of identifying every image that breaches the rules and that of obtaining permission from the architect of each and every building depicted is completely beyond the resources available to me. To be frank this law would mean the end of 10 years of hard work and the end of my livelihood as a travel writer.

  25. 25

    Do these restictions also relate to other art media? For example if one painted a picture of the London Skyline which included a modern structure. I assume such a painting could be displayed privately but could not be sold unless permission was acquired? Would this also be applied retrospectively to exisiting paintings that depicted such structures, effectively reducing the value of such artworks to nothing?

  26. 26

    One final question.

    If the passing of this law causes loss of income or loss of value to existing works, can compensation be claimed against the EU?

    • Christopher Clay

      Nope, I don’t believe that’s possible

      • It may be possible under UK law to claim compensation under one of the compensation acts but this may need a test case. Compensation was paid under changes to the Firearms (Amendment) Act in 1997. A quick search of the internet for paintings of modern landmarks (in the UK alone) identifies there are possibly £100,000s pounds worth currently for sale, not to mention those already sold.

  27. 27

    I can’t understand why an MEP would want to turn the original notions written by Julia Reda so completely on their head and for what logical, workable reason?

    I keep hearing reference to Facebook’s copyright policy, what effect might this have on Instagram, where it’s all about the image?

    Are there any petition’s running in any countries?

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Jorge Hamet

    I understand and realize that what they are doing is their job , but vallan on our side ; we need those pictures for display on a school exposition or for other purposes of use and has nothing bad to take them and use them ; it is also why these buildings are for display to the world and to earn more income countries economically.

  30. 30

    Wider Implications of loss of FOP in UK

    In the UK there are certain By Laws that allow owners of property to claim intellectual rights under the legal term of “Hawking”, regardless of the age of the property or the lapse of any copyrights. For example there are already restrictions of the taking and usage of photographs on and in many public and private buildings, museums, art galleries and even landscapes, gardens and outside spaces. The only law that prevents the total ban of taking photographs, without the need for permission, is that of Freedom of Panorama. For details of UK legislation see link below:

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/62

    In general you can exercise FOP anywhere in the UK so long as the pictures are taken from a public highway. If FOP were lost in the UK then we could potentially lose the right to photograph virtually anything.

    One particular case in question is that of National Trust Properties. You are allowed to take photographs of these properties (which include, buildings, gardens, landscapes and even sections of the UK coastline) but you are not allowed to use them commercially or upload them to a photo library, without permission of NT. Currently the only clause that prevents total ban of the commercial use of NT images is for those images that are taken under FOP on a public highway or footpath. If FOP is lost in the UK then this freedom would certainly also be curtailed.
    See link below for details of National Trust photographic access restrictions:

    http://www.nationaltrustimages.org.uk/photographic-access

  31. 31

    If I understand this correctly taking the picture is not the problem. The problem occurs when and if the picture is uploaded to social media or used for commercial purposes. So taking holiday snaps is not a problem, even with the new restriction, but the photographer would need to seek permission to use the image to make money. That seems reasonable to me though I subscribe to the view that art and architecture in am public place has been given to the public and copyright given with it.

    The real issue here is how organisations like Facebook, in the guise of offering a free service, hoovers up information and images that it can exploit to make money. The EU should tackle that issue, not rescind the Freedom of Panorama.

    • Christopher Clay

      You are correct that this debate doesn’t apply to just taking a picture and not showing it to anyone.

      However I’d like to challenge the idea that Facebook is “exploiting” the work of architects whose buildings appear in photos uploaded by their users “to make money”. This doesn’t seem a significant part of their business model: They are providing neutral infrastructure for people to share their lives; it’s not like they are selling prints of any architectural photography they happen to get their hands on.

  32. 32

    Hi, I’am a photographer and I consider this regulation absolutely absurd, nevertheless it is a limit to our Italian Costitution regarding various articles, such as: the freedom of expression, personal freedom like travelling or walking or regarding a monument.
    Please withdraw this regulation.

  33. 33
    Óscar de Torres

    If i cant play a song without the author permisión, why can i make a photograp of a drawing without the authorization of the painter?

    • Christopher Clay

      You can’t. Unless that drawing is “permanently installed in the public” this discussion doesn’t apply to drawings.

  34. 34

    So, what happens with google street view and google earth? Reckon they will have to stop providing that service, either that or knock on everyones door for permission.

  35. 35
    John Minson

    This proposed law appears to presume that there is a clear distinction between amateur and ‘commercial’ photography. I believe that this is a very naïve view, especially where street photography is concerned.

    A prime example would be the work of Vivian Maier ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivian_Maier ) which was never published nor exhibited during her lifetime but which is now recognised as among the very finest street photography of the second half of the 20th century and which has been exhibited worldwide to great acclaim.

    If this law is passed, a contemporary, European ‘Vivian Maier’ would have no chance of their work ever reaching the public; and so our shared culture would be starved of valuable historical records, of warm expressions of humanity and of the aesthetic brilliance that such photographs can express.

    What does an architect lose if their work is featured in a photograph? I would have thought that, rather than causing any loss, it brings their efforts to a far wider, worldwide audience than would see it in situ. Therefore, an unintended consequence may be that this law would have a chilling effect on the spread of innovative architectural ideas as well as photography.

    And I cannot imagine many architects or rights holders would welcome a constant flood of requests to reproduce photographs which happened to include their buildings. Indeed, I would imagine such bureaucratic nonsense would be counter-productive to their creative and commercial practices.

  36. 36
    Richard

    Es realmente una estupidez, conozco mucha gente por internet y nos angustia que desaparezcan imágenes (no estoy en contra del derecho de autor, pero también existen otros derechos como los de la información) en sitios como el de Wikipedia que a la mayoría de la gente en muchos países nos es necesaria la mencionada biblioteca que además está formada sin fines lucrativos, me parece absurdo que hagan esto por que nos perjudican más a los ciudadanos y usuarios de internet que a los propios autores intelectuales!!! Tómenlo en cuenta por favor, no soy el único, somos miles a los que nos perjudica y no a unos cuantos. Gracias

  37. 37
    henk Nieuwenhuizen

    If this law didn’t cause any problems, why did Julia Reda decide to start meddling with it? MEP’s are a curse on society as is the EU. If the so-called owners don’t want pictures being taken, let them remove their buildings from public places. As for the future, don’t give jobs or commissions to architects unless they detach themselves from such a stupid law.

    • Christopher Clay

      It did cause problems. Belgian Wikipedia, for example, can’t show an image of the Atomium on their article about it.

  38. 38

    If a copyright fee is required to be paid or a licence paid for (under this amendment) who would be receiving the money?

    • Christopher Clay

      Whoever is holding the rights — the architect/artist (possibly via a collecting society), or whoever they transferred the right to (eg. building owner).

  39. 39

    How ridiculous is this idea. People have been photographing public spaces since photography got off the ground. Are we living in HG Wells world 1984? Freedom of expression is indicative of a civilised society even if the views expressed are contrary to others ideas.

  40. 40

    Please forgive my poor English, but I want to speak about this topic. Why should I as a foreigner to go to your country, if I will not be allowed to be photographed against the backdrop of the local sights? Ask your officials how much money the country will lose if you stop driving tourists?

  41. 41
    Kris Dee

    I once was a firm believer in a strong EU. However, the more I hear/read about the EU, the more my support is shrinking – not for a strong EU, but for the way that “our” politicians are building the EU.
    The EU must (firstly) be about us, the peoples, not about corporations, banks and other financial institutions.
    With the way the European Union is developing, I am behind it less and less.
    Oh, and Frau(lein) Reda, why do we not hear more from you, MEP’s, in the media? Who are you all? What do you do? Why do we vote for you? Are you aware how far away you all are from the general public?

    • Christopher Clay

      Hello Kris, we do our best here in the office of MEP Reda to communicate clearly, frequently and in an engaging way on what’s going on at the EU level. You are right though that the media doesn’t often pick it up, unless there is a public outcry like right now on Freedom of Panorama.

  42. 42
    Aliosha Bielenberg

    Thank you very much for bringing this issue to light. As a frequent user of Wikimedia Commons I greatly appreciate Ms Reda’s efforts. If there is anything I can do to help (apart from spreading the word) I’d be glad to.

  43. 43

    beyond stupid! Another law to remove what little freedoms we have left. “1984” wasn’t meant to be an instruction manual

  44. 44
    John Minson

    A couple of further thoughts about this ludicrous amendment (which, I am delighted to see, appears to be increasingly unlikely to proceed much further)…

    The final stage of the London Marathon takes place along the Embankment, with the iconic London Eye in the background, seen across the Thames.

    If Jean Marie-Cavada’s amendment was accepted , photographers covering this event for traditional news or social media sites would not have time to seek requisite permissions before filing or uploading their photographs.

    Would this mean no more iconic images of exhausted runners struggling to complete the marathon? (At least until some collecting organisation had processed claims and issued licences – hardly realistic in a world of 24 hour digital media.)

    Would the event’s organiser be happy with this? Would it benefit the participants who have pushed themselves to the limit to raise money for charities?

    But there is a solution…

    Simply use photo editing software to erase the London Eye!

    …though I’m not sure that the landmark’s owners would be any too pleased if their tourist attraction suddenly vanished from photographs which would be seen worldwide.

    Okay, so maybe there is an element of ‘reductio ad absurdum’ about the scenario I’ve just outlined. But surely the dissemination of images of architecture and publicly displayed sculpture are to the benefit of the creators of those works as well as the photographers. If nothing else they provide publicity for those creators and the owners of buildings or attractions.

    I also feel that M. Cavada’s proposal fails to view photography as anything more than artless reproduction of reality with no integral worth of its own.

    If so, may I observe that a photograph can be taken from many different angles, with different lenses, under different lighting conditions, with different elements in the foreground or atmospheric conditions…

    In short, a great deal of technical knowledge, experience and skill goes into taking a photograph which is unique and expressive. It is the result of coming up with the correct answers to a vast number of decisions, often within the split second when the conditions come together to create a memorable image.

    So if architects deserve to be paid a fee for the use of images of their creations, then they should be prepared to pay photographers a fee for spending the time and effort and application of their talents to create striking images of buildings.

    Or, of course, everybody could just accept that it’s to everybody’s benefit if images of buildings and sculpture are shared freely, contributing to the spread of beauty and ideas and innovation, and maybe even making the world a slightly better place…

  45. 45

    It’s becoming obvious that for a photographer the only option is to shoot only in the forest or the local studio. That soon will apply to artists i presume.

  46. 46

    No poder compartir las sensaciones es castrar la capacidad de asombro del ser humano. Si los bellos objetos artísticos son puestos para admiración de los paseantes con la condición de no compartir su embelesamiento con otros, entonces estaremos legislando restrictivamente. Será tanto como pedir a las personas que pasemos mirando sólo con un ojo, o pasemos mirando sin exclamar ¡qué bello!, o que observemos, pero sin preguntar quién ha sido el autor. Será tanto como adornar los lugares públicos con bellos objetos para que no puedan ser contemplados más que sólo un poco. Estoy a favor de la libertad de panorama. Considero que sería mejor no colocar objetos tan magníficos en los lugares públicos, pero conservar para los paseantes el derecho de admirarnos completo.

  47. 47

    I have read a good way down, but possibly missed a relevant comment.
    The wording in Amendment 421 refers to “works”. This could include far more than buildings and art-works. Every street-lamp, every bollard, every sign, every drain cover is designed. Paving, landscaping, benches are all designed. All vehicles – are designed.
    Even for photographs showing limited views, it would be impossible to obtain permission from all designers.
    Most, if not all, web-sites, have some way of making money, therefore could be classed as Commercial
    Therefore, legally, outside photography would be DEAD.

  48. 48
    Robert Zwolinksy

    Unless we have freedom of Panorama it will make a criminal of everyone with a camera, be it a top end amateur or someone with a cheap phone camera.

  49. 49

    Je signe des deux mains. Et MERCI à vous !

  50. 50
    Vincent R.

    HI Julia,

    the text is quite unclear, but when I read it, I have the impression that the author refers to the author of the photograph, not of the panorama. What I understand here is that a photograph someone has put on a public gallery on picasa, facebook or whatever cannot be used for commercial purposes without the consent of the photographer.

    Thanks for your work !

    • Christopher Clay

      No, this issue is about how a photographer (or videographer, or computer game designer, etc) can use their own pictures/reproductions of someone else’s artwork in public space (architecture, sculpture, graffiti, etc).
      It does not affect the rights of photographers to their own pictures which do not include such pre-existing artwork (e.g portraits, landscapes, abstracts, etc).

      This is also clear from Mr. Cavadas response: http://jeanmariecavada.eu/ma-position-sur-le-droit-de-panorama/

  51. 51

    But such restrictions may damage popularity of a public art and reduce the amount of tourists. So it’s not profitable even for authors.

  52. 52
    FXPirot

    Concerning the right of panorama, I would use the US acronym : KISS (keep it simple, stupid).

    Revoking this right would be extremely complex in day to day use.

    If we accepted this right, then any work put in a public place would include this right to image in the original price for various works. You are a city and want to show off with a nice building from a famous architect ? Then pay to the said architect the price to send the future images in the public domain. Or use another less expensive architect !

  53. 53
    Claudio

    If the whole problem is that Facebook makes money using European pictures, why don’t we just stop using Facebook? Is it not time to create a European version of Facebook free of all the capitalistic crap of the original Facebook. Is it not time to make a version of Facebook by the people, for the people and not by one person, for that person?

    • Christopher Clay

      There is a lot to criticise about Facebook – but they only very incidentally “make money using European pictures”. They make money from user engagement, a tiny percentage of which is around photos of European buildings/public art — not significantly more than your ISP or your electicity company.

      For alternative social networks, try http://ello.co, http://gnu.io/social, http://ind.ie, http://joindiaspora.com,…

  54. 54

    I just mailed syrizaeu (syrizaep) on flickr (6 Greek MEPs involved) giving them brief information and links.
    I am upset for living in a “red” country but I believe wikimedia exaggerate on that. I intend to send them (or better us :) )some corrective information as well.
    Please keep up the good work

  55. 55
    M.A. Heilbron

    I support the “Save the Freedom of Photography!” movement.
    Success.

  56. 56

    A small bug:

    “My initial proposal was to introduce Freedom of Panorama in the entire EU, that would turn all countries on the map green.”

    I don’t think that the Oekraine or Belarus are part is the EU (yet). For the rest I totally agree that restricting copyright of *public* view is a bit silly.

    Kind regards,

    =paulv

  57. 57
    M. Nutter

    More idiots in Europe trying to make more absurd laws. Good luck with your campaign.

  58. 58

    I want this law defeated for the ordinary photographer to have the freedom to which he is entitled

  59. 59
    David Phillips

    This must be defeated at all costs.