Group: Tolerance

New Threat to Photographic Freedom

William Sutherland
26 Jun 2015 - 1 comment - 1 121 visits- Permalink   |   Translate title into English

Dida from Augsberg brought up a very important development in the EU that is threatening photographic freedom. To me, it is unenforceable. However, our right to share such photos in the future may be threatened when Internet providers refuse to let us upload our images. Below is the context of Dida's statement as well as a link to the petition she provided. Hope everyone who believes in artistic freedom signs it so that the EU reconsiders.

"The European Parliament [...] believes that the commercial exploitation of photographs, video material or other images of works that are permanently placed on physical public places, should always be subject to the prior consent of the author or other agent"

Text of the petition --

On 9 July 2015, the European Parliament might destroy photography.

The Freedom of taking photos in public places is under attack. Until now, in most countries in Europe you were safe to take and publish photographs that are taken from public ground – This is called Freedom of Panorama. When you were on vacation, you could take a photo from the London Eye and share it with your friends on Facebook*. If someone wanted to pay you for using this photo, that was okay as well. Both is about to change may destroy photography as we know it.

Julia Reda, member of the European Parliament, tried to bring the Freedom of Panorama to all countries of the EU, as few countries like France and Italy don’t have such law yet. In the majority of countries such as the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Croatia, you’re safe to take, publish and sell photos of public buildings when taken from public grounds.

However, the current draft turned the proposal upside down. Instead of bringing the Freedom of Panorama to the few countries that don’t know such law yet, it would take it away from all those who do. With this, Street-, Travel- and Architecture-Photography would be dead as we know it. It is impossible to find out the architect of every public building in order to ask for permission before you can publish and possibly sell the photo.

I therefore call on the members of the European Parliament to
•Not limit the Freedom of Panorama in any way

and instead to
•Bring the Freedom of Panorama to all member states of the EU

so that the European Citizens can be assured to act within the law when taking and publishing photographs from public buildings anywhere in the European Union. This is necessary to embrace our European Culture and Art!

For the media, please see:

*As Julia Reda, member of the European Parliament, points out, even the private upload of a photograph on Facebook would need the consent of the architect, as with the upload you grant Facebook a license to commercially use the photograph.

The topic of this discussion has been edited by William Sutherland 9 years ago.

thanks for the heads up William !
9 years ago.

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