Photography in public places across Europe threatened by harmonization proposal
The right to use pictures taken in a public place is under threat by a European Parliament proposal for the harmonization of copyright laws across the region. Buried in a complex set of amendments is the idea that the automatic Freedom of Panorama be removed from those countries that maintain it, so that copyright holders of permanent artworks and buildings will need to authorize commercial use of pictures that include their works. On the face of it that doesn't sound too bad, only that professionals who use locations with copyrighted buildings and art as a background will need to seek permissions. However, in reality it could affect anyone who posts images of copyrighted works on social media or websites that also feature advertising.
At the moment individual countries across Europe decide how they implement the Freedom of Panorama, and how far that freedom extends. The proposal suggests that that choice be taken away and that the commission dictates that all countries in the union suspend the freedom. The section of the report this is contained within states that the commission '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 authorization from the authors or any proxy acting for them.'
What would suspending Freedom of Panorama mean?
Full Freedom of Panorama means that anyone is allowed to take photographs that include copyrighted buildings, permanent sculptures or artwork and use those pictures for commercial gain. Suspending that freedom would mean that a picture of a fashion model with a city skyline as a background would require the photographer to gain permission from the copyright holders of all copyrighted buildings visible in the image before the picture could be used.
It would also mean that a tourist taking a picture of his wife against the same skyline would need to go through the same process before that picture could be loaded to social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, as those sites carry advertising that is attached to the content of its pages. It would also mean that sites such as Wikipedia would need to remove an estimated 40,000 images that contained copyrighted buildings.
|The London skyline showing buildings that are protected by copyright and which would require permissions to be granted if the proposal became law. © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-4.0|
Some European countries already have limited freedom of panorama, including France. Famously, the Eiffel Tower may be photographed during the day and anything can be done with the pictures, but use of pictures taken at night requires permission from the Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel because the lighting display is copyrighted. Similar cases exist across France, Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium and Albania where copyrighted buildings can't be included in pictures that will be used commercially. Wikimedia has published a guide to how individual countries implement Freedom of Panorama, and what the implications are for people photographing in those places.
According to Amateur Photographer magazine in the UK, a spokesman from the office of Jean-Marie Cavada, the French MEP who proposed the changes, says that no one has ever been prosecuted for copyright infringement in the countries that have no Freedom of Panorama, and that the law would not impact people posting on social media sites. This suggests that the theory and the practice work in different ways, and that laws have been adopted that are not enforced. The fear though is that when spread further across the region they could be enforced if copyright owners complain by suing photographers and members of the public.
The proposed change is some way from becoming law, and will have to go through a lengthy process to get onto the statute books, but there remains a chance that it will succeed. Photographers in the EU are urged to contact their MEP to make sure they are aware of what the changes could mean, and to sign an online petition at Change.org. The report the changes are contained within will come to vote on Thursday 9th July.
For more background information read a debate between two MEPs on opposite sides of the fence on the European Parliament website and a press release from the Parliament that covers the subject at the end.
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.