Photography News: EU Freedom of Photography under threat
So, basically it has been reported in the previous week that the Freedom of Panorama ruling has come under threat in the EU parliament. What this basically means is that publishing images (and selling them) of public buildings and artworks in most of the EU could be axed. This would put massive curbs on what you are able to photograph and publish online.
Needless to say this is a ridiculous concept. So if I take a picture of Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower), I then have to obtain permission from the architect, Sir Charles Barry, who has been dead for 150 years? Otherwise I cannot put my picture on farcebook?
Most, but not all countries in the EU have a Freedom of Panorama ruling, which basically means that you don’t have to obtain permission to take pictures of public buildings and artworks, and can even sell your images. Some countries do not have this, most notably France and Italy. So those holiday snaps you have of the leaning tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower, yeah, you cannot share them online. Best break out the slide projector and bore your friends to death.
A very thoughtful MEP (there are a few) Julia Reda, realised that this is completely absurd and put forth a proposal to remove all limitations on Freedom of Panorama in Europe. Which is an excellent idea. Unfortunately this was hijacked by other MEP’s, in particular a certain delightful individual named Jean-Marie Cavada (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/28206/JEAN-MARIE_CAVADA_home.html), whom you may also tweet to here https://twitter.com/jeanmariecavada.
Mr Cavada and others have decided to turn the proposal around and make sure that instead of protecting our Freedom of Panorama, they want to make sure that the rules already in place in France and a few other countries will be applicable all over the EU. Which is completely absurd.
This has huge ramifications. With countries like the UK already threatening photographers and harassing them for taking pictures in public, this could mean even more stringent restrictions on what you can photograph. Which really goes against everything I believe in. The last time I was in the UK, I had a jumped up little jobsworth in a yellow jacket trying to grab my camera and threatening to get the police because I was taking pictures on the street, variously calling me a terrorist and a paedo. I was actually taking a picture of the Shard. We don’t need any more of this.
You can read more about this issue and how it may affect you by going and reading Julia Reda’s very informative website
You can also find your MEP here if you are in the EU, so you can write to them and inform them that this is nonsense.
And you can also sign this petition to show your support for this being stopped in its tracks.
This is a complex issue and needs to be addressed before we lose even more rights. Taking away one freedom will make it easier to take away even more. So please get involved and put a stop to this.