European Parliament said “No” to axe freedom of panorama

Sense and reason have gained an important round win today, when European Parliament decided to stand against the proposal that would have required commercial use of images about public buildings and art to require authorisation from the right-holders.

Concerning the right to create and publish images and photographs of public buildings and art works, MEPs prefer to retain the current situation by rejecting the proposal in the draft resolution that commercial use of such images should require authorisation from the right-holders.

Several groups and NGOs had protested against the proposal. One of them was the Wikimedia project that feared images currently used by free license would loose their status and require license from copyright holders of buildings and popular tourist attractions. This would have forced them to remove an estimated 40,000 images from Wikipedia.

Counter proposal had requested that Freedom of Panorama would extend to all EU countries, but that did not pass.

Reacting to today’s vote, Stevie Benton, head of external relations at Wikimedia UK, said: ‘While I would have liked Freedom of Panorama to have been extended to all member states of the EU, I’m pleased that the amendment to introduce a non-commercial exception was deleted.

What does this mean to you? Well, you can safely take a pictures from yourself and publish them, despite that one of famous buildings stands behind you. Yes, that is indeed what was threatened. Lucky for us, this absurd law did not pass trough the parliament. It is hard to imagine that 40 MEPs were actually voting in favor of the proposal.

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