A staggering 205,000 have so far signed a petition calling on the European Union to abandon its plans to legislate against the ‘freedom of panorama’ – the principle that allows photographers and members of the public to take pictures of copyrighted monuments, statues, and other artwork, without fear of reprisal from the copyright holder.
As originally reported in the UK by Breitbart London, the idea of freedom of panorama (FOP) is under threat by EU apparatchiks who added an amendment to a recent report that sought to enshrine the principle formally into EU law.
Earlier this summer, Germany’s Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda submitted proposals to protect FOP, but one of her ideas was amended to read: “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.”
In principle, this means that photographers using images of major public spaces, including the London Eye, Angel of the North, and even the European Parliamentary buildings – may have to consult with copyright owners before publishing images or video.
But since the news broke on June 22nd, over 200,000 people have signed a Change.org petition, heaping pressure on the European Union to stop in its tracks.
The author of the petition, Nico Trinkhaus wrote, “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.”
The petition site also mentions that Ms. Reda has pointed out that even the private upload of a photograph to social networking websites such as Facebook “would need the consent of the architect, as with the upload you grant Facebook a license to commercially use the photograph.”
The petition is aiming to get 300,000 signatories to attract the attention of European authorities.