Freedom of panorama: FEP meets the Working Group on copyright reform at the European Parliament
FEP has been invited by the European Parliament to meeting the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright Reform, concerning the so called freedom of panorama issue. The purpose of the meeting was to acquire the opinions of the different authors and users of panorama pictures, in view of a reform of the copyright directive 2001/29 , who introduced among others – exceptions to the right of reproduction or communication on visual arts, but allowed each Member State to introduce,or not, those non-mandatory exceptions, causing a situation substantially different from country to country.
FEP was represented by Bent Nygaard Larsen, Member of the FEP Executive Committee and CEO of the Danish member association. In principle, FEP is for the freedom of panorama said Bent Nygaard Larsen – This is an advantage for the professional photographers, it is well functioning in most European countries, and helps a large related photographic market . FEP anyway understand the point of view of the artists and of those who want as well preserve the local cultural heritage, and intend to continue with individual exceptions in single nations and local areas.
A difficulty for the photographers may be the bureaucracy. In some countries where shooting permissions are required as long as a charge for the use of those images, it is often difficult to find the right places and authorities to obtain the permission. This course of action can be made easier introducing in the EU legislation clear indications about how and where the photographer must obtain permissions, and overall detailing rules for commercial utilizations .
EU should consider that there is a very big difference between pictures made for leisure and personal fun, and sophisticated professional photo shoots, made for commercial purposes by professional photographers.
But what is actually considered commercial and non-commercial use of copyrighted material ? , continued Bent Nygaard Larsen – A clear definition should be made, as well, specifying what panorama means and how significant must be artistic items in the image, to be copyrighted.
In other words, these guidelines should bear in mind the complexity of the applications and uses of a panorama photograph.
For FEP is very important that exceptions to the copyright protection in panoramic images will not bring to a deprivation of general copyrights of the artists or photographers – commented FEP CEO Giuseppe Scozzi after the meeting – therefore it is crucial EU to better define and detail those exceptions.