As the European Parliament is set to vote tomorrow on the amended Report dealing with the harmonisation of ‘Freedom of Panorama’ across Europe, the opposition to the Report has taken off. This can be seen in the nearly 500,000 digital signatures acquired in the last week alone protesting the current provisions of the Report: notably the one that would “restrict the commercial use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in physical public places, requiring prior authorisation for any such use” (see Ruth’s earlier blog post for more details). For obvious reasons, Wikipedia opposes the proposed changes.
There are two surprising things about all this. First, that the EU mechanism can move so quickly that an amendment to the draft Report that was added only on 16th June will be voted on by the Parliament on 9th July (that doesn’t give much time for public input, does it?). And secondly, who would have imagined such outcry on something which, until recently, was seen as a rather minor exception to copyright infringement in the countries which have it (the UK, Germany, Spain, etc). It seems that this issue is closer to people’s hearts than first suspected. And the people are engaged.
Image: “Blacked out London-Eye-2009” by Kham Tran – www.khamtran.com – Derived from File:London-Eye-2009.JPG. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blacked_out_London-Eye-2009.JPG#/media/File:Blacked_out_London-Eye-2009.JPG