Announcement from the Royal Photographic Society
Dear UK and European Member:
Over the past few days you may have read or been emailed about the threat to ‘freedom of panorama’ which is included in a draft report being promoted by a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).
In the UK (and in some other countries) we enjoy the right to photograph buildings and sculptures ‘if permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public’ for our own enjoyment and even for commercial use. The MEP’s proposal is to adopt the model that operates in France and a number of other European countries which gives other creators e.g. architects and sculptors, protection against having their work being reproduced without payment. In those countries permission is required to photograph or exploit images containing those works. The more sensationalist press reports have suggested that the public’s holiday snaps might be threatened – the reality is that it would mostly affect groups such as travel book, postcard and poster publishers, in particular. Either way, it is a significant concern to The Society.
The MEP’s proposal is only for commercial use and it is a very long way from becoming law but The Society believes that the proposal should be dismissed before it gains any traction. If harmonisation is required then it should be along the UK model and not the other for which there has been no great demand for other than by a small number of vested interests. In the UK there is no demand to change the current position even from groups such as architects who might benefit.
The Society would encourage members to sign a change.org petition here to register your objection to the proposal. Almost 300,000 people across Europe have already signed. You may also wish to contact your own MEP to register your views.
The Society has been working with a number of other organisations over the past couple of weeks on this issue and the next key date is 9 July when there will be a vote in the European Parliament on the report.
There will be a blog posting about this issue on The Society’s website shortly. If you have any comments – for or against – please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to read this email.
Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS
The Royal Photographic Society
Direct line: +44 (0)1225 325730