A proposed new EU law could mean that photographers will breach copyright if they publish and sell photographs of famous landmarks which are protected by copyright. If the proposals are voted in favour of next month, photographers would need to black out copyrighted buildings and works of art from their photographs or obtain permission from the copyright holder. In the UK this would mean that landmarks such as the London Eye and The Angel of the North would need to be removed from photographs.
Currently the UK and several other EU countries allow pictures of copyrighted works to be used privately and for profit due to photographers "freedom of panorama".
The new proposal states that "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." The intention is to ensure that architects are paid for images of their creations.
The law is already in place in several EU countries, including in France, where although it is legal to publish photographs of the Eiffel Tower in the daytime because the copyright has expired, it is illegal to publish a picture of the Eiffel Tower at night, because its light installation is protected by copyright.
The change will mainly affect professional photographers and prevent them from selling images which include copyrighted landmarks. However, it is unclear whether photographs posted onto to social media networks will infringe copyright.
Industry experts have described the proposal as "absurd" and are objecting to the changes. A petition has been started by a German photographer which calls on the EU parliament to bring freedom of panorama in all EU states.Posted by: in: Copyright, News