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Freedom of Panorama - A threat to photography


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I've received this email:


Summer is finally with us. A good time then, to go on holiday and get the camera out. You could be enjoying a break in London, taking photos of the Eye, then maybe some statues along the river Thames. You upload your shots to Facebook, Instagram, Flickr… Job done.


But every day, people elsewhere in Europe are breaking copyright law to do just the same thing.


And on Thursday 9th July we could all could move one step closer to that too.


In the UK we have a common sense exception to the usual copyright rules that lets us paint or photograph copyrighted works, like sculptures and buildings, without needing special permission. It’s called Freedom of Panorama.


In France though, where that exception doesn't exist, you can’t even share a photo you've taken of the Eiffel Tower lit up at night to Facebook and Flickr, because the light show is copyrighted.


MEPs are about to vote on a report on copyright reform that's trying to help the EU move towards better copyright laws. The report proposes introducing UK-style Freedom of Panorama across the EU.


But instead of sharing our rights with everyone, some MEPs are trying to completely remove Freedom of Panorama from the report. Their proposal is that items in public should always need authorisation from authors for any commerical use - the direct opposite of Freedom of Panorama. Commerical use can be very unclear, and can even include sharing your photos on sites like Facebook or Flickr.


On Thursday MEPs could vote in favour of future reform of Freedom of Panorama. It’s all in the balance. And you can make the difference.


Ask your MEP to vote to support our Freedom of Panorama:



This exception is useful over and over again. Let’s make sure we can all enjoy art in public!


Influence the vote today.

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