24 March 2016Copyright

EU launches copyright consultation on ‘panorama’ effect

The European Commission has launched a consultation into whether rules surrounding copyright protection for photographs and drawings of public buildings are too problematic.

In an open consultation, published yesterday, March 23, the commission said it was seeking views on whether the ‘panorama exception’ gives rise to “specific problems”.

The panorama exception allows member states to lay down exceptions or limitations to copyright when it concerns the use of buildings or sculptures that were established as public places.

For example, it might affect the uploading of images of famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower online.

The consultation asks whether the legislative framework governing the exception gives rise to specific problems in the context of the digital single market.

The panorama exception has previously been criticised by mainstream press as preventing people from taking photographs of famous landmarks.

Second, the commission asks whether neighbouring rights should be extended to publishers.

Neighbouring rights are similar to copyright but do not reward an original creation by an artist. They reward either the performance of a work, for example by a singer, or an organisational or financial effort which may have participated in the process.

Currently in the EU, copyright law grants neighbouring rights to performers, film producers, record producers and broadcasting organisations, but not to publishers.

According to the commission, it wants to gather views on “the challenges (if any) faced by publishers of press and other print products in the digital environment as a result of the current copyright legal framework”.

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More on this story

13 July 2015   The European Parliament has approved a draft report that seeks to modernise existing copyright laws across the EU.
13 June 2016   The European Commission’s public consultation on aspects of EU copyright law including protection for photographs and drawings of public buildings is closing on June 15.