Scotland’s photographers and filmmakers breathed a sigh of relief today as the European Parliament voted to protect existing Freedom of Panorama laws.
Freedom of Panorama is the restriction-free right to publish photographs, documentary films and other works depicting public places. During Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda’s review of the EU’s current copyright framework, the legal affairs committee attempted to table an amendment that would severely limit this right, much to the anger of other MEPs.
The Pirate Party and the SNP are party of the same group in the European Parliament, and have worked together on championing EU-wide Freedom of Panorama.
Alyn Smith SNP MEP said:
“MEP Reda’s original report wanted to extend Freedom of Panorama, not to end it.
“If this amendment had passed, uploading your holiday pictures to Facebook would have put you in danger of breaching copyright law. It was a ridiculous, petty and bull-headed little amendment and I’m glad to say I voted against it.
“I cannot comprehend a world where people would try to restrict images of iconic Scottish landmarks.
“Edinburgh Castle, the Wallace Monument, the Duke of Wellington and his cone – part of what makes these places iconic is that they belong to us, the public, and we’re free to go take pictures or films of ourselves with loved ones around them.
“The European Parliament listened to the people, banded together, and voted down this amendment.”
Julia Reda MEP added:
“The Greens/EFA group will continue to fight for an extension of important copyright exceptions such as freedom of panorama, to make sure that all Europeans can benefit from them.
“The report also calls for consideration of new exceptions for libraries and scientists when dealing with digital works, for example, allowing e-lending. The Parliament also demands strengthening of creators' rights in their negotiations with publishers."