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Take Action Now – Save the Freedom of Photography – Petition

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The Freedom of taking photos in public places is under attack. Until now, in most countries in Europe you were safe to take and publish photographs that are taken from public ground – This is called Freedom of Panorama. But not all, if you take a night time shot of the Eiffel Tower for example, according to French law, your rights to use them are limited. The illumination of the Eiffel Tower is considered to be a separate artistic installation. Because France does not have full freedom of panorama; copyright restrictions make it illegal to publish these pictures without proper authorisation.

The Guardian reports “Freedom of panorama is the unrestricted right to use photographs of public spaces , without infringing the rights of the architect or the visual artist. Wikipedia only uses freely licensed images. Therefore, this valuable exception to copyright is necessary in order to allow Wikipedia to freely depict public spaces on relevant articles. Most European Union countries enjoy full freedom of panorama. However, in some European countries, such as Belgium and France, this freedom is restricted.

The impressive Atomium in Brussels, for instance, is a beautiful structure, but pictures of it are restricted from being freely used. As a result, the Wikipedia article about the Atomium does not feature any photos of the original structure. You have to make do with an image of a model replica in Austria”.

via The Guardian

The European parliament is currently engaged in the adoption of some copyright reforms. If adopted, freedom of panorama would be restricted throughout all EU states. According to the proposed amendment, the right to freely use images of works permanently located in public spaces would always be subject to prior authorisation. Unless the legal affairs committee rejects the proposal, hundreds of thousands of images on Wikipedia would be subject to copyright restrictions and would face the risk of being removed.

This “reform” would have terrible consequences for the way we share and create culture and knowledge. The UK creative industry, recognised as one of the most vibrant in the world, would be encumbered with interminable bureaucracy. Photojournalists would need to seek permission after permission instead of doing what they do best: taking fine photographs.

This is the last chance to stop this devastating proposal from becoming European law. On 9 July a vote will take place in Strasbourg. Please write to your MEP and call them to vote against amendment 421 of the Implementation of Directive 2001/29/EC. Sign the petition to save the freedom of photography. Share this article on social media and ask your friends to do the same. Now is our time to fight for full freedom of panorama in Europe.

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com

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