Freedom of Panorama


The Freedom of Panorama refers to the right to take and use photographs, films/videos, drawings, etc., of copyrighted art works that are displayed in public without seeking permission from the copyright holder. The law on this varies from one country to the next. In Europe, the FOP is currently under threat, with proposed copyright provision coming to a vote on July 9. If it passes, much stricter restrictions would be in effect. This is the language being proposed:

6. Considers 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;

See some recent stories:

Freedom of Panorama is under attack (Medium)

European Copyright Could Restrict Photography in Public Space (Hyperallergic)

What’s the situation in Canada? In a nutshell, reproductions of architectural works and sculptures in public spaces are permitted. Here is the section of the Copyright Act that addresses this directly.

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