UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe will today (Thursday July 9) oppose an amendment at the European Parliament which would force photographers in the UK to get permission to use pictures of public monuments and buildings such as the Angel of the North, Cardiff Millennium Stadium and Trafalgar Square. If the amendment is passed, photographers, artists and film makers across the EU would be obliged to secure permission before publishing any image of famous views which included a monument, sculpture or building still under copyright. For example, no tourist could post a picture online of his family standing in front of the London Eye without seeking permission from the owners of the copyright.
The so-called "Freedom of Panorama" exists in most EU countries, but not in France, where photographers are obliged to seek permission even to reproduce a photograph of the Eiffel Tower illuminated at night. There is no "Freedom of Panorama" in Belgium either. The image of the Atomium, symbol of the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, is covered by copyright. Jean-Marie Cavada, the French MEP who is pushing this amendment, is an ally in the European Parliament of the LibDems. He is also head of the European Movement France, an organisation in part-funded by the EU to lobby for an increase in powers for Brussels. His counterpart in the European Movement UK is Laura Sandys, a former Conservative MP.
Steven Woolfe MEP commented:
"This amendment proposed by Mr Cavada, a French MEP, would even stop visitors to London posting pictures of the Battle of Britain War Memorial on Facebook. It is typically incompetent, ill-thought out and unnecessary legislation. It will destroy an explicit British freedom guaranteed in our copyright legislation for over 100 years. Until now, everyone in Britain has been free to stand in a public place and take photographs of any monument or building they chose. I will oppose this”