Do you think the freedom of travel photography in Europe is at risk?

Europe, who doesn’t love it? Culture, excitement, best food ever, and all these many traditions. Europe is like a firework of quality content. You just got to love it. And that is why so many people post pics of their adventures made in Europe to Twitter or Instagram or whatever social media platform there is.

Street Art Madrid, Spain

Most people working in the field of publishing and/or marketing have to think a lot about copyrights. There is a constant worrying of misusing other people’s privacy and property. If taking photographs of human beings you have to think it through first. The same goes for the commercial use of photographs of non-public venues, like museums, theaters, and the list goes on. You have to ask for permission before you can publish content.

There are a few countries in Europe, like Belgium, France and
Italy, who also have special regulations when it comes to taking pictures of buildings, and these restrict the Freedom of Panorama.

Some thought it would be great to reform these copyright issues and extent the freedom of panorama that exists in most European countries to all over Europe.
That all on the way to build a digital single market. That sent a lot of the Members of the European Parliament in Brussels on the wrong path, and ever since they are discussing to introduce the restricting law all over Europe, instead of catapulting the few stray cats into the 21st century too.

You might wonder why this should bother you as a private person. If you want to take a picture of a building and post it to let’s say Facebook, you have to ask the architect first. If you print your snaps and put them in a Photo Album you are alright. You remember these albums, do you?

Let’s say you would like to rent out your apartment on a vacation rental site and post a pic of your building with that, you would have to get a license from the architect first (that is if the creator is not yet 70 years dead). Same goes for taking a night selfie in Paris, and the illuminated Eiffel Tower photobombed its way into your work. Before you can post this pic to Instagram or Facebook you would need to ask the designer of the nocturnal architecture for a license first. You might not earn money directly but Instagram and Facebook do.

Street Art Berlin, Germany. Mickey Mouse is not amused.

Please contact the Members of the European Parliament of your country and sign the petition against the amendment 421 if you would like to secure the Freedom of Panorama in Europe. Share this info with everyone who also likes travelling and photography. This is where you find your Member of the European Parliament.

We shouldn’t see this as another ridiculous EU thing. In a room full of people there are always different ideas and ideologies. True, there were the curved cucumbers, but that was sorted eventually. Great news is: A majority of the Members of the European Parliament is against the restrictions of copyright in the whole of Europe.

Read Should the freedom of Panorama be introduced all over the EU? for more info.


Update: The parliamentarians voted against the expansion of restricted copyrights. That means that people can continue to post photographs. 

In France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and Greece, however, you better check before you publish content. There are properties where the freedom of panorama is restricted and  you need a license. 


What do you think? So very much looking forward to hear from you.

From Berlin with love