15-07-2015

Freedom of panorama or the web and photography

Zaha Hadid Architects, Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, MVRDV, Richard Rogers, Paolo Schianchi, OMA,

Hufton+Crow,

London, Rotterdam, Milan, Hong Kong,

Skyscraper, Expo,

Have you ever asked yourself if your photo of the Duomo in Milan, your selfie in front of Berlin's Reichstag building or the panorama you shot from the Millennium Wheel in London and proudly shared on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter was a breach of copyright?

We love sharing, our world is the world of the web.



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Freedom of panorama or the web and photography Have you ever asked yourself if your photo of the Duomo in Milan, your selfie in front of Berlin's Reichstag building or the panorama you shot from the Millennium Wheel in London and proudly shared on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter was a breach of copyright?

We love sharing, our world is the world of the web. Floornature.com with Livegreenblog as architecture and design sites communicate the architectural panorama with articles illustrated by images. It's not surprising that the Internet and its neverending store of photos has completely changed the way we see architecture, but it has also had a profound effect on how architecture is communicated, as Paolo Schianchi explains in his book “Architecture on the Web. A critical approach to communication” (link).


Here we can read lots of contributions like the one by Angelo Maggi, professor at the IUAV University of Venice, who says “We are the first generation that basically does not see almost anything for the first time. Everything that exists in the field of design, we have already seen on the screen”.

This could have come to an abrupt end, if the amendment to the “freedom of panorama” had passed. This amendment was first tabled by a French MEP who wanted laws requiring permission from a building’s architect before an image was published commercially. In other words, it demanded restrictions whereby photographers would be required seek a licence from the architect or rightholder of the public artwork. So before posting the selfie we took in front of the Pompidou Centre we should have sent a letter of request to Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers to get their permission, because we don't know how our photos might be used once they're shared on public profiles.



For now, the immediate danger seems to have passed. the European Parliament voted against the amendment by a huge majority and after a petition on change.org collected more than 500,000 against it, so we can happily take photos and share our European experiences this Summer, although some countries still have stricter rules in place. As a representative of Wikimedia UK said: “While I would have liked Freedom of Panorama to have been extended to all member states of the EU, I’m pleased that the amendment to introduce a non-commercial exception was deleted.”
For more details, refer to this link: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_Panorama_in_Europe_in_2015/Learn_more

Christiane Bürklein

Images: 
Zaha Hadid Architects, Innovation Tower Hong Kong image by V.S. Betrarnd
MVRDV, Markthal Rotterdam, image courtesy of MVRDV
Frank Gehry, Museum Marta Herford image by Helmut Claus
UEA Pavilion Expo Milano 2015, image courtesy of UEA Pavilion
Zaha Hadid Architects, Heydar Alyiev Centre Baku, image by Hufton+Crow
Birmingham Library, image by Eugene Keogh
TOMA team of manufacturers architects, image by Paul Kozlowski - © photoarchitecture.com/FAV



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