Back in August, I mentioned that a couple of Liberal MPs in Belgium were seeking to implement “panorama rights” in the country. These would ensure that copyright claims could not made for works placed in public.
In short, if an artist puts a work in a public space, they have already conceded that people can take photos of it.
The Belgian parliament’s business commission has just finalised proposals for legislation on ‘panorama freedom’ and this will mean that everyone gets the right to take photographs of such landmarks without having to fear the full force of the law.
Flemish liberal lawmakers Patricia Ceysens and Frank Wilryck argue that the individual’s right to take snaps should prevail above copyright that offers protection to works of art and buildings in the public domain: “This is simple logic, especially because many of these works of art have been purchased using monies from the public purse.”
Under the bill that has the backing of other government parties everybody will have the right to take snaps of and share images of such landmarks as well publish photographs in books and on the internet. The works must be on permanent display in the public domain. Works of art in museums will still be protected.
With luck, I will be able to legally take a photo of the Atomium before I die.