Working paper Open Access
This paper is focused on the study of freedom of panorama, an exception to copyright which allows to take and reproduce photographs of buildings, artworks and public places, without infringing the copyright of the authors of such works. In the absence of a mandatory European legislation, Member States have adopted different, and sometimes opposing, approaches to freedom of panorama, thus disregarding the objective of Directive 2001/29/EC: the harmonization of national provisions on certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.
This thesis aims to critically analyze the actual legislation concerning freedom of panorama and its several critical aspects. In particular, the analysis will cover both the complex intersection between different legal frameworks concerning the use of reproductions of works of art located in public places – not limited to the field of copyright – and the implications arising from the use of new digital reproduction techniques. The conflict between different regulations concerns the attempt to find a balance between the public interest in the use and enjoyment of artworks placed in public places and the private interest of the author of the work to economically exploit the reproduction of its artwork.
This paper intends to provide a comprehensive overview of the freedom of panorama exception in order to highlight both pitfalls of the current European and national legal frameworks and advantages of introducing a mandatory exception for all Member States, extended also to commercial uses.
In order to better understand the real scope and implications of freedom of panorama, a comparative analysis of the European, Italian, US and UK legal systems will be carried out.