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Today, the Cultural Affairs Committee discussed the use of artistic works in public places, i.e. the so-called freedom of panorama exception. The European Commission has launched a public consultation in the issue, for shaping the common position of the European Union. The term for responding is 15 June.

The Committee stressed the need to find a common EU solution for the use of artistic works in public places.

“We want to see the digital internal market functioning smoothly, and support every action that favours this,” said the Chairman of the Committee Laine Randjärv. She added that the new solution should be implemented uniformly in all the Member States, carefully taking all the different interests into account in the most balanced way. “For the greater good of the society, the freedom of panorama should be worded as clearly as possible,” Randjärv emphasised.

The representative of the Ministry of Justice present at the meeting said that the questionnaire was sent to nearly 40 agencies and interest groups. Most seem to support the clarification of the freedom of panorama exception in a way that extends the free use of artistic works in public places. However, certain interest groups that represent authors are against this amendment.

In the valid Copyright Act, copying and publishing an artistic work in a public place is currently allowed, e.g. in the case of figurative art and architecture. This is not allowed only if the artistic work holds a central position on the image, and is used for commercial purposes.

The EU information society directive allows a broad interpretation of the panorama exception, and the practices of the Member States vary greatly. Under the directive, the Member States can provide exceptions and restrictions for the use of artistic works that are permanently displayed in public.

Photos of the Committee sitting 

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