Freedom of Panorama

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Wikimedia - M


Project Title

The “Wiki Project” on Freedom of Panorama


Project aims

1. Conduct research into the current state of Freedom of Panorama (“FoP”) under copyright law in the EU.

2. Investigate arguments in favour of FoP from both free movement and freedom of expression angles.

3. Produce a legal memo on the basis of the research, making arguments in favour of EU-wide promotion of FoP.

4. Present findings as set out in the memo to EU policymakers in Brussels.



Taking pictures of public art and architecture and posting them online is as common today as buying bread. Yet copyright law has failed to keep with the times.

Currently, using a picture of the Atomium in Brussels, the Eiffel Tower by night or the European Parliament buildings is illegal – even on a private blog with no intention to profit. The reason is that public architecture is covered by copyright restrictions – as well as many other restrictive regulatory practices – in Belgium, France, Italy and a number of other European countries.

To comply with the law, one has to request the right holder’s permission for each photo – an anachronism and a considerable inconvenience in the age of Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia, Instagram and photo blogging.

Working for Wikimedia, Clinic students produced a detailed legal memo arguing in favour of the so-called “freedom of panorama” in EU law and policy and proposing attendant legislative reforms.





Wikimedia, is a non-profit charitable organisation dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge.


Lead Scientific Advisor

Dr. Giuseppe Mazziotti, Assistant Professor of Law, Trinity College Dublin.