Hello, everyone!

This is my first time writing to this list, so I am bit nervous :)

I wanted to let you know about one of the public policy priorities Wikimedia is currently working on in Brussels.

As many of you will know, we have had some issues in the past when re-using public domain art [1][2] and the legal situation in many countries, including at least 5 EU countries is inconclusive. [3]

The long-awaited EU copyright reform is now entering into its first decisive phase - the committees of the European Parliament are deliberating what to include.

Wikimedia is asking Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to table amendments to the Directive that would safeguard the public domain. The logic behind our request is that there should be no no copyright or related rights on faithful reproductions of public domain works. Our initial draft text reads as follows:

2. Member States shall recognise that once a work is in the public
domain (copyright and related rights in a work have expired or never existed), faithful reproductions in full or in part of that work, regardless of the mode of reproduction and including digitisation, shall equally not be subject to copyright or related rights.

We have already managed to get several MEPs to propose such an amendment. What we might need in the coming weeks is diplomatic support from cultural heritage organisations. I know Europeana could not agree on supporting this, but perhaps the readers of this list will have good working relationships with individual museums and archives that might be willing to put in a good word for us. All we need is a phone call or a letter to specific MEPs, something I can help with.

Thank you and have a great weekend!


[2]compare copyright claims on Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Robert_Delaunay_-_Portuguese_Woman_-_1916_-_Thyssen-Bornemisza_Museum.jpg) and on the Thyssen Museum website (https://www.museothyssen.org/en/collection/artists/delaunay-robert/portuguese-woman-large-portuguese)