Dear all

As I know most of you will be aware, in the UK we have the legal right to take photos of public art and buildings and share or publish them in print, on social media, photo sharing websites, Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons. This right, known as Freedom of Panorama, does not exist across Europe, with restrictive laws existing in France, Sweden and a number of other countries. The European Commission wants to harmonise the rules concerning the sharing of these pictures across the European Union, and is consulting on this until 15th June.

Wikimedia UK believes that the EU should replace the current inconsistent set of laws with Europe-wide legislation allowing people to share images of public art, buildings and skylines for all purposes. This includes commercial use, which would enable people to share pictures on social media and image sharing sites such as Facebook, Flickr or Instagram without being in breach of copyright law. It would also enable images to be used for free educational purposes on the Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia, and reduce the time and money currently wasted on rights clearance issues, for example in guidebooks to works of art or architecture in countries including France, Italy, Sweden and Belgium.

Please respond to the consultation by next Wednesday 15th June, ideally using You Can Fix Copyright's public answering guide, and ensure that the UK’s rights are preserved, whilst supporting the extension of Freedom of Panorama across Europe. The Commission is also consulting on Ancillary Copyright, which Wikimedia UK believes is both unnecessary and unfair on ordinary internet users. We would encourage you to respond to this at the same time as the Freedom of Panorama consultation.

If you use social media, we would be grateful if you could share this message or tweet about the consultation, using the hashtag #saveFoP

Many thanks!



Lucy Crompton-Reid

Chief Executive

Wikimedia UK

+44 (0) 207 065 0991


Wikimedia UK is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales, Registered No. 6741827. Registered Charity No.1144513. Registered Office 4th Floor, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.

Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of a global Wikimedia movement. The Wikimedia projects are run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who operate Wikipedia, amongst other projects). Wikimedia UK is an independent non-profit charity with no legal control over Wikipedia nor responsibility for its contents.