[Wikimedia-l] [Commons-l] FOP in Europe: does this include WWII monuments with art?

Fae faewik+commons at gmail.com
Sat Mar 2 12:04:56 UTC 2013

Hi Jane,

I am sorry to hear this has been a concern. My intuition is that this
would be far less of a tangible risk to a team project than the fuss
about this stuff might lead you to believe, so long as we can
demonstrate sensible advice, review and precautions being taken.

In the UK, FOP tends to be very liberal, however memorials have
special issues to consider if the intention is for a free release on
Commons. I would have encouraged some guidelines for
photographers/uploaders to be written up, and then continued with the
event with these in place, possibly with a means of contributors
asking further questions and having their uploads reviewed for
compliance via an on-wiki project page.

A few nuts and bolts of it based on my experiences on Commons (from a
UK perspective, so this will vary somewhat in other parts of Europe)
1. Any memorial must be a permanent feature. Any work of art that
appears temporary is unlikely to be covered by FOP.
2. Text on a memorial may be under its own copyright even though it is
on permanent public display, so the text itself must be demonstrably
out of copyright. This is a separate issue from the general FOP
provisions. If the text is incidental to the photograph, i.e. not a
close up and the text is effectively de minimus, then FOP is likely to
be valid.
3. Text which is embossed and made 3D, such as being part of an
inscribed plaque, may be considered a 3D work and covered by FOP.
4. Any memorial photographed whilst standing on private land may not
be covered by FOP.

The US has free speech, but is a long way from a country that accepts
FOP, however so long as the photo is taken in the EU and is of a fixed
and identified memorial, EU copyright law is the principle one to
consider and FOP applies.

faewik at gmail.com http://j.mp/faewm
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