Reply to post: A stitch in time

Wikipedia jumps aboard the bogus 'freedom of panorama' bandwagon


A stitch in time

Hi Andrew,

I read what you're saying but I think you're wrong.

The Cavada text was strongly pushed by the French copyright collecting society ADAGP, as a visit to their website will confirm. (Not "museums and galleries", because galleries and museums typically don't own the copyright of what they show).

ADAGP reckons that in France the copyright fees on buildings and public sculptures are worth in the region of 3 to 6 million Euros a year net. As the society retains approximately 25% of the gross of copyright licenses that it administers, freedom of panorama would represent a loss to ADAGP itself of between 1 and 2 million Euros a year income.

However, the society also has its eyes on bigger things, as it was presenting in Brussels this morning, namely to force through with EU help an agreement with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, Picasa and others similar to the arrangements that Google has with music labels, to acknowledge and pay out for copyrights in user-taken images of buildings and sculptures uploaded to the sites (finding ways to extract money from rich American companies being an idea that plays especially well in Brussels).

ADAGP's lobbying was skilful and effective, as measured by the conviction with which not just Cavada but also MEPs like Mary Honeyball (on the BBC2 Daily Politics last week) or the Maltese MEP Therese Comodini-Cachia were repeating its lines, indeed by the fact that it had managed to win over all the MEPs from both the centre-right EPP and the centre-left S&D on the committee -- including all their MEPs like Honeyball and Commodini and the Czechs and the Germans and the Austrians from countries that currently *have* freedom of panorama.

And that was just in the parliament, where we can see what's going on. Who knows what they were achieving in the Commisson with the likes of Oettinger?

Yes, that would still have left the member states. But member states treat issues like this like poker chips, adamant that they won't compromise and won't compromise -- until they find something they want to trade their chip in for. So forgive me if I don't find reliance on member states to do the right thing that reassuring.

Bottom line:

Was this the last ditch? No.

Was this the right moment to stop this in its tracks, and make sure it got no further? Absolutely.

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