On March 23, 2016 the EU Commission launched a public consultation (“Consultation“) on the following topics: the role of publishers in copyright value chain; and (ii) the use of works, such as works of architecture or sculpture, made to be permanently located in the public places (so called “Panorama Exception“).

Purposes

The aim of the Consultation is to gather views, in particular:

  1. on the impact that granting an EU neighboring right to publishers could have on the publishing sector, on citizens and creative industries;
  2. as to whether the need (or not) for intervention is different in the press as compared to other publishing sectors;
  3. on the current legislative framework of the Panorama Exception.

Modalities

The Consultation runs from March 23 to June 15, 2016.

As usual, targeted respondents include all stakeholders involved in the relevant activities (widely defined: publishing sector and, generally, digital economy). By way of example, EU Commission’s expectation is to include among targeted respondents, inter alia:

  1. Member states and public authorities;
  2. authors (such as writers, journalists, professional photographers, visual artists, architects, etc.);
  3. publishers of press and other print content;
  4. libraries and cultural heritage institutions;
  5.  online service providers;
  6.  owners or managers of works made to be located permanently in public places.

The stakeholders are invited to fill in the questionnaire available at the following link.

Panorama Exception

As regards Panorama Exception, according to some commentators an harmonized EU legal framework is advisable, given the huge differences existing among EU Member States legislations and case-law.

By way of example, in Italy the so called “freedom of panorama” is not expressly recognized in the Copyright Law. Furthermore, the Italian Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape (Legislative Decree no. 42/2004) generally establishes that the reproduction of cultural heritage for economic exploitation is subject to an authorization of the State or the local public entity in charge with their maintenance. Such prior authorization is not set forth, e.g., in Germany.