Freedom to photograph in public   Leave a comment

Extracts from notes on freedom to photograph people, buildings and things that are in public. See the reference for more detail.

United Kingdom

Section 62 of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is much broader than the corresponding provisions in many other countries, and allows photographers to take pictures of

* buildings, and
* sculptures, models for buildings and works of artistic craftsmanship (if permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public).

without breaching copyright. Such photographs may be published in any way.

Note that under UK law, works of artistic craftsmanship fall into a different copyright category from graphic works such as paintings, photographs, drawings and the like. The freedom provided by Section 62 does not apply to graphic works (which will typically be two-dimensional) such as paintings, murals, advertising hoardings, maps, posters or signs.

The practical effect of the broad Freedom of Panorama provisions in the UK and in other countries with similar laws is that it is acceptable to upload not only photographs of public buildings and sculptures but also works of artistic craftsmanship which are on permanent public display in museums, galleries and exhibitions which are open to the public. According to Copinger and Skoane James, “The expression “open to the public” presumably extends the section to premises to which the public are admitted only on licence or on payment”. Again, this is broader than ‘public place’ which is the wording in many countries.

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Posted August 12, 2010 by artprop in Uncategorized

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