EU could ban photos of famous landmarks

London Eye and Angel of the North could no longer feature in tourists' holiday snaps

Updated: 
The London Eye

A new copyright law could mean you have to black out famous landmarks if you want to upload your holiday photos on Facebook or on a blog.

The proposed EU law would force the public to cover up monuments including the London Eye and the Angel of the North in their photos to avoid breaching the copyright of architects and artists.

In the UK, the 'freedom of panorama' exemption allows people to take photos of modern buildings and artwork and use them how they like.

But in France the restrictions are already in place. Photos of the Eiffel Tower can only be taken during the day and it is illegal to publish images of the light installation at night which is protected by copyright.

Charles Swan, a director of the Association of Photographers and an intellectual property lawyer, told The Times the proposal is "absurd".

He said: "Why on earth shouldn't you take pictures of the landscape or skyline and do what you want with them? It would be fairly disastrous and most of the British public, not just photographers, would think this was pretty horrific. The only people it would be good news for might be architects."

According to the Daily Telegraph, German MEP Julia Reda called for the EU to "ensure that the use of photographs, video footage, or other images of works which are permanently located in public places are permitted."

But some MEPs want to introduce a non-commercial clause which would read: "The commercial use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in physical public places should always be subject to prior authorisation from the authors or any proxy acting for them."

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