Freedom of Panorama: A Comparative Look at International Restrictions on Public Photography
30 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2010 Last revised: 6 Apr 2017
Date Written: November 15, 2010
Freedom of panorama, or the right to take and use photographs of public spaces, attempts to balance various property rights with the importance of allowing reasonable freedom for photography in public places. It is typically addressed through copyright, although other laws related to trademark or national security may also restrict public photography. This freedom is more limited in the United States than in many other countries. This paper seeks to explore the balance struck in U.S. law by contrasting it with the approach taken in other jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Brazil, and the European Union. Because public photography has become such a ubiquitous aspect of our participant digital society and many of the uses put to public photography arguably meet the fair use or de minimis use tests, Congress ought to provide clear statutory guidance allowing (at least) these non-commercial fair uses of copyrighted material visible and permanently situated in public places.
Keywords: Panorama, Photo, Photography, Photograph, Law Copyright, National Security, United States, Brazil, United Kingdom, Public, Fair Use
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