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The ability to publish and sell photographs taken in public places is under threat from a new proposal to harmonise law across the EU on 'Freedom of Panorama’. Currently some but not all EU member states allow commercial use of photography and other graphic works taken in public spaces which includes items such as buildings and sculptures in the image, without infringing the rights holders of the buildings' designs or sculptures and without requiring permission of those rights holders.
In the UK this is embodied in section 62 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 which applies to “sculptures, models for buildings and works of artistic craftsmanship, if permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public”, where making and publishing photos or film of such works does not infringe their copyright. This exception to copyright has worked well for many years, acknowledging that architects, sculptors and craftspeople have creators’ rights, but facilitating professional imagery of our urban landscape which is an essential part of our culture.
In an announcement to BBC staff, Tony Hall, director general, said the BBC would have to be ‘leaner and simpler’. He said the licence fee income in 2016/17 is now forecast to be £150m less than it was expected to be in 2011, because as more people use iPlayer, mobiles and online catch-up, the number of households owning televisions is falling. To make up this short fall the corporation announced that it would be cutting 1,000 jobs mainly management and support. However, this is expected to only save some £50m, so more cuts could follow unless there is an increase in the licence fee. And this is before serious negotiation over the licence fee and Charter renewal get going!
Members of the London Assembly have pledged to support Newsquest journalists in the capital. A delegation of striking Newsquest journalists, led by Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, met Assembly members representing the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Green Party.
The Conservative manifesto pledged to freeze the BBC licence fee for another 5 years. On top of the freezes they’ve handed the BBC already it adds up to more than a decade of stealth cuts to our national broadcaster. The BBC is being systematically starved, and keeping this up for another five years will bring the greatest independent global broadcaster to its knees. Entire services will be cut, well-loved series dumped and thousands of jobs will be lost.