Notre Dame's new spire might be copyrighted and blocked by EU filters

There's a proposal in the works to replace Notre Dame's spire — which was a relatively modern addition — with a new, starchitect-designed "statement" spire, which will be copyrightable under the same French rules that prohibit commercial photos of the Eiffel Tower at night (and other French landmarks).

The copyright would only prohibit "commercial" uses, but this is a very poorly defined term (is a personal photo shared on Twitter, which displays ads, "commercial" or "noncommercial?"), and in any event the new Copyright Directive mandates filters to block infringement, and those filters will not be able to tell whether you are a commercial or noncommercial photographer.

The Copyright Directive initially had a proposal to create a "right of panorama" that would have made it legal to take photos in public places, even if those photos captured copyrighted works (including architecture, which, again, is copyrightable in France), but France blocked that proposal.

A key proposal that the Pirate MEP Julia Reda put forward in her copyright evaluation report, which fed into the Copyright Directive, was to implement a full freedom of panorama right across the EU. The European Parliament backed the idea, as did all the EU nations except one — France, as Politico later revealed — so the idea was dropped. That lack of an EU-wide freedom of panorama is yet another example of how the Copyright Directive failed to throw even a tiny crumb to citizens, while handing out even more power for the copyright industry to use and abuse. So if one day your holiday pictures and videos of the re-built Notre Dame cathedral get blocked in the EU, you will know who to blame.

Why Your Holiday Photos And Videos Of The Restored Notre Dame Cathedral Could Be Blocked By The EU's Upload Filters [Glyn Moody/Techdirt]

(Image: Sanchezn, CC-BY-SA)