Talk:Freedom of Panorama ZA

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Idea 1

Freedom of Panorama is important to preserve South Africa's culture..
Ensure your culture is Preserved. Support FREEDOM OF PANORAMA #FoPforZA

Idea 2

Wikipedia relies on Freedom of Panorama to preserve culture.
Ensure South Africa's is protect. Support FREEDOM OF PANORAMA #FoPforZA

Idea 3

Without Freedom of Panorama, Wikipedia can't preserve South Africa's culture.

Idea 4

Why does your right to the Freedom of Panorama matter?
Why is it important to you, South Africa and it's culture? #FoPforZA

Idea 5

Freedom of Panorama ensures the preservation of your culture and heritage.
South Africa doesn't have it. Yet. #FoPforZA

Idea 6

Don't know what Freedom of Panorama is?
Find out why it's important to Wikipedia, to South Africa. and to you. #FoPforZA

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Seddon (WMF) (talk • contribs) 14:39, 15 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Wrong, so very wrong[edit]

This whole article is completely wrong, as it is based on an absolute lack of knowledge of the (South African) Copyright Act 98 of 1978. (The giveaway being the "70 years" thingy, which is actually 50 years and in line with the Berne Convention.)

Section 15(3) of the Act reads: "The copyright in an artistic work shall not be infringed by its reproduction or inclusion in a cinematograph film or a television broadcast or transmission in a diffusion service, if such work is permanently situated in a street, square or a similar public place."

Section 15(4) of the Act reads: "The provisions of section 12(1), (2), (4), (5), (9), (10), (12) and (13) shall mutatis mutandis, in so far as they can be applied, apply with reference to artistic works." This is basically the "fair dealing" clause.

RISadler (talk) 16:10, 17 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Hi RISadler, you are correct about the ""70 years" thingy" actually referring to the 50 years + life of the author in line with the Berne Convention. However that is difficult to quantify for the average person as a general rule of thumb and as such the 70 years was found to be a safe assumption of expiration of copyright so that it could be uploaded freely on the internet such as on Wikipedia without needing to argue fair dealing (known more commonly as fair use). Others use the even 'safer' 80 years as a rule of thumb. This is important as it means the image or media rendering can be shared on a central repository for Creative Commons works such as Wikimedia Commons, this site and the sister site for Wikipedia, so that it can be easily used on all 300+ language versions on Wikipedia.
With fair use/dealing being the only allowance of otherwise copyrighted content for use on Wikipedia, as is the current case in South Africa as we have no Freedom of Panorama, then the image in question a) has be uploaded to that specific language Wikipedia (assuming it is a linguistic version of Wikipedia that allows for fair use to be argued as different Wikipedias have different policies) and b) a fair use argument needs to be made every time an editor on Wikipedia wants to include that image on a particular page. Additionally, in order for the Berne Convention to take effect on Wikipedia permission needs to be granted by the copyright holder. When it comes to public spaces in South Africa this often means the local municipality who are a) unaware of this being an issue and b) are very hard to get any reply from regarding anything legal, let alone a copyright issue which they are not aware of. I know this from experience. So even if one were to get around all the other fair use issues then this one would still prevent effective use on anything other than a case-by-case basis on a site like Wikipedia. In essence it means that a lot of Wikipedia bureaucracy kicks into gear which has the effect of very few such images ever being used on Wikipedia.
Now that is just Wikipedia. If you are a painter painting street scenes for sale then you will have a difficult time arguing fair use, if that person is event aware of the concept's existence. It also opens up a legal grey area in that should you, for example, have a Facebook page or Youtube channel that you are earning an income from and those social media sites host media content of, for example again, a recently erected public statue or building, could you argue fair use? Indeed the vast majority of people aren't aware of fair use meaning that less legally informed people might be vulnerable to legal intimidation should, for example, the owner of a building demand some form of payment for use of the copyright of their building. In this way the current act and bill can be said to stifle innovation (or in other words to "the progress of the useful arts"), which is the very purpose of copyright laws existing. Currently we are condemning a lot of South Africans and actions to a legal grey area where the only defence is a case by case argument for fair use or "fair dealing". The best way to resolve these and other related issues would be the inclusion of a Freedom of Panorama clause in the new version of the act. That is what this page is advocating.
If you need a more detailed or legalistic expansion on this issue than I would suggest contacting Dr Tobias Schonwetter at the University of Cape Town's Department of Commercial Law for more details.--Discott (talk) 19:35, 17 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Discott, I have no intention to argue the matter beyond stating that sections 12(1) & (4) of the Act already caters for what you are trying to achieve. RISadler (talk) 15:03, 20 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Hi RISadler, I am afraid that sections 12(1) & (4) do not in fact cater for what this effort is trying to achieve. Fair use/dealing is not an acceptable argument for sharing images on Wikimedia Commons. Nor does it protect people from the instances I have mentioned in my previous comment.--Discott (talk) 18:31, 22 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Discott, with respect, but you are now confusing the issue between the actual photograph and that which is pictorially reproduced in the photograph. RISadler (talk) 12:46, 28 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
RISadler, I am not so sure what you mean. Could you please explain further?--Discott (talk) 14:10, 28 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Update on presentation to Parliement[edit]

Below is an update on Wikimedia South Africa's presentation to the South African Parliament on the need for Freedom of Panorama that was shared with everyone on the public Wikimedia South Africa mailing list:

"Hello everyone,

Here is an update on how my presentation to Parliament yesterday went. Here is a link to the presentation I gave which I have uploaded onto Commons.

Overall it went well, there seems to be board support for the proposal to include a freedom of panorama (FoP) clause into the new act. After my presentation several MPs in addition to the commission chairperson going as far as stating that the current grey area that a lack of freedom of panorama puts both us as Wikipedia editors as well as members of the general public in is very concerning and should be addressed. The practical example I used of our experience in running Wiki Loves Monuments where we could upload media of old colonial era monuments but not recent ones due to this legal ambiguity really resonated with them. The mention of the Swedish chapter's recent experience in testing this grey area in Sweden and loosing thereby being ordered to pay court costs and a fine helped to highlight the need to get rid of this legal grey area and enact some form of Freedom of Panorama.

I did get one questions asking which we preferred; FoP for exterior public place or interior public spaces. I said the best outcome would be FoP for both exterior and inertia public spaces.

I even had members of the pro-copyright lobby come up to me afterwards and say they appreciated the need for clarification here. They did mention pre-existing interpretations of the act that would allow us to do X, Y, and Z but they realised the need for clarity and that the existing clauses were not good enough for us given the Wikipedia editing community's policy of using the strictest possible interpretation of the law.

During the presentation I was seated next to and had to answer questions with the representative from Google. Google, like many people, were presenting on the need for fair use to replace fair dealing in the Act. Basically fair use says you are not violating copyright so long as you do not do X, whilst fair dealing says you are not violating copyright so long as you fall into A, B, C allowances. This fair use/fair dealing issue has become a big issue of contention and Google was given a bit of a hard time. However the fair use/fair dealing disagreement does not seem to affect our call for FoP as it is a different thing.

My observation on the issue within the Wikimedia Community internationally and based on my experiences as an editor on Wikipedia is that there is a board consensus that expanded Fair Use rights is important and desirable so as to allow editors to more freely edit, quote, and research articles on Wikipedia whilst still firmly respecting copyrights. Indeed the Australian Wikimedia community is publicly calling for better fair use previsions in that country right now. However we as a chapter have not voted on to take a position publicly on this issue in South Africa so anything I say on that issue is always prefixed with the point that it is my personal opinion and not the position of Wikimedia ZA. So I chose to focus on answering questions related to FoP whilst volunteering to clarify a personal observation I made on the Fair Use/Fair Dealing debate at a public forum I attended last week.



--Discott (talk) 14:03, 7 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]