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Friday, March 20, 2015
The highest court in Sweden, the Supreme Court, agreed on Monday to try the case “Ö 849-15” between Bildkonst Upphovsrätt i Sverige (BUS, Visual Arts Copyright Society in Sweden) and Wikimedia Sverige (Wikimedia Sweden). The jurisprudence could result in Freedom of Panorama being effectively overturned in Sweden, requiring websites such as Wikimedia Commons, which is maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation, to delete thousands of images.
Not long after Wikimedia Sverige created the website offentligkonst.se to publish images and metadata about artworks placed in public spaces in Sweden, BUS, a pro-copyright lobby, advocated that it constituted infringement on the artists’ copyright. The current lawsuit opposes the interpretation of Wikimedia — that artwork permanently installed in public space should be subject to the Freedom of Panorama exception that is in effect in Sweden — to that of BUS — that is creation (avbilda) of images and videos of an artwork in a public space is allowed, their distribution (återge) remains prohibited.
Anna Troberg, an author and former leader of the Swedish Pirate Party which advocates copyright reform, commented on her blog, “In a time when everyone has a high-grade camera in their phone, it is more than a little naive to think one can place one’s work in public space without it being photographed and posted online.” ((sv))Swedish language: ?I en tid när alla har en schyst kamera i mobilen, så är man mer än lovligt naiv om man tror att man kan placera sina verk i det offentliga rummet utan att riskera att de avbildas och läggs ut på nätet.
- Images over which BUS are suing Wikimedia Sverige
Thomas Qvarsebo bronze statue Duo, in Stockholm, donated by Eva Bonniers Grants Committee. Image: LittleGun.
Johan Paalzow sculpture Moby Dick, in Stockholm. Image: Bengt Oberger.
Eva Hild sculpture Binär, in Stockholm. Image: Bengt Oberger.