Discussion between Visual Authors, Picture Agencies and MEPs about the Copyright Directive

Press Release


Brussels, 7 September 2017


EVA and CEPIC co-organized on 7 September a working breakfast event on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, Image Search Engines and Framing. The event was chaired by MEP Virginie Rozière and took place in the European Parliament premises. European collective management organizations for visual authors and representatives of picture agencies as well as individual authors engaged in a fruitful and lively discussion debating the ongoing copyright reform of the European Commission’s Directive proposal with the Honorable MEPs who also attended the event and gave their personal opinion on this important issue. MEP Pervenche Berès, Mary Honeyball, Julia Reda and Helga Trüpel attended the event and listened to the real problems visual artists face due to the lack of regulation in the digital world.

The meeting was focused on specific matters concerning visual authors which are not addressed by the Commission’s proposal. The framing loophole is the result of case law developed by the EUCJ in the absence of a clear legislation for the making available right in Article 3 of the Directive 2001/29. The consequences of the “new public” condition the Court confirmed for application of framing technology were impressively presented by CEPIC’s President Alfonso Gutierrez with the example of a photo his agency had licensed and found 400 times reused by framing on the internet without license.

EVA’s President Marie-Anne Ferry-Fall made the case for individual artists and photographers who have to make a living without any cultural industry backing them. “Visual arts are not an industry, however, they are the first cultural sector in Europe, representing €127 billion incomes per year and 1.2 million jobs. As basement of it, Visual artists need an environment where their contribution to the cultural and economic value in Europe is fully recognized and to be provided with conditions that allow them to make a living with their creative work: this is why to solve the framing loophole and to share the value created by the image search engine are major parts of the needed solutions.”

“Never before have the paintings, the photographs, the sculptures, the works of street art and the comics been so profuse and accessible to all European citizens”, expressed at her opening speech the President of EVA, Marie-Anna Ferry-Fell.

MEP Helga Trüpel draw the attention to the opinion approved by CULT recently which already made such additions to the Directive by including in Recital 3 and in a new Article 13.a measures addressing the framing loop hole and introducing a collectively manageable compensation payable by image search engines for the display of protected images. The authors and rights holders’ representatives referred to such referencing services which are directly presenting entire images in large numbers.  Such measures, EVA’s Board member, Anke Schierholz explained, are not interfering with the search engines activity and prevent the fact that authors are not paid when their images are displayed in a new context. The way the image appears should be deceived, not the technology behind.

Carola Streul, EVA’s Secretary General added that while the achievements of the work done in the CULT committee was really welcomed by the artists, it is necessary to further develop the clarification of the making available right within the JURI committee.

“If we are to ensure the sustainability of Europe’s shared cultural heritage, we have to protect the work of artists and photographers on the Internet and ensure that there are no legal loopholes which deprive artists of proper remuneration for their work.  We all want to secure a truly democratic and accessible European visual culture where citizens can access artworks online and artists have the financial means to continue to make those artworks.” Said Gilane Tawadros, CEO of DACS in London and EVA’s Board member.

The attending MEPs who are directly involved in the ongoing copyright reform in the European Parliament examined the present legislation and expressed their deep involvement on the issues of visual authors’ rights and also their willingness to cooperate in order to have a positive outcome on the framing loophole and the responsibilities of image search engines.



European Visual Artists (EVA) represents the interests of authors’ collective management organisations (CMO) for the visual arts. 26 European CMOs are gathered under this roof and manage collectively authors’ rights of 100 000 creatorsof works of fine art, such as painting, sculptors, graphic prints, video art and performances, illustration, photography, design, street art, architecture and other visual works.

EVA’s members are not-for-profit organisations and they are managing authors’ rights as their trustees. Individual artists and artists’ professional associations have founded their collective management organisation themselves with the aim to set up a well-functioning rights management and efficient defences of their artists’ rights.

For further information contact:

Carola Streul

Secretary General