FashionGuest Post

Fashion runways and right of panorama: a trendy combo!

Is the right of panorama a valuable legal option for fashion houses willing to be creative on their runways? Shall you seek an authorization?
Here are again our fashion law stars, Elena Varese and Valentina Mazza with a contribution on the right of panorama and how it impacts the possibility to have runways close to historic monuments in a blog post which was originally published on IPTItaly blog.

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The fashion month is over and – besides fringes and feathers – artistic monuments and museums have played a big role on the stage! From the Louvre Museum for Louis Vuitton, the Tour Eiffel for Yves Saint Lauren, the Palais de Justice for Givenchy and Le Palace Theatre for Gucci, fashion houses continue to choose iconic monuments of the relevant cities for their catwalks.

The authorization regime for pictures of historic monuments

We already talked here on the possible ways to protect fashion shows per se, but which rights on the monuments chosen for their set? Under Italian law, pictures of historic monuments, artistic and architectural works, buildings and, generally speaking, all works that have a cultural value are subject to a specific legal regime.

In fact, even when such works are no longer covered by copyright protection, the Italian Code on Cultural Heritage and Landscape (Legislative Decree No. 42/2004 – Codice dei beni culturali e del paesaggio) also applies.

More specifically, Articles 107 and 108 of such Law require those who want to use pictures reproducing goods that belong to Italian Cultural Heritage to seek authorization from the competent authority, which can either be the State or a local public entity. In any event, once the authorization is granted, a fee must be paid to the relevant authority. There is not a fixed fee to be paid, but it is determined by each authority depending on the kind of use to be made.

The right of panorama and its limitations

Exceptions to the authorization regime are limited and could be included in the right to panorama that is

the freedom to photographically reproduce monuments, artistic and architectural works, buildings and any public space in general without infringing third parties copyrights on such goods“.

However, Article 108 mentioned above provides that no authorization and no fee are due for the reproduction of such works

  • by individuals in case of personal use or for study purposes;
  • by private or public subjects for the purpose of enhancement, provided they are implemented without profit; or
  • in the case of non-profit activities, study, research, manifestation of thought or creative expression and promotion of cultural heritage.

Therefore, with respect to the right of panorama, a distinction shall be made between the fashion house hosting the show and the guests and journalists posting pictures of the runway.

In fact, the exception applies only to the personal use of the latters, who are free to publish images of the models and of the historic monuments, artistic and architectural works used as the set of the show. Use of such works by the maison hosting the catwalk is, instead, made for commercial purpose and thus requires it to seek the authorization from the competent authority and pay the relevant fees. The same is true also for press campaigns, tv spot and any other commercial use made by the fashion brands using historic monuments, artistic and architectural works, buildings and, generally speaking, all works that have a cultural value.

Therefore, if you are already planning next fashion week and you are considering museums and artistic works for the location, do not forget to reach out the competent authority and pay the fee before doing it. Using artistic works for the runway is glamorous, but infringing the law is not!

If you would like to know more about this topic,, please contact my colleagues Elena Varese ([email protected]) and Valentina Mazza([email protected]) and register to our newsletter. Also don’t forget to try Prisca our GDPR chatbot described HERE and you might find interesting Elena and Valentina’s Fashion law predictions for 2018 

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Giulio Coraggio

I am the location head of the Italian Intellectual Property & Technology department and the global co-head of the IoT and Gaming and Gambling groups at the world-leading law firm DLA Piper. IoT and artificial intelligence influencer and FinTech and blockchain expert, finding solutions to what's next for our client's success.

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