Conferenza per RightsCon 2022

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Proposta di Wikimedia Italia per la conferenza RightsCon 2022. La proposta deve essere selezionata. Se selezionata la partecipazione alla conferenza è per 6-10 giugno 2022.

  • goal: create coalition
  • program category: civil society resistance and resilience / justice and jurisdiction


Wiki Loves Monuments in Italy: The Limitation in the Commercial Use of images Representing Italian Heritage in Public Domain. The Italian Legislation "Codice dei beni culturali e del paesaggio" vs. The European Copyright Directive 2019/790

This proposal aims at discussing the restrictions on public domain established by the Italian "Codice dei beni culturali e del paesaggio" despite the European copyright directive 2019/790, and how they challenge the future of Wiki Loves Monuments in Italy.

Wiki Loves Monuments is the largest photographic contest in the world. It invites all citizens to document cultural heritage, taking photographs to be published on Wikimedia Commons, a repository of images open to anyone, also for commercial purposes. By publishing their photos on Wikimedia Commons, the volunteers contributing to the contest share beauty and knowledge with the rest of the world and they can help highlight monuments that are often not very well known.

As shown by a research commissioned in 2021 by Wikimedia Italia, the Italian towns that have noticed an increase in information on the Wikipedia pages dedicated to them are the same ones that have joined Wiki Loves Monuments. This means that the contest has a direct positive impact on heritage enhancement and, indirectly, on tourism. In fact, thanks to the open and free Creative Commons licenses used by Wikimedia projects (that are compatible with Open Access), photos and texts can also be used to produce apps and other online content used to promote the area. For the benefit of all.

In Italy, the organization of Wiki Loves Monuments is particularly complex. It needs to deal with the lack of 'freedom of panorama' and a specific restriction on public domain posed by the "Codice dei beni culturali e del paesaggio" (Legislative Decree 42 of 2004). It requires an authorization from the heritage managing body to take and disseminate images (no matter what, they are faithful or original) of monuments belonging to the public cultural heritage in the public domain for commercial purposes. Despite this situation and with an incredible effort and investment by Wikimedia Italia, over the last ten years, more than 165,000 pictures have been collected with the engagement of thousands of photographers and the authorizations of over 2,270 institutions.

Since 2021 the transposition of the European copyright directive 2019/790 cohabits with the "Codice dei beni culturali e del paesaggio" (Legislative Decree 42 of 2004), but the European directive clearly points out in article 14 the relevance of the public domain. This rule responds to the need to facilitate the use of content in the public domain (Considerando. 3) and “…differences between the national copyright laws governing the protection of such reproductions give rise to legal uncertainty and affect the cross-border dissemination of works of visual arts in the public domain”, as also Considerando 53 states.

In 2022 Wikimedia Italia will organize Wiki Loves Monuments. Looking at monuments that are in the public domain and considering the European copyright directive, can the Italian government establish further restrictions? Can Wiki Loves Monuments follow the respect for public domain affirmed in the European copyright directive 2019/790?


  • Wikimedia Italia, Iolanda Pensa
  • Creative Commons Italia, Deborah De Angelis
  • ...