European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), together with its German affiliate,
Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV),
today called on photographers and civil society groups to back
a European-wide petition against the photography fees imposed
by the Zeche Zollverein, one of the world's most important industrial
historical monuments in the heartland of Germany's industrial Ruhr district,
which is designated this year's European capital of culture.
is a ridiculous fee system imposed by authorities in what is
supposed to be a cultural showcase for Europe," said Arne König,
President of the EFJ, "Anybody should be allowed to take pictures of public buildings
and such a system should be removed immediately."
to the former landmark of German coal and steel industry, which is
classified as the World Heritage by UNESCO, are asked to obtain a permit to
take photos of the building. The management of Zeche Zollverein, which is
largely funded by public money, requests visitors to pay for pictures
taken for "non-journalistic" use.
online journalist was reportedly asked recently by the management of Zeche
Zollverien to pay for photos published on his blog.
question on non-journalistic use is highly questionable," argued König, "Zeche
Zollverein should answer this question before considering imposing the fee."
for so-called non-journalistic use will jeopardise the work of freelance
journalists," warned König, "Freelance journalists are now required
to pay hundreds of Euros for photos published on their blogs or even stored in
the database of publishing houses."
EFJ says freelance journalists often publish their work on their blogs or other
channels for free before they obtain commissions from publishing houses.
For more information
contact the EFJ at + 32 2 235 2215
The EFJ represents over 250,000
journalists in over 30 countries across Europe