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Art History News reports that the European Parliament has voted in favour of a new Copyright Directive. It seeks to create common law on copyright matters across the EU. Many aspects of it are controversial. But one element is extremely important for art historians; Article 14. It prevents new copyright being claimed in reproductions of artworks which are themselves out of copyright (also referred to as being in the public domain.) This new ruling effectively heralds the end of image reproduction fees, because copyright is the glue which holds the whole image fees system in place. The new directive therefore represents an important victory for art historians.Photographs of historic artworks taken with the intention of faithfully reproducing them will not be covered by copyright across the EU. Member states have two years to implement the directive into domestic law.

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