Freedom of panorama is an exception to copyright law that gives individuals the right to create two-dimensional depictions of public spaces and the free use of these images. Such a restriction is fundamental to the human right of freedom of expression and to the idea that public space is, in a sense, a "common good".
The InfoSoc Directive of the European Union provides the freedom of panorama; however, the provision is optional for the Member States and is therefore to a great extent non-harmonised. Consequently, there is a breadth of legal arrangements across the Member States. The German legislation provides freedom of panorama for commercial and non-profit purposes. However, it excludes the photographs that are not created from the public space itself (e.g. aerial photographs). On the other hand, Italian legal system does not recognize the freedom of panorama. Moreover, the law on protection of cultural property even imposes an obligation to obtain a license and pay due compensation for both individuals that would like to reproduce a cultural property for commercial purposes and for legal entities despite their purpose. Meanwhile, the freedom of panorama in the United States only applies to architectural works, potentially imposing a problem, since the public space is typically filled with other copyrighted works. Still, the legislation prescribes free use of such photographs for all purposes.
Photographing of public space in the Slovenian law is regulated by the copyright law provisions and by the provisions of law on protection of cultural heritage. Article 44 of Cultural Heritage Protection Act prohibits taking photos of monuments in order to gain profit without prior consent of the monuments´ owners. Therefore, the Slovenian regulation of freedom of panorama is very restrictive and constitutes an interference with the constitutional right of freedom of expression.