* in 2004 the Italian lawmakers enacted a new law on cultural goods (meaning artworks in museums and archeological remains). The law creates some kind of tax on every reproduction of a cultural good, except in some cases like when the reproduction has an educational purpose.
* as a consequence, the Italian Wikipedia created a new template it:Template:Soprintendenza which Italian Wikipedians use whenever they post a picture of a cultural good. The template says “use only small size (640*480) pictures” and “don’t use the large size pictures from commons”.
* Until now it looked like a good compromise, not affecting non-Italian Wikipedias or Wikimedia Commons.
* But the other day some Italian authorities from a specific Italian region said that Commons or the Commons users should pay the tax for museum and archeological artworks from their region.
Some background from an Italian user:
In the past, I tryed to BUY a permission to photograph in museums, but it is simply impossible. They do not even know how to do, or if they know, the person who should look after it is not “at the moment” in the office. What they can do, is SELLING me the one-use only images that THEY shot, which are obviously copyrighted by them. This is the same as putting a copyright on public-domain, publicly owned artworks, which is against the Berne Convention, yet this was quite the intention of the law. And I cannot afford to test it in court, as it should be done.
The law was not intended to help Sovraintendenze to collect money, but to grant monopoly on the reproduction to a few publishers, such as Electa, which is owned by Mondadori, which is owned by famed Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi. Got it, now? […]
The point is that Sovraintendenzas rule not only on what is contained into museums, but also on whole monuments, including the outside part. For instance, the entire Colosseum: inside, AND outside. Fullstop. If you can read Italian, please read here: http://www.fotografi.org/arte_musei_beni_culturali.htm
Fotograf: Diliff, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5