Authors’ Rights

The exploitation of intellectual property rights is a topic for virtually every government, major company and economic forum worldwide. Journalists are among those who must have intellectual property rights too! These rights are called authors’ rights. Authors’ rights are currently best protected in continental Europe.

The EFJ authors’ rights programmes call for journalists to be recognised as authors of the work they create, have control on further use of their work and receive an equitable remuneration for it. In this sense, we oppose the Anglo-American copyright system which deprives all staff and most freelances of these rights. Authors’ rights are not only economic rights. Journalists, photographers and media professionals also need strong legal protection of their moral rights, including the right to be named as the author and the right to protect their content from being used in a detrimental way or context. The rights for individuals to exercise control over their work is crucial to maintain ethical standards, which define and guarantee quality journalism. This is another reason to oppose the Anglo-American copyright system, through which authors can be, and are, coerced into signing away their moral

We support legal harmonisation of authors’ rights throughout the world with the aim of bringing all countries to the level of protection that exists in continental Europe. We also demand that collective bargaining rights for creators should be established where they do not exist. The authors’ rights work is supported by the EFJ Expert Group for Authors’ Rights (AREG), which is composed of journalists and lawyers. The group meets on a regular basis to identify current threats to authors’ rights and to plan appropriate actions to defend and support journalists and their unions who are fighting for higher standards of protection.

The growing trend among media organisations to use right-grabbing contracts has become a matter of great concern for the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). As a result, the EFJ has launched a European wide campaign against right-grabbing contracts and demand fair payments to journalists.


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Authors’ rights: expert group discussed new EU directive

The EFJ Authors’ rights expert group convened in Brussels on 6 February. The main issue on the agenda included the new EU directive proposal on copyright in the digital single market and its implication for authors. The EFJ has adopted a policy statement that can be used as a guideline for affiliates at national level. Following a proposal from the European commission, the draft directive is being discussed in the European Parliament and within national member states. It needs a concrete response from journalists’ unions on several points. One of the most positive move in the draft text is the introduction…

EU Public Hearing: Crisis in the print media

DRAFT PROGRAMME 16:00 – 16:05 Welcome and opening remarks by Silvia COSTA, Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament Part 1 16:05 – 16:15 Europe’s press sector: how to not outsource our future Max VON ABENDROTH, Executive Director at the European Magazine Media Association – EMMA 16:15 – 16:25 So how can we support journalism in the public interest? Mike HOLDERNESS, science writer, editor and Chair of the European Federation of Journalists Authors’ Rights Expert Group (AREG-EFJ) 16:25 – 16:35 The future of publishing: industry update and policy outlook Sebastian DOEDENS, Head of Public Affairs,…

GUE/NGL debate on digitization

8h30. Acreditación. 9h00 – 10h30 Digitalización de los servicios a la ciudadanía. Intervienen: Juan Arregui – DG Connect eGovernement and Trust Christine Jakob – EPSU Juana Olmeda – FSC-CCOO Debate [Café] 11h-12h30. Dividendo Digital Bernard Barani – DG Connect, tbc Miguel Jurado– FSC.CCOO Paloma Lopez Bermejo Debate (Pamela Morinière, FEP) [Café] 13h-14h Digitalización del Transporte y la Logística. Costis Yeraris – Secretariado TRAN, tbc Representante de ETF Fátima Aguado-FSC-CCOO Debate y cierre de las jornadas. 14h-Comida.

AFP: End contracts’ masquerade!

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the campaign launched by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to denounce Agence France Presse’s (AFP) “unacceptable” contracts. AFP is demanding its photographic stringers across the globe, in offices outside of France, to sign contracts which include the full assignment of their authors’ rights without any additional remuneration. The IFJ has condemned such “unfair” practices and is calling for an immediate revision of the standard contracts imposed on photographers working for AFP. The IFJ is also calling on photographers not to sign the contracts as they stand. The EFJ and the IFJ has been campaigning for years against rights grabbing contracts (Further…

World Copyright Day: Outlaw unfair contractual practices!

Legislators must take concrete steps against unfair contractual clauses in their laws. This is the message put across by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to mark World Copyright and Book Day tomorrow 23 April. The organisations warn against the continuing trend developed by media companies to use rights- grabbing contracts. Journalists who sign those contracts not only lose the right to use their works autonomously, but also the (moral) right to protect the integrity of their works. These practices allow for the same work to be used many times for one single payment…

Webinar on authors’ rights for freelance journalists in Europe

Join us for a webinar (web conference) on Feb 10, 2016 at 12:00 PM GMT. Register now! If freelance journalists provide input to newsrooms , the question is always: Can I re-use the post also elsewhere with other clients with a different target audience? The question of which rights are established with reference to a journalistic work/contribution is regulated by intellectual property right /copyright law. Therefore, knowledge of the correct use of authors’ rights/copyright not only at national level but worldwide is crucial for freelance writers. Freelance journalist Mike Holderness works in London and is a long time activist in…