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.