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.


Actions

Enforce moral rights to fight misinformation

Everyone needs reliable information and ways to fight misinformation – and that requires sound protection of authors’ moral rights, say the International and the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) ahead of World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April. A large part of today’s discussions on the media focus on fighting disinformation and so-called “fake news”. But – so far – there is little discussion of legislation or of improved media practices to enhance and defend the authenticity of journalistic works through the reinforcement of journalists’ moral rights. “In the ‘cut-and-paste’ logic of online news our stories can be…

EFJ-IFJ statement on article 11 of the draft copyright directive on copyright in the digital single market

The EFJ-IFJ are concerned about the rampant reproduction and making available of extracts or the entirety of journalists’ and other creators’ works online by third parties without authorisation or remuneration. Journalists’ contributions to press publications and informing citizens must be recognised and duly protected and remunerated. Their authors’ rights, namely their economic and moral rights, including the right to integrity and paternity, must be duly acknowledged. Freedom of contracts too often results in contractual arrangements where journalists are forced to sign away their rights. These so-called buy-out contracts should be outlawed and there shall be no presumption of transfer of…

Time to grant Spanish journalists full authors’ rights protection, says IFJ/EFJ

The lack of protection of journalists’ authors rights in Spain undermines their living standards and journalism ethics. A delegation of the IFJ/EFJ authors’ rights expert group (AREG) members met in Madrid on 2-3 October in solidarity with Spanish affiliates (FES-CC.OO, FESP, FAPE, ELA) to develop a strategy to change Spanish intellectual property law for a better protection of journalists’ rights. The print sector was specifically targeted. To date, Spanish publications are considered as collective works and journalists cannot claim any recognition for their authors’ rights, either from a moral rights’ (right to integrity and paternity) or an economic rights’ (remuneration…

EU copyright directive: Licensing and remuneration of journalists

Better contracts, more transparency in payments and a fair share of remuneration for journalists: these are on top of the agenda for the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in the latest consultation on the EU copyright directive. The EFJ is putting forward important amendments to the proposed new rights for internet publishers. “We have heard many speeches in which EU Commissioners and Members of the European Parliament have emphasised the need for pluralistic European content online. They have acknowledged that achieving this means that the value gap between authors and those who profit from their work must be closed,” says…