European Federation of Journalists

EFJ will speak out for journalists’ authors’ rights in Strasbourg

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) represented by the President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, will attend the third meeting of the Copyright Working Group of the European Parliament (EP) on 12 February in Strasbourg, to address the interest of journalists in the upcoming EU copyright reform. For the first time, representatives of authors including the EFJ are invited to address the issue in front of the group and other members of the parliament.

Blicher Bjerregård said, “The importance of authors’ rights has not changed because of the emergence of new media platforms. Authors’ rights become ever more important in ensuring the authenticity of content and help users to navigate in a digital world saturated with all types of content. This means creating an environment where authors are remunerated fairly.

“This will be the message I will deliver to MEPs and EU-policy makers in Strasburg.”

The EFJ will also call on EU policy-makers to:

  • Ensure full recognition of journalists as authors and fair remuneration for each use of their works;
  • Ban buy-out contracts that contain unfair terms and conditions asking journalists to transfer all exclusive rights to employers;
  • Ban the use of abusive clauses in employment/copyright contracts that demand journalists to sign away their rights for unlimited uses of their work at a lump-sum fee;
  • Review employment/copyright contractual terms and conditions when the remuneration received by the author is unequitable

The Copyright Working Group was established on 25 September 2014 under the auspices of the EP Legal Affairs Committee (JURI).The firts meeting took place on 17 December 2014 attracted a lot of attentions to the group from stake holders as MEP Julia Reda (of Pirate Party, Germany), reported that EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger “expressed his desire for an EU-wide intellectual property right of Press Publishers”.
The Working Group is coordinated by Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, France) and composed of the MEPs Julia Reda (Greens / EFA), Pavel Svoboda (EPP, Czech Republic), Dietmar Köster (S & D, Germany), Angel Dzhambazki (AECR, Bulgaria), Jirí Maštálka (GUE / NGL, Estonia), and Laura Ferrara (ELDD, IT). Jerzy Buzek (EPP, Poland), Catherine Stihler (S & D, UK) and Helga Trüpel (Greens / EFA, Germany).