European Federation of Journalists

Unfair contracts are destroying journalists’ authors rights

In a meeting with Petra Kammerevert (MEP and SPD coordinator for media and cultural issues), Renate Schroeder (EFJ Director) and Michael Klehm (DJV senior advisor) discussed issues around media policy and media freedom, authors’ rights, spectrum policy, support for “entrepreneurial journalism”, TTIP, net neutrality and the revision of the audiovisual media framework.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) warned that unfair contracts, sometimes called “buy-out contracts”, destroy journalists’ authors’ rights. The EFJ delegation argued that the European Parliament’s “Reda report” on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society is harming the continental authors’ rights framework, in particular when it comes to the exceptions and “free use”, MEP Kammerevert considers it as a balanced report. Michael Klehm shared his concerns about the impact of the recent BestWater International ruling (FR, not yet available in English) of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which may lead to an “expropriation” of journalistic work. Kammerevert discussed the European publishers’ intellectual property right insisting that this would not give any additional remuneration for journalists.

With regard to the ongoing negotiations about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States, the discussion focused on the exceptions regarding the cultural and audiovisual sector. 

The EFJ delegation also rose the MEPs’ attention to the fact that the EFJ and media organisations have been asking the members of the European Parliament to include a clear exception for the media sector when it comes to regulations, such as on data protection, trade secrets and benchmarking. Otherwise, press freedom, investigative journalism and protection of sources would be clearly in danger. Recent developments showed the increasing importance of strong protection of sources in Europe.

Photo : EFJ #AskEPfaircontracts