European Federation of Journalists

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 rights from journalists to publishers.

A publishers’ right constitutes another layer of rights inserted between journalists and would-be users of their works and must therefore be treated with care. Such a right should not allow a publisher to compete in any way with journalists’ exploitation of their works and should not undermine journalists’ own authors’ rights over their works, nor their remuneration for the exploitation of their works.

If there is such a right, member states must ensure that its holders cannot act as “gatekeepers” that prevent journalists (those who didn’t sign buy-out clauses) from authorising the re-use of their content.

The Federations believe that a publishers’ right can contribute to fight massive reproduction of journalistic works providing it is managed by collecting societies representing both journalists and publishers and journalists are guaranteed to receive a fair share of the revenues stemming from the exploitation of this right.

Such mechanism would ensure that both journalists’ and publishers’ interests are duly taken into account.