European Federation of Journalists

EP vote on copyright directive: some ups and downs

Following months of debates and controversial discussions, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) adopted today its position on a Proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital single market. The International and the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) applauds the positive outcome of the vote regarding the transparency triangle but warns against dangerous provision that are directly affecting journalists’ authors’ rights.

The IFJ and EFJ join the voices of European authors’ organisations in welcoming the backing by an overwhelming majority of eurodeputies of the transparency triangle forcing publishers and broadcasters to provide regular reporting on the exploitation that is made of journalistic and other creators’ works, thus reinforcing the contractual position of authors in Europe.
However the federations regret that the parliament’s position provides no real possibility for journalists to receive any share from the exploitation of the so-called “neighboring right” for press publishers.

This new right allows publishers to authorise or prohibit the use of their publication or part of them. IFJ and EFJ have long demanded that an equal share of the benefits deriving from this right should go to the journalists who actually produce the works, and should be managed by collecting societies. While the new text acknowledges the right for journalists to receive a share of the revenues a new recital deprives journalists of any benefits at all from such a neighbouring right and open the way to further imposition of “buy-out” contracts.

“While we strongly welcome the reinforcement of the transparency obligations we are astonished to see that members of pariliament could adopt provisions that purely open the way to more threats against journalists’ authors’ rights. Journalists deserve to be treated fairly. What was decided today in the European parliament will only encourage buy out contracts in our sector. ” said the federations.