New copyright directive makes a mockery of journalists’ authors’ rights

After months of speculation, EU institutions last night agreed the wording of a proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which risks journalists being deprived of their authors’ rights and denied ‘’proportionate remuneration’’ for the work they do. The new proposal does introduce the principle of an appropriate and proportionate remuneration for all authors, including journalists, place transparency obligations on publishers and open up the possibility of alternative dispute mechanisms which could avoid lengthy and expensive court cases. It also allows authors to be represented by their unions in that process. The International and the European Federations of…

The Copyright directive must safeguard fair and proportionate remuneration for journalists, warn IFJ/EFJ

In the frame of the EU tripartite negotiations on the Copyright Proposal, the IFJ and the EFJ call on EU institutions to stand up for journalism by safeguarding journalists’ fair and proportionate remuneration from the new neighboring right and strengthening the Proposal’s transparency provisions. Following the approval by the European Parliament on 12th September of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM) – a major step forward in protecting authors’ rights- EU institutions, namely the Council, the Parliament and the Commission, have now entered into their final phase of negotiations through a trilogue that should last until…

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…

Hands off our authors rights, say journalists ahead of EP vote on copyright directive

The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee will vote tomorrow on a landmark Directive that could have positive effects on journalists’ authors’ rights and on our profession’s revenues. However, a number of amendments have been tabled to jeopardise significant benefits for journalists. While the current draft proposal to be voted on tomorrow introduces some key elements that would strengthen journalists’ bargaining power, namely a transparency obligation on their media employers to report on the exploitation that is made of journalistic works, several amendments clearly intend to seriously reduce the scope of the transparency obligation. One of the most controversial issues in…

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…

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…

Authors’ rights: expert group discussed new EU directive

The EFJ Authors’ rights expert group convened in Brussels on 6 February. The main issue on the agenda included the new EU directive proposal on copyright in the digital single market and its implication for authors. Following a proposal from the European commission, the draft directive is being discussed in the European Parliament and within national member states. It needs a concrete response from journalists’ unions on several points. One of the most positive move in the draft text is the introduction of reporting obligations for those who have been licensed or transferred journalistic works, ie media employers. While the…

Rights and Jobs in Journalism: Building Stronger Unions in Europe – New handbook launched

In the past years, the media industry has undergone drastic changes due to the emergence of new technologies in the way news are produced and consumed as well as the structural changes driven by the economic crisis. Journalists’ organisations themselves also undergo changes to renew their commitment and strategies to counter new challenges. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) launched a handbook within the framework of a project, ‘‘Rights and Jobs in Journalism: Building Strong Unions in Europe’’, showcasing best practices of journalists’ organisations undertaken to tackle new challenges. The handbook was launched in a final conference held in Zagreb…

EFJ-IFJ welcome proposed EU directive strengthening authors’ contractual position

The European Commission today published a proposal for a directive on authors’ rights that would help give more power to journalists. The proposal provides mechanisms to address authors’ and performers’ weaker contractual position when negotiating terms for use of their work. The federation welcomed the proposal as a “great step forward” in protecting journalists’ authors rights and called on EU institutions to do their utmost to improve authors’ remuneration in the upcoming legislative process. While acknowledging the “weaker contractual position” of authors and performers, the draft directive on copyright in the digital single market would establish three mechanisms to help secure…

The authors’ group welcomes the EU directive proposal on copyright

The European Commission presented on 14 September its proposal for a directive on copyright in the digital single market. The Authors’ Group* – representing more than 500 000 authors, including writers, literary translators, composers, songwriters, journalists, photographers, film/TV directors and screenwriters in Europe – welcomes the directive, in particular the proposal to address the key issue of creators’ weak bargaining position in their contractual relationships and fair remuneration in contracts. The Authors’ Group supports the European Commission’s commitment to address problems related to the forced transfer of rights of authors to publishers, producers and broadcasters. Achieving a well-functioning market-place for…

AFP: End contracts’ masquerade!

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the campaign launched by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to denounce Agence France Presse’s (AFP) “unacceptable” contracts. AFP is demanding its photographic stringers across the globe, in offices outside of France, to sign contracts which include the full assignment of their authors’ rights without any additional remuneration. The IFJ has condemned such “unfair” practices and is calling for an immediate revision of the standard contracts imposed on photographers working for AFP. The IFJ is also calling on photographers not to sign the contracts as they stand. The EFJ and the IFJ has been campaigning for years against rights grabbing contracts (Further…

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