European Federation of Journalists

Trade Secrets: Changes in favour of journalists’ sources and whistleblowers in Germany

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its affiliates in Germany, German Union of Journalists (dju) in ver.di and  Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) welcome the fact that the Legal Committee of the German Parliament has approved substantial amendments to the draft law, which is intended to transpose the EU Directive on the Protection of Trade Secrets into national law. “Reason has prevailed in the parliamentary process and given freedom of the press the status that the EU actually intended. This is a success that above all protects the work of investigative colleagues,” said Tina Groll, Federal Chairwoman of the dju…

Trade secrets: the Danish union secured protection for journalists and whistleblowers

The Danish Union of Journalists (DJ) welcomed the recently adopted law to protect companies from the disclosure of business secrets. An exception clause has been added to ensure that it is not a criminal offence to reveal a business secret that is in the public interest. Denmark has transposed into national law the directive 2016/943/EU ‘on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure’, adopted by the European Parliament and Council on 8 June 2016. The bill, which aims to protect the confidential information of companies, sets out the remedies that may be applied…

Denmark: draft bill on trade secrets fails to protect journalists and their sources

The Danish Union of Journalists (DJ) criticised in a letter sent to the Danish Patent and Trademark Office on 3 November 2017, the draft bill on trade secrets which is being discussed in Denmark in order to comply with the directive 2016/943/EU ‘on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure’, adopted by the European Parliament and Council on 8 June 2016. The Danish Union considers that the bill in its present form does not contain the necessary protection for journalists and whistleblowers in cases of trade secrets’ disclosure serving the public interest.…

Adoption of the EU Directive on trade secrets: legal assessments including on whistleblowers

The Academy of European Law (ERA)  based in Trier, organised in Brussels a workshop on “The adoption of the EU directive on trade secrets” . While the workshop was geared at lawyers in private practice and representatives of national and intellectual property officers and ministries, the EFJ as well as EUROCADRES, organising professionals and managers in branches of industry, public and private services and administrative departments, were present as well. Mariano Fernandez-Salas, European Commission, DG Internal Market, gave an overview of the directive explaining also the procedure which started with a Commission proposal in November 2013 and the final publication…

Adoption of the Trade Secrets Directive by the European Parliament: Investigative journalism must be guaranteed

Today, the European Parliament adopted the Directive on the protection of Trade Secrets. European journalists and media associations are concerned that this Directive could put journalists at risk therefore limiting their ability to investigate and report about businesses. This comes at a time when the “Panama Papers” revelations have reaffirmed the essential role that journalists, whistleblowers, and media play in informing citizens about issues of public interest. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Reporters Without Borders (RWB), the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA), the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU – UER) take note of…

Parliament committee adopts draft trade secrets directive

Following months of debates and Trilogue negotiations on the Commission’s proposal for a Trade Secrets Directive, the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs today has finally voted the final draft proposal on trade secrets. It improves the legal certainty as regards the exception for exercising the right to freedom of expression and information but journalists and media associations will remain vigilant. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) takes note of the generally positive amendments made to the initial draft Directive on Trade Secrets. Throughout the negotiations, the EFJ together with other media organisations’ representatives (including the European Broadcasting Union, European…

Trade Secrets: Legitimate use for journalists or not is still the question

In view of the ongoing trilogue negotiations, informal tripartite meetings attended by representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on reaching the proposal for an EU directive (also know as trade secrets directive) “on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure”, journalists’ and media organisations expressed their concern regarding a potential damaging impact on press freedom. A letter has been sent to the rapporteur, shadow-rapporteurs, members of the European Parliament of the Legal Committee, the Permanent representatives of the EU member states (COREPER) and relevant  contacts in the European…

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