Trade secrets versus public interest: Open letter to European institutions

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 “on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure”, journalists’ and media organisations express their great concern regarding a potential damaging impact on press freedom. The following letter has been sent to the rapporteur, shadow-rapporteurs, members of the European Parliament Legal Committee, the Permanent representatives of the EU member states (COREPER) and relevant  contacts in the European Commission. Trade Secret versus…

EFJ/IFJ delegation hold talks with Julia Reda over trade secrets and authors’ rights

An IFJ/EFJ delegation met with Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda this morning to discuss her report on the implementation of the “infosoc” directive on copyright and related rights in the information society and the directive on trade secrets for which she was appointed as shadow rapporteur for the Greens EP group. The delegation was composed of EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez and IFJ/EFJ authors’ rights officer Pamela Morinière. The IFJ and the EFJ expressed its strong rejection of the trade secret directive. “You were right to vote against the current version of the text,” Ricardo…

EU must step up efforts to protect media freedom in trade secrets law

Following today’s vote on the Trade Secrets Directive in the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) and the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA) reiterate their call for a clear and strong protection of the right to media freedom and information. The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) today introduced provisions to counter potential restrictions on journalists’ capacity to report on and investigate business activities that are in the public interest. The text voted today rightly specifies that the Directive shall not affect…

65 European organisations call on MEPs to revise the Trade Secrets directive:

The draft EU directive on trade secrets will be put to the vote on June 16 by the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI). This directive threatens fundamental rights and puts the profits of multinational corporations over democratic, social and environmental rights. By adopting a broad and vague definition of trade secrets, and by making it an offense every time information considered confidential by the company concerned is published, the whole range of activities of the media, trade unions and whistleblowers is threatened. At the same time, the European Commission refused on June 6 to begin work on a directive…

EFJ calls on MEPs to uphold public interests over trade secrets

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with media organisations have called on members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to amend a draft European Directive on trade secrets that could prevents journalists from exercising their rights to freedom of expression and hamper the rights of citizens to be informed. According to the latest discussion at the European Parliament, the draft directive contains exceptions that set out in which circumstances a journalist can disclose information that is considered trade secrets. It also includes a recital that requires Member States of the European Union (EU) to respect Article 11 (2) of the…

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…

Draft EU trade secrets law threatens press freedom

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined a group of civil society organisations – Corporate Europe Observatory – across Europe opposing the hasty push by the European Commission for a new European Union (EU) Directive on Trade Secrets. Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, the EFJ President said, “The draft directive poses some serious threats to the work of journalists and trade union representatives.” The European Commission draft does not provide a clear exemption for journalists and whistleblowers who publish or reveal information that is in the public interests. Journalists and whistleblowers must show that “…the alleged acquisition, use or disclosure of…