European Federation of Journalists

Authors’ Rights

The exploitation of intellectual property rights is a topic for virtually every government, major company and economic forum worldwide. Journalists among those who have intellectual property rights. Their authors’ rights are currently best protected in continental Europe.

The EFJ authors’ rights programme calls for journalists to be recognised as authors of the work they create, given control on further use of their work and to receive an equitable remuneration for itwhether their works are exploited off line or online. In this sense, we oppose the Anglo-American copyright system which deprives all staff and most freelances of these rights. Authors’ rights are not only economic rights. Journalists, photographers and media professionals also need strong legal protection of their moral rights, including the right to be named as the author and the right to protect their content from being used in a detrimental way or context.

The right for journalists to exercise control over their work is crucial to maintaining ethical standards and guaranteeing quality journalism. This is another reason for opposing the Anglo-American copyright system, in which authors are coerced into signing away their moral rights, often with no compensation for reuse. Moreover, the growing trend among media organisations to use right-grabbing contracts has become a matter of great concern for the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). As a result, the EFJ has launched a Europewide campaign against right-grabbing contracts and advocates for fair remuneration of journalists.

We also support legal harmonisation of authors’ rights across Europe and the improvement of journalists’ rights and compensation in collective agreements. The authors’ rights work is supported by the IFJ/EFJ Expert Group for Authors’ Rights (AREG), which includes journalists and lawyers. The group meets on a regular basis to identify current threats to authors’ rights and to advise and support journalists and their unions in their battle for higher standards of protection.


Journalists unions demand transparency and a fair share for journalists in Google’s deals with publishers

Credits: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto / Getty Images

After years of resisting demands to pay for news, Google said in a surprise announcement on 25 June it had reached deals with a number of news publishers around the world. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) and their affiliates demand transparency on the deals and assurances that journalists will receive their share. Deals between Google and news publishers were signed in several countries, including Australia, Brazil, and Germany, and were part, the tech giant said, of a “new experience that would focus on high-quality content and help participating publishers monetize it.”  No details were made available, but the agreements…

World Intellectual Property Day 2020: “Some are trying to water down the EU Copyright Directive”

Picture credit: Frederick Florin / AFP.

On World Intellectual Property Day 2020, April 26, the European and International Federations of journalists (EFJ-IFJ) are putting the spotlight on the so-called “publishers’ right”, one of the key achievements of the EU Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market, interviewing three copyright experts of the EFJ Authors’ Rights Experts Group (AREG). Michael Khlem,Senior advisor of the Deutsche Journalisten-Verband (DJV), the German Journalists Association, one of the largest journalists’ organizations in Europe. Olivier Da Lage, a journalist at Radio France International and board member of the Syndicat national des journalistes (SNJ), and a member of the Conseil supérieur de la…

Celebrating the EU Copyright Reform for a Fairer Digital World

Picture credit: Joel Saget / AFP.

Friday 17 April marked one year since the adoption by the European Union (EU) of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. World Intellectual Property Day (April 26) is another occasion for the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) and their affiliates in Europe and around the world, to celebrate this major achievement and the gains made since. We are marking this occasion by releasing an interview with three copyright experts, on the Directive’s new neighbouring right for press publications, and its key benefits for our sector and members. The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single…

Journalists’ organisations demand fair share in EU Copyright Directive submission

Picture credit: Emmanuel Dunand / AFP.

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) submitted on 6 March a position paper to the European Commission (EC) on the implementation of Article 17 of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, to ensure protected journalistic works available on online content-sharing service providers (“OCSSPs”) are effectively and fairly remunerated. Article 17 of the new Directive aims to close the “value-gap” between rights-holders and online platforms and to ensure a fair share of the wealth generated by platforms, – tech giants in particular – using protected works, is distributed to creative industries and their authors. The position…