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.


IFJ/EFJ hail adoption of Copyright Directive and urge Member States to ensure fair and proportionate remuneration for journalists

The European Parliament today adopted the Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market by 348 votes in favor and 274 against. A call to open the text to amendments was lost by just 5 votes. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) welcome the adoption of this long-awaited piece of legislation, which they have worked tirelessly to promote and improve. The newdirective includes key provisions for the publishing industry and authors, including journalists receiving a share of the revenue press publications generate online using their work, the principle of appropriate and proportionate remuneration for authors, key transparency obligations and…

EFJ and IFJ urge the adoption of Copyright Directive and any possible improvements

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) call on the European Parliament to adopt a copyright directive that benefits all journalists. Since it was first introduced, both journalists’ federations have worked jointly and tirelessly, supporting the proposal and working to improve it. The federations continue to seek improvements and clarifications in the lead up to the crunch vote on its adoption this month. The proposed directive, the federations say, includes important provisions for the creative and media industries and for authors. It offers the publishing industry and journalists a share of the revenue their work generates online (Article 11),…

EU Copyright Directive is a step in the right direction but still needs to be improved

The first copyright law reform in the EU in almost two decades is designed to give authors, artists, musicians, journalists and publishers a better chance of being paid when their work appears on the internet. A final draft of the new EU Copyright Directive was approved on Wednesday night in Strasbourg. It now needs approval by EU governments at meeting that is likely to be next week and will then be voted on by the European Parliament in March or April. “The Directive offers improved rewards for all authors, including reporters, feature writers and photographers. It is not perfect –…

Copyright Directive: IFJ/EFJ reject the Romanian compromise

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ), the world and Europe’s largest journalists’ organisations, call on EU Institutions to reject provisions and proposals that aim to restrict or obliterate journalists’ remuneration, ahead of final negotiations on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM). It is with great dismay and disbelief that the IFJ and the EFJ have read the EU Presidency’s latest proposals regarding journalists’ remuneration in the context of the draft legislation. While floating a possible compromise idea of an “appropriate and proportionate” remuneration for authors in Recital 39Y and presumably in Article -14, the…

We call on the EU to protect author’s rights and deliver on fairer Europe

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ), respectively the world and Europe’s largest journalists’ organisations, reiterate their calls on the EU to stand up for journalism and authors’ rights, as negotiations on a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market draw to an end. In this context, the IFJ and the EFJ recall that the key ambition for developing the legislation was to deliver on a fairer distribution of the revenues generated in the digital world. Extreme wealth generated online derives from the work of authors and creators, which is at the core of copyright licensing.  Their remuneration should…