Authors’ Rights

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

The EFJ authors’ rights programmes call for journalists to be recognised as authors of the work they create, have control on further use of their work and receive an equitable remuneration for it. 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 rights for individuals to exercise control over their work is crucial to maintain ethical standards, which define and guarantee quality journalism. This is another reason to oppose the Anglo-American copyright system, through which authors can be, and are, coerced into signing away their moral

We support legal harmonisation of authors’ rights throughout the world with the aim of bringing all countries to the level of protection that exists in continental Europe. We also demand that collective bargaining rights for creators should be established where they do not exist. The authors’ rights work is supported by the EFJ Expert Group for Authors’ Rights (AREG), which is composed of journalists and lawyers. The group meets on a regular basis to identify current threats to authors’ rights and to plan appropriate actions to defend and support journalists and their unions who are fighting for higher standards of protection.

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 European wide campaign against right-grabbing contracts and demand fair payments to journalists.


The EFJ-IFJ and European Authors urge MEPs to support the Copyright Directive

The European and International Federations of Journalists, together with affiliates from Belgium (AGJPB/AJP-VVJ), Bulgaria (UBJ), Cyprus (UCJ), Czech Republic (Syndikat novinaru Ceske republiky), Denmark (Dansk Journalistforbundet), Estonia (EUJ), Finland (Suomen Journalistiliitto), France (SNJ, CFDT-Journalistes), Germany (DJV, dju in ver.di), Greece (JUADN, ESIEMTH, PEPU-ESPIT), Hungary (HPU), Italy (FNSI), Portugal (SinJor), Romania (FAIR/MediaSind), Slovenia (DNS), Spain (FSC CCOO, FAPE), Sweden (Svenska Journalistförbundet), Switzerland (Impressum), United Kingdom and Ireland (NUJ) and organisations of authors across Europe today issued a joint statement urging Members of the European Parliament to support the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. It represents a once in a decade opportunity…

Protect your author’s rights: write to your MEP!

The International and European Federations of Journalists request all journalists in EU member states to write to their Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in support of the Copyright Directive. In the run-up to this vote on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, on Wednesday 12 September, IFJ and EFJ are asking journalists to send a letter to the MEPs from their country in order to challenge the anti-copyright forces (Google, Facebook, etc.). Please use this model of letter: English: My MEP letter – EN French: Lettre à mon député européen – FR German: Richtlinie_zum_Urheberrecht – DE Spanish: Carta a…

The IFJ and EFJ call on European Parliament to protect Authors’ Rights

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) today reiterated their support for the adoption of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM), calling on members of the European Parliament to vote on 12 September in favor of the proposal, as put forward by its Legal Affairs Committee (JURI). Recognizing the crucial importance of authors’ rights, the media’s investment in quality contents and the need to establish fair practices in the online exploitation of news contents, the text, as proposed by the Legal Affairs Committee on 20 June, is ground-breaking. “This long-awaited piece of legislation…

European Authors call on MEPs to maintain their strong support to authors’ rights

The European organisations representing authors have acknowledged the decision of the European Parliament to postpone the adoption of its position on the Copyright Directive. The Authors’ Group now calls on MEPs to maintain their strong and cross-party support to reinforce the contractual position of authors in Europe so that the Copyright Directive can soon bring concrete benefits to authors’ rights in the European Union. The Authors’ Group represents more than half a million writers, composers, journalists, film directors, screenwriters and songwriters in Europe. Today, the European Parliament decided to postpone the adoption of its position on a Proposal for a Directive…