Publication Date: October 2017
Draft Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market: EFJ-IFJ Statement

This digest has been produced in cooperation with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

The proposal by the European Commission for a directive on copyright in the digital single market was presented in September 2016. The draft is currently making its way through the European Parliament and Council. The proposal has sparked a number of criticisms, including concerns on the protection of journalists authors' rights. EFJ and IFJ formulate their concerns as follows:

Journalists’ contributions to press publications and informing citizens must be recognized and duly protected and remunerated. Their authors’ rights, namely their economic and moral rights, including the right to integrity and paternity, must be duly acknowledged.

Freedom of contracts too often results in contractual arrangements where journalists are forced to sign away their rights. These so-called buy-out contracts should be outlawed and there shall be no presumption of transfer of rights from journalists to publishers.

A publishers’ right constitutes another layer of rights inserted between journalists and would-be users of their works and must therefore be treated with care. Such a right should not allow a publisher to compete in any way with journalists’ exploitation of their works and should not undermine journalists’ own authors’ rights over their works, nor their remuneration for the exploitation of their works.

If there is such a right, member states must ensure that its holders cannot act as “gatekeepers” that prevent journalists (those who didn’t sign buy-out clauses) from authorizing the re-use of their content.

The Federations believe that a publishers’ right can contribute to fight massive reproduction of journalistic works providing it is managed by collecting societies representing both journalists and publishers and journalists are guaranteed to receive a fair share of the revenues stemming from the exploitation of this right.

Such mechanism would ensure that both journalists’ and publishers’ interests are duly taken into account.

Tags: Copyright Labour_conditions_for_journalists EU_member_states Media_Law Content_distribution

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