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Authors' Rights


IFJ/EFJ ask Spanish Parliament to enforce journalists' authors' rights

(14.03.14) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have urged members of the Spanish Parliament to give full recognition and protection to the authors' rights of journalists.

The call comes as the Spanish Parliament prepares to debate a controversial Authors' Rights Bill. The Bill was presented by the Spanish government on 14 February and will be the subject of intense political debate in the Parliament before its adoption.

In a letter addressed to Spanish MPs, the IFJ and EFJ ask them to support the call by their Spanish affiliates, the Federación de Asociaciones de la Prensa Española (FAPE), Federation of Unions of Journalists (FeSP), Federación de Servicios a la Ciudadania de CC.OO (FSC-CC.OO) and ELA-Gizalan, that journalists receive full recognition of their authors' rights in the Bill. (Read more).


Getty's policy threatens photographers' authors' rights

(05.03.14) Getty’s recent decision to make 35 million images from its portfolio available for free through a new embedding feature raises serious concerns over photographers’ authors’ rights and their income.  
Photos will be available with an embedded code which will include copyright attribution and a link back to the image’s dedicated licensing page on Getty’s website. Photographs will be available for anyone to use on their own websites, blogs and social media without any further authorization from Getty nor the authors as long as the use is non-commercial. The decision is mandatory for most of Getty’s contributors.
The IFJ is concerned that this initiative will lead to an impoverishment of photographers without preventing Getty from additional revenue streams through advertising. Bloggers can also use Google Ads to generate revenue from their blog’s traffic without losing their ‘non-commercial’ status. “This is a massive blow for press photographers who have had to cope with increasing photo fees reductions over the years,” said Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary. “The risk is that their professional work is used extensively and generates revenues for an unlimited number of people without any additional remuneration for the authors. This also leads to serious concerns over photographers’ moral rights and their right to protect the integrity of their work”. (Read more).


Australian Union (MEAA) Concerned over latest Copyright-Recommendations 

(13.02.14) The Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA), the Australian union of journalists, expressed serious concerns over the recent release of Australian Law Reform Committee (ALRC)’s Recommendations on copyright and its implication on creators’ authors’ rights. 

Following an 18-month inquiry, the ALRC released its report on “Copyright and the Digital Economy”. The report aims to assess the exceptions and statutory licenses contained in the Australian Copyright Act 1968 and the need to adapt them to the digital environment. The ALRC recommends several reforms, including the introduction of the US-like ‘fair use’ exception. (Read more).

Belgian Publishers Demand a Presumption of Transfer of Authors' Rights

(12.02.2014) A study jointly published by the Belgian associations of newspapers and magazines shows a loss of publishers’ revenues due to online re-use of articles without permission nor license.

The study highlights that 11% of articles in Flemish newspapers are not reused correctly online. One of the main concerns is the trend towards “churnalism” whereby articles are being ‘rewritten’ without any additional creative input.

Belgian publishers plead for a presumption of transfer of authors’ rights over all components of written press articles, in order to freely reuse them online.
The Belgian association of journalists (AGJPB) strongly opposes the introduction of such presumption. “By principle we understand and support the concerns expressed by the publishers, concerning piracy and churnalism. However, a presumption of transfer of rights, might be the solution for publishers, but it is certainly not for authors,” said Pol Deltour, National Secretary of the Flemish Belgian Association (AVBB, VVJ). « We, as Belgian unions, strongly oppose this and the law should remain the way it is concerning this topic. That is, determining that journalists should transfer explicitly their authors’ rights to the publisher.” The AJP, French speaking Belgian Association, calls for a global alignment on the matter of non-presumption of transfer of rights. (More information). 
EFJ Denounces Use of Unfair Contracts in Copyright Review

(05.03.2014) In its response to the European Commission’s Copyright review consultation the EFJ denounced the use of unfair contractual practices in journalism that deprive journalists of earning a decent living.
The consultation launched in January 2014 aimed to gather contributions from different stakeholders including consumers, authors, publishers, broadcasters or intermediaries on specific issues related to copyright including authors' rights exceptions or remuneration of authors. The Commission has received nearly 10,000 responses.
In its response, the EFJ denounced specifically unfair contractual clauses such as buy out, rights' transfer for unknown uses, clauses allowing journalists to be paid in authors' rights and not salary, clauses that allow for moral rights transfer. The EFJ hopes that this consultation will pave the way for further initiatives to strengthen authors' rights at the EU level and improve authors' bargaining positions. (Read More).
European Parliament adopted Resolution on Private Copying Levies

The European Parliament adopted on 27th February a resolution on private copying levies.
The text recognizes the value of the private copying system, “a virtuous system that balances the exception for copying for private use with the right to fair remuneration for rightholders, and that it is worth preserving“.
European Authors’ and Performers’ Organisations including the EFJ, already supported the Draft report proposed by Ms. Francoise Castex, Member of the European Parliament, on 10 October 2013.

The EFJ warmly welcomes the adoption of the current resolution as it represents an importance source of income for journalists while securing the freedom to copy for consumers.

The EU Adopts Directive on Collective Management 

(21.02.14) On 20th of February the Council of the European Union adopted a Directive on “collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use in the internal market”.

The objective is twofold. On the one hand the directive aims to make collecting societies more transparent and effective and thus improve authors’ rights’ management. On the other hand it should facilitate cross-border licensing of authors’ rights in online music.

The EFJ supports and welcomes the application of the Directive, but regrets that trade unions are not strictly excluded from the scope of the instrument.

EU Member states must transpose the Directive into their national laws by 10 April 2016 at the latest.
(Access the full text.)

Agreement reached on Improvement of Resale Right at EU Level

On 17th February, the European Commission (EC) and representatives of collecting management societies, art market professionals, artists and authors signed the "Key Principles and Recommendations on the management of the Author Resale Right”

The signed document outlines key principles, facilitating the administration and improving the transparency of the collection and distribution of the resale right. This right entitles certain artists and their successors to a royalty, for a limited period of time, each time their art work is resold. As the Author Resale Right is the most valuable right for authors of fine arts including photographers this agreement is very likely to be a milestone in the European Union.

“We are delighted about the agreement with the art market professionals. These recommendations are an important step to increase the recognition of authors rights”, says EVA (European Visual Artists)’s President Javier Gutiérrez Vicén. (Read more)
Linking to a Website Does Not Infringe Copyright

(13.02.2014) The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that linking to a website does not infringe copyright and thus will not require prior consent from authors. In the Svensson v Retriever Sverige AB case, journalists at Svensson have accused the news aggregator company, Retriever Sverige, of infringing their copyright by posting links of the articles published on the website, Göteborgs-Posten, without asking for their permission. The journalists demanded Retriever Sverige  compensate them for listing the links to their articles.

The court held that in order to be covered by the right of ‘communication to the public’ within the meaning of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29, the communication must also be directed at a new public, that is to say, at a public that was not taken into account by the journalists when they authorised the initial communication to the public. The court considered that there was no new public in this case and that journalists’ authorisation was not required.

The court however pointed that where a clickable link made it possible for users of the site on which that link appeared to circumvent restrictions put in place by another site, the link constituted an intervention without which some users would not be able to access the works transmitted. In that situation all those users must be deemed to be a new public and accordingly rightholders’ authorisation would be required for such a communication to the public. (Read more).

EFJ applauds European Parliament Study on Contractual Arrangements applicable to creators

(10.02.14) The European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee released a study assessing the provisions of national authors’ rights and contract law that affect creators’ bargaining power and contracts to exploit their works in the EU.

The study released on 10th February looked at eight EU member states: France, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, UK, Poland and Spain. The EFJ and a number of its EFJ affiliates also took part.
The results take stock of existing contractual practices. They point at a series of unfair provisions and contractual mechanisms that impede journalists and other creators from being fairly remunerated for their work.

“The study’s results clearly illustrate the unfairness of journalists’ contracts and the lack of recognition of journalists’ authors’ rights by media houses”, said Ricardo Gutierrez, EFJ General Secretary. “It highlights for instance the existence of excessive contracts, whose scope goes far beyond what is in fact necessary for the effective exploitation of the work such as buy out contracts. We hope that the recommendations drawn from this study will be fully taken on board by the new European parliament legislature.“ (Read more).
07.03.2014 Defend the Right to Inform the Public
03.03.2014 UN Report on the Right to Artistic Expression and Creation
09.01.2014 How can authors' rights in tweet be enforced?
09.01.2014 Use of meta search engine for data scraping infringes EU database right, decides CJEU
10 April 2014, Brussels

25 April 2014, Brussels

28 April - 2 May 2014, Geneva

2 June 2014, Brussels

6 June 2014, Greece
CONFERENCE â€œKey Challenges For Intellectual Property Rights for the economic performance and employment in the European Union: Assessment and Perspectives”

Conférence Juritic sur les contrats d'auteur: entre auteurs et exploitants, unions et déchirements ...

WIPO “Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights: Twenty-Seventh Session”

IFJ/EFJ Authors’ rights Expert Group Meeting
EU CONFERENCE  â€œCopyright and the Digital Agenda for Europe: Current Regulations and Challenges for the Future”, Greece, New Acropolis Museum
For more information, please contact Pamela Moriniere. You can also visit the IFJ Authors' Rights page.
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Editors: Yuk Lan Wong & Pamela Moriniere
Contributor: Ellen De Blende

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