Report from the IFRRO Annual General Meeting in November 2003, by Anne Louise Schelin


The elections


Just before deadline for announcing new candidates I succeeded in persuading Litten Hansen, man-aging director of Copy-Dan, to let her be nominated to the post of vice president of IFRRO. The reason for this effort was that it otherwise looked as if the top leadership would all be people from countries with Anglo-American copyright traditions.


The former president André Beemsterboer stepped down and Peter Shepherd, Chief Exedutive at Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd. UK, and Michael Fraser, CAL Australia, both stood for election in his stead. Peter Shephard was elected.


Litten Hansen was nominated for the post of 1. vice president, but so was Michael Fraser and he won the election. However, Litten Hansen was elected 2. vice president. At least then there is one out of the three in the top, who has deep roots in the continental authors’ rights system. (Litten Han-sen is a former well known actor and has been a driving force for authors and performers in Den-mark).


Jochen Kelter from EWC was not up for election, but he is no longer president of EWC and will step down at the next annual meeting in October 2004. Presumably Maureen Duffy who is now president of EWC would like to stand for election in his stead. AREG/IFJ needs to consider whether we want to support this or if we want to put me up for election. Personally I am of the opinion that we should support Maureen for the board and instead have me use as much time and energy as pos-sible in the working groups, particularly in the Working Group on Newspapers and Similar Publica-tions.


Other regarding the general meeting


Quiete a few interesting presentations creating hope that new collective management societies ac-ross the world will make global clearance possible and be able to constitute an alternative to the individual business models of global private companies.


A rather serious incident happened on the last day when representatives from KOPINOR discov-ered, that a set of principles on digital document delivery were not correctly placed on the agenda. Despite this the annual meeting were being asked to vote on the principles.


Because of this protest the president asked the meeting if anyone was going to protest against the principles being put to the vote.


The principles were included in a report from a working group that I do not participate in, and I had not seen them as something I needed to seek a mandate for or to study that closely. As the principles raised some questions that I could not immediately receive answers for, I formally protested against the vote, which caused some dismay.


On behalf of the IFJ I’m proposing to send the enclosed letter to the IFRRO board. I also enclose the principles in question.


At a meeting before the Annual General Meeting of IFRRO started between John Erik Forslund from the Swedish Writers Union, Kay Murray from the Authors Guild Inc. of USA, Jochen Kelter from EWC and Frants Gundelach from the Danish Writers Union we discussed the possibility of updating the joint statement between the AC (Authors’ Coalition) and IFRRO and to ask for a meet-ing with IFRRO to discuss this.


However, after having reread the statements from 1994 and the revised statement from 2000 we do not find it necessary with a revision. I have proposed that we ask for a meeting with IFRRO any way, and that Jochen Kelter should suggest this at the coming board meeting. The two AC joint statements and the two STM joint statements can be found at www.ifrro.org.


The meeting in the Working Group on Newspapers and Similar Publications


I’ll refer you to the minutes of the meeting (enclosed) for the details of the meeting. As you can see on the ideological front it is the IFJ and ENPA who are the frontrunners in the ideological debate. Oddly enough the representative for ENPA is Danish and a counterpart that I know very well and also co-operate with in matters of media law and freedom of expression.


It is positive that several collective management societies have begun to license digital uses and that some of them have systems that allow the journalists a share of 50% of the remuneration. It is also interesting to see that in countries where the publishers have full control of the rights of employed authors they tend to be much more open towards licensing digital uses through collective manage-ment systems although the report from CCC in the United States shows that even in these countries the publishers hold on to the rights if they feel they this at a later date may be of benefit to them.


The next meeting in the group is the 7th of June in Copenhagen.




Anne Louise Schelin