World Copyright Day: Stop Unfair Contracts for Journalists, Says the EFJ

The

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the largest organisation of

journalists in Europe, today marked World

Copyright Day by condemning the widespread use of unfair contracts by media

employers that deprive journalists from their authors' rights.

"This situation seriously undermines our

profession by grabbing journalists' means of earning and ignoring their right

to be recognised as authors. It also undermines media quality by allowing media

companies to recycle and reuse the work of journalists across different

platforms" says Aidan White, EFJ

General secretary.

Together

with its affiliates, the EFJ denounces in particular recent pressures in media

companies such as Sanoma in Finland

and the

'Jahreszeiten-Verlag' in Germany

that force journalists and press photographers to assign all their authors'

rights.

"At

a time where the world copyright debate focuses on the widespread use of

creative works on the internet by consumers, it is time to examine what type of

contracts creators are forced to sign and who really benefits from copyright

protection," said White.

The

EFJ and its unions recently issued letters of protest against the Finnish

government's proposal to introduce a work-for-hire rule in its legal system that

would legalise complete assignment of authors' rights.

"We

must resist a trend to weaken well-established authors' rights legislations in

continental Europe that are protective of

creators and recognize economic and moral rights for all. A move towards a copyright

legal regime that would consider creative works as a commercial commodity would

be catastrophic for the profession and the quality of information," said White.

For further information contact the EFJ on +32 2 235 2216
The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists

in over 30 countries in Europe