On behalf of the International and the European Federation of Journalists, we would like to raise our concerns over the ongoing EU debate on the neighbouring right. We are witnessing this debate with great concern as the current Directive proposal on copyright in the digital single market seems to be evolving toward complete exclusion of journalists’ interests in the exercise of this right.
Journalists enjoy authors' rights protection over the work that they create. This means that they should receive remuneration for each exploitation of their work and benefit from full respect of their moral rights.
How can journalists expect to make a living and exercise their moral rights when a new layer of right is being considered – currently in a way that would deprive journalists of any remuneration for the use of this right and where the wording is carefully drafted to ensure that “buy-out” contracts would continue to deprive our colleagues of their authors’ rights?
While we are concerned by the commercial reproduction of journalistic works without authorisation and without payment to journalists, we do not believe that a neighbouring right will benefit our profession unless it is properly managed by transparent and representative collective management organisations. This will ensure that such right will be managed in a transparent way and ensure that journalists get a share of the revenues coming from this additional right over their own work.
This must be reflected in the ongoing debate over the neighbouring right. For European journalists and other media workers who own authors’ rights it is absolutely unacceptable to be excluded from a share of a neighbouring right. There must be a guarantee in the Directive that member states shall ensure that a fair share remuneration goes to journalists.
Philippe Leruth (IFJ president) and Mogens Blicher Bjerregård (EFJ president)
Brussels 14 March 2018