Agreements reached in France on authors’ rights for audiovisual works

In the recent months, EFJ French member unions have reached several very important agreements on authors' rights regarding audiovisual works.

On 4 April, SNJ, SNJ-CGT, FO and CFDT reached an agreement with the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA) and the collecting society SCAM. The INA is responsible for preserving, managing and making available the French audiovisual heritage. Its collections contain many journalistic works protected by copyright law, but journalists’ rights were never respected by the INA.

The agreement acknowledges journalists’ economic and moral rights and provides that the journalists will receive remuneration for the use of their works through the collecting society SCAM. In order to benefit from the agreement, journalists must be a member of SCAM.

The INA agreement can be downloaded here (PDF).

On 3 May, EFJ member unions reached an agreement with the public service TV group France Télévisions. Pursuant to this agreement, the rights of staff journalists are transferred to France Télévisions for all the main uses of the works. As regards secondary uses, the rights are managed by the collecting society SCAM on behalf of journalists. To this effect there is another agreement between SCAM and France Télévisions.

One of the most important aspects of the agreement signed by the journalists and France Télévisions is the provisions on moral rights. These provisions cast a delicate balance between the requirements of both the French law and journalists’ ethical standards and the practical needs of producers. This should be a source of inspiration for countries with the Anglo-American copyright system where journalists are systematically pressured by producers to sign over their moral rights.