EFJ GM 2001: 10. Resolutions on Authors' Rights

European Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Adopted by the EFJ GM held in Saint Vincent, Italy, May 4-5, 2001

10. Resolutions on Authors' Rights
From the Steering Committee

General Statement
The General Meeting 2001 of the European Federation of Journalist (EFJ) in St. Vincent, Italy with representatives from 20 countries explicitly supports the fight of journalists' unions to improve and protect authors' rights. Legal bodies, social partners and company owners cannot reject legitimate demands for moral rights and for fair remuneration for the intellectual property of employed journalists and freelances, whatever mode of dissemination. All EU Member States and candidate countries states must act as soon as possible to ensure the immediate implementation of the new EU directive.

This General Statement has been adopted as last paragraph of each of the following three resolutions.

Authors' Rights in Italy
From the FNSI, Italy

The General Meeting of the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the new rules on authors' rights approved by the Italian Parliament concerning, in particular, reprographic rights.

In this regard, the General Meeting of the EFJ believes strongly that the rules must ensure the application of the equality principle in sharing acquired funds between journalists and publishers, a principle, which is prevalent in the major countries of the European Union.

Authors' Rights in Sweden
From the Swedish Union of Journalists

In Sweden, the authors' rights of employed journalist as well as of freelances are threatened by the employers' refusal to renew collective agreements and contracts unless all rights are transferred to the media companies.

This is a threat to democracy, to diversity and quality in the media and to journalists' jobs, and must be strictly opposed.

Authors' Rights in Portugal
From the Portuguese Union of Journalists

The General Meeting Considers

1) That the protection of moral and economical authors' rights of journalists is an indispensable condition for preserving the independence of media professionals and for maintaining the quality of journals, magazines and information services like radio, television, agencies and other networks of diffusion.

2) That the effective protection of journalists' authors' rights on their works is the imprescriptible condition for their responsibility concerning the sources of information, the persons and entities which are subject of their work and the public in general.

3) That information is not a merchandisable good like others and that journalists have the right to decide upon the destiny of their works

4) That public service emissions should be obliged to protect the integrity of journalistic creations as well as the editorial section under which they were produced.

5) That the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal has made a historic step approving the status of journalists in unanimity (Law n° 1/99, of January 13th) which generically protects journalistic authors' rights on their texts, images, designs and sounds.

6) That the Assembly of the Republic has let pass by the 120 usual days determined for approval, but has already received a project concerning this regulation.

7) That the Members of Parliament in charge of authors' rights legislation have the chance to enhance responsibility and quality in journalism and contribute actively and decisively in protecting the democratic fundament of a free press;

The EFJ/IFJ - European Federation of Journalists' General Meeting in Saint Vincent, May 4th and 5th, 2001:

§ Declares its support for the struggle of the Journalists' Trade Union of Portugal for the effective legislation of authors' rights in journalism

§ Urges the President of the General Assembly to add the debate on authors' rights on the assembly's agenda and to promote a general consensus among the parliamentary groups.

§ Urges the parliamentary groups to hold on to Law n° 1/99 and to seek a general consensus on this law which is essential for democracy of which the MPs are guardians.