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