International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today denounced a set of
principles issued by Article 19 to unduly restrict creators' copyright protection.
In a letter
addressed to Article 19 Executive Director, Agnès Callamard, the IFJ has raised
its concerns over "The right to share: principles of freedom of Expression and
Copyright in the Digital Age", a document that opposes two fundamental rights that
safeguard the independence and the integrity of the journalistic profession.
To view the letter, please click here.
opposing freedom of expression and copyright protection, "The right to share
" assumes a conflict between two fundamental rights that should, on the
contrary, be seen as complementary", say the IFJ. "Both promote the rights of
creators - whether professional or not -
to be creative, to receive an appropriate reward when their work is used
commercially, to ensure that the work is accessed by the widest audience, to be
identified as authors if they wish - and, crucially, to ensure that there is
respect for its integrity".
IFJ is a strong defender of freedom of information in the digital world it
insists that those who write, broadcast and in important cases take enormous
risks to convey that information should be adequately rewarded for their work.
such as the "Right to share-principles" can add additional damage to a
profession which is already in a very weak position and thus contribute to
further weakening of the freedom of information that is essential to any
democracy of informed citizens" says the IFJ.
points to Article 27.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which grants
authors the protection of their moral and material interests in their work.
"It is true
that copies of our work can be made available across borders on an
unprecedented scale and at minimal costs but it is unfair to say that copyright
laws need to adapt "to keep pace with digital technology", says the IFJ. "Press
photographers in particular face a situation in which the high quality of
scanning systems now allows for any magazine to use their work for free without
any authorisation. We fail to understand how an adaptation of copyright laws
could respond to this lack of control over uses of their works".
IFJ has denounced the proposals to broaden the list of exceptions to copyright
pointing in particular at the risks that this would pave on authors' ability to
control the use made over their work, to protect the integrity of their work,
to defend their right to be identified and prevent them gaining revenue for
exploitation of their work.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries
To view Article 19's response to the IFJ click here