The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today condemned the German publishing company Bauer Media Group for imposing " anti- authors' rights " contracts on freelance journalists and photographers in the UK.
"Once again, Bauer is attempting to exploit loopholes in UK copyright law by using unfair contracts to strip away authors' rights of journalists," said EFJ President Arne König.
The EFJ has learned that 200 freelance journalists and photographers working at Bauer's music magazines Kerrang!, Mojo and Q were given an ultimatum to sign away all their rights by 16 April 2010.
The EFJ says these contracts require freelances to give ‘an exclusive, irrevocable and unconditional' right to Bauer for multiple use of their work worldwide without further payment. Bauer threatens to stop commissioning freelances who refuse to sign the new contracts.
"These unfair contracts would seriously undermine both the livelihood of journalists and standards in the media. They would allow Bauer to modify journalists' work at will. Yet journalists would face the legal consequences for the use of their work," said König.
As part of their campaign against unfair contracts, the EFJ will send a letter to the Bauer media Group and demand Bauer put an end to the right-grabbing contracts immediately and renew talks with journalists to negotiate fair contracts.
For more information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235 2215
The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in over 30 European countries