International Copyright Day: IFJ Calls for Dialogue Over “Free Use”

To mark International Copyright Day on April 23, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today calls on groups representing those who exploit free access to media content to begin a dialogue with journalists' unions on the importance of defending authors' rights and the right of journalists to be paid for the use of their work.

"Protecting authors' rights of journalists is increasingly important," said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. "Internet portals, thousands of information websites, and millions of online users are getting a free ride for unauthorised use of journalistic material. Plagiarism is rampant."

To confront this crisis the EFJ and its parent organisation the International Federation of Journalists are seeking a more genuine dialogue with media users.

Recently delegates of the EFJ met with Google's representatives in Brussels to raise awareness of authors' rights issues related to the recent Google digitisation project and Google News.

"It's time for a fresh start in building a new culture of respect for information and the people who have the professional responsibility to produce it, " said White. "In this regard, collecting societies have a clear role to play in administrating journalists' authors' rights when their work is converted for digital use."

He said additional help from governments to support collecting societies and democratic structures of management would contribute to secure a fair system of payment for journalists.

The IFJ is also seeking more dialogue with consumers to discuss to build trust to support journalists' authors' rights.

"Consumer support for paying for journalistic content is important to maintain quality journalism," said White. "A democracy requires citizens are informed and , therefore, consumers have a vested interest in ensuring journalists provide them with credible, reliable information in a transparent and accountable manner."

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 22 07

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide