IFJ nominee elected to IFRRO Board of Directors

IFJ nominee Edward Hasbrouck of the National Writers Union, one of IFJ's member unions in the USA, has been elected to a 3-year term on the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO). Hasbrouck holds the sole seat on the IFRRO Board reserved for journalists and other writers worldwide.

"No one writer can represent the global diversity of journalists and authors," Hasbrouck told the IFJ Executive Committee after his election. "But if anything helps prepare me, it's my experience representing the NWU's diverse membership, which includes not just journalists but also literary, academic, technical, and other writers in all genres, media, and business models." Hasbrouck will also be working closely with IFJ/EFJ’s Authors’ Rights Experts Group (AREG).

IFRRO is the global coordinating body for collective licensing agencies for "secondary" rights to published work, namely reprographic rights organisations (RROs). IFRRO is a key venue for discussion of issues affecting journalists’ livelihoods:

•In two recent decisions, the Court of Justice of the European Union has invalidated some collective licensing schemes for books and other printed works. These court rulings generally favor the rights of authors against publishers. But they may also jeopardize some licensing schemes. One of the first tasks for IFRRO's new Board of Directors is to find ways to preserve the benefits of collective licensing for those rights which authors can't or don't exploit individually, while also protecting the rights of authors who choose to pursue other business models such as those enabled by new technologies.    

Proposals for significant changes to copyright law are under consideration in the European Union, and expected next year in the US.  Because of the concentration of both print and digital publishing in the EU and the US, laws in these jurisdictions affect journalists and other authors worldwide. Politicians look to IFRRO as the voice of RROs. This makes it crucial for authors to have a say in IFRRO's lobbying positions on authors' rights.

IFRRO and its members are struggling to adapt to the changes from print to digital publishing and to new business models including the growth in self-publishing. Journalists have an interest in getting a fair share of the revenues collected on their behalf for any exploitation made of their work. "I want to help broaden IFRRO's understanding of new media and the new business models that independent journalists, freelancers, and other authors are pursuing," Hasbrouck says, "while guarding against attempts to use 'modernisation' as a pretext for taking away authors' rights."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

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