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NUJ welcomes European Parliament approval of new copyright directive

13 September 2018

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM) - a major step forward in protecting authors’ rights.

The National Union of Journalists in the UK and Ireland (NUJ), and the International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) warmly welcomed the vote which is crucial to ensuring that journalists can make a living from their work and remain independent in their reporting.

Members of the European Parliament voted in favour of the European Parliament’s legal affairs Committee (JURI) report on the Commission’s proposal for a directive on copyright in the digital single market with 438 for, 226 against and 39 abstentions. The text has been supported by thousands of authors and creators across the EU including the NUJ as well as dozens of other IFJ and EFJ affiliates, who actively campaigned for the approval of the JURI report and in opposition to the campaign of untruths and scaremongering against the text carried out by dominant internet corporations.

The IFJ and the EFJ especially welcome that under Article 11 of the parliamentary report, the benefits deriving from the future publishers' neighbouring right will be shared fairly between journalists and publishers. In addition, the so-called 'transparency triangle', included under chapter 3 (articles 14-16) is a great step forward for journalists’ and authors’ to get stronger control over the use of their work and the remuneration they receive.

The new clause introduces a reporting obligation on the exploitation of journalistic works and the revenues generated. This is a significant improvement in a sector where reporting mechanisms have always been widely disregarded.

Journalists must be informed of the uses being made of their works and revenues from these uses, whether online, in print, in broadcasting or elsewhere. Journalists must also be able to claim extra payment when the exploitation of their work overtakes the original contract’s terms. They must be provided with an opportunity to address any disputes to mediation mechanism or to courts as they choose. It is essential that they can be represented by their union in these instances.

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:

"We celebrate the European Parliament’s approval of the DSM Directive. It’s a great step forward in the defence of journalists’ and author’s rights, which have been violated for years by tech giants. We will keep on campaigning for the European Council to agree with all the terms of this Directive."

Tags: , freelance, copyright, parliament europe, ifj