News Media Europe

Statement on Publishers’ Right from journalists and publishers ahead of the 12 September Plenary on the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market

NME news , August 27, 2018

Ahead of the copyright vote in Plenary scheduled for 12 September, the EFJ (European Federation of Journalists), the IFJ (International Federation of Journalists), EMMA (European Magazine Media Association), ENPA (European Newspaper Publishers’ Association), EPC (European Publishers Council), NME (News Media Europe) – together representing the interests of tens of thousands of European news brands and journalists – jointly call on MEPs to maintain the wording on the publishers’ right (Article 11) as put forward by the Legal Affairs Committee.

Article 11, as proposed by Legal Affairs Committee on 20 June, represent a major step in the debate: the recognition of the need to protect investment in content, to make copyright management fit for the digital world, to secure fair practices in the online exploitation of news contentand to ensure a healthy, democratic, diverse, sustainable and free democratic press to the benefit of European journalists, citizens and European democracy.

The proposal also ensures that hyperlinks are clearly excluded from the scope of Article 11, and does not penalise readers who share articles, since it applies only to uses by information society service providers.

In this context, the International and European Federations of Journalists agreed in early July with European news publishers on a joint approach and wording of Recital 35, to ensure a fair share for journalists of the benefits deriving from the future publishers’ neighbouring right[1].

The introduction of the proposed neighbouring right in Article 11 will facilitate a thriving press ecosystem, with fair pay for journalists, including photographers and freelances, and will safeguard the quality of content.

The solution voted for in JURI represents a sensible and balanced approach that was reached after months of negotiation and compromise. The entirety of the press ecosystem is united in support of Article 11, as proposed by the JURI Committee.

Any further limitation or amendment to Article 11 would only have the unwanted effect of diluting the right, rendering it unusable – with the unfortunate outcome that both publishers and journalists would lose out. This would benefit only the actors that have taken advantage of the current lack of legal clarity and that have been free-riding on press content for the last decade, at the expense of professional journalism and European media. Any alternative solution, such as a presumption, is also strongly opposed by the entire ecosystem.

A publishers’ right gives press publishers a much-needed legal standing to be able to negotiate fair and workable terms of distribution of press content in the digital world; ensures a fair and proportionate distribution of revenue between publishers and journalists; and is essential in aiding the industry to secure the future of an independent, diverse and free press.

For these reasons, we ask for your support of Article 11 as proposed by the Legal Affairs Committee and strongly encourage Members of the European Parliament not to succumb to misleading claims and hostile and intimidating campaigns driven by opponents of a neighbouring right for press publishers.

We cordially invite you to contact us with further inquiries.

Yours sincerely,

IFJ: Philippe Leruth –

EFJ: Mogens Blicher Bjerregård –

EMMA: Joy de Looz-Corswarem –

ENPA: Joy de Looz-Corswarem –

EPC: Angela Mills Wade –

NME: Wout van Wijk –

[1]The undersigned associations agree that to avoid misinterpretations, Recital 35 must be clarified as follows during the negotiations:

35) The protection granted to publishers of press publications under this Directive should not affect the rights of the authors and other rightholders in the works and other subject-matter incorporated therein, including as regards the extent to which authors and other rightholders can exploit their works or other subject-matter independently from the press publication in which they are incorporated. Therefore, publishers of press publications should not be able to invoke the protection granted to them against authors and other rightholders. Authors whose work is incorporated in a press publication shall be entitled to an appropriate share of the new additional revenues press publishers receive for the secondary use of their press publications by information society service providers in respect to the rights provided for in Article 11 paragraph 1.