European Press Publishers welcome European journalists’ support for the publishers’ right

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Brussels, 26 April 2017

At the occasion of today’s World Intellectual Property Day, that is a yearly celebration of IP's role in stimulating innovation and creativity, EMMA welcomes the announcement made by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) to support the publishers’ right as part of the EU copyright reform. EMMA President Auke Visser stated “Following the recent public statement of the EFJ, it is an important step to see that the European Federation of Journalists acknowledges the need for a publisher’s right at EU level which contributes to press sustainability and employment on a long term. This is a common objective that we want to achieve in order to safeguard press freedom and journalism.”

This support shows that the European Commission’s proposal for a publishers’ right will make an important difference for the press and journalism ecosystem in Europe: it is a crucial building block to maintain a free, independent, diverse and vibrant press sector for our democratic society. It sets the right incentives for press publishers to invest in trusted journalism innovation and investigative journalism projects.

The press publishers’ right is currently debated at the European Parliament and the Council. The proposal by the European Commission to include publishers as rights holders under the EU copyright framework is an historically important step and the necessary precondition for guaranteeing media pluralism as an essential basis for freedom of opinion and democracy in the digital world.

Today, European newspaper and magazine publishers are reaching more consumers than ever before, but in spite of investing heavily in adapting their businesses to the realities of the digital environment, publishers still don't have an adequate way to protect their investments.

To remain competitive and independently financed, Europe’s publishers need to be able to compete on all platforms. Whilst publishers have successfully transitioned from analogue to digital, they will only reach their potential with an appropriate and updated legal framework that addresses the complexities of online copyright and licensing and gives publishers the legal resource to protect their investment in the original, professional content that underpins the freedom of the press and democracy.

What publishers need is a “publishers’ right” granting publishers the legal protection and clarity already afforded to broadcasters and film and music producers.

In September 2016, the European Commission has proposed a right for press publishers (Article 11) as part of its proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. Such a right has been strongly supported by all press publishers across the EU.

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For further information contact:

Max von Abendroth
Executive Director


+32 2 536 06 04