Journalism body starts ‘unfairness’ campaign
Journalists take cover during the manhunt for the suspect of the Boston bombings. European journalists call for an end to rights-violating contracts. AFP photoThe International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), launched a campaign to fight against unfair contracts to mark World Copyright Day today.
IFJ and EFJ have called on their affiliates to launch a global fight back against rights-grabbing contracts that demand journalists to assign their authors’ rights to publishers. The IFJ has called on over 170 national affiliates to collect rights-grabbing contracts and share such samples to illustrate the case and put pressure on national legislators to end the unfair contractual practices. “Fair contracts are the guarantee for high quality and ethical journalism,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “However, the spread of buy-out contracts strongly impacts on the quality of journalism as well as the livelihood of journalists,” he added.
Rights-grabbing contracts, or “buy-out contracts,” demand that journalists sign all moral and economic rights over to publishers. These include the right to protect the integrity of their work, be identified as the author and to receive equitable remuneration when work is re-used. Buy-out contracts assign media employers a worldwide, exclusive right to use, reproduce, display, modify and distribute their work on all types of platforms, known or future.
Similarly to Boumelha, EFJ President Arne König said that they called on national and European legislators to close the legal loophole and put an end to unfair contractual practices.