Campaign Against Unfair Journalist Contracts

Campaign Against Unfair Journalist Contracts

To mark World Copyright Day on Tuesday 23 April, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), are launching a campaign to fight against unfair contracts.

"Fair contracts are the guarantee for high quality and ethical journalism," says 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."

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. They also allow media employers to transfer the work to third parties without additional payment to the journalist. The EFJ has been collecting information about unfair contractual terms and conditions and found that major newspapers, magazines and broadcasters across Europe widely use these unfair contracts.

"We were appalled by the extent of unfair contractual practices in the media industry," said Arne König, EFJ President. "Media organisations asked journalists, particularly freelancers, to assign their exclusive rights for multiple use of their works for small one-off payments."

Read more here.

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