EWC, FEP and IFRRO organise a Seminar on the Copyright Reform at the European Parliament

Over 80 attendees took part in a Seminar on the Copyright Reform organised by EWC, FEP and IFRRO on 2 February at the European Parliament. The event was co-hosted by MEP Therese Comodini-Cachia and MEP Jean-Marie Cavada, rapporteur and shadow rapporteur respectively for the proposal for a Directive on copyright.

When delivering his welcome speech, MEP Cavada highlighted that the technological revolution has led to a new digital era that lives too often at the expense of creativity. He added that there was a need to better protect the use of creative works, which embody the human spirit, and to not only leave it to those who provide the “pipes” connecting content with users to make profit out of it. The introduction remarks on the proposed directive on copyright were delivered by Mr Marco Giorello, Deputy Head of the Copyright Unit at the European Commission.

There were two round tables, showing how solutions to giving easy access to works are being enabled by Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs) for education and the making available and digitisation of cultural heritage. Two examples of successful library digitisation projects were presented by representatives of the German National Library and the Norwegian National library, that have reached licensing agreements with VG Wort and Kopinor and run extensive digitisation projects. On education licensing, the perspectives from the authors, publishers and RROs were presented, with experiences from France, the United Kingdom, and from Finland by former EWC President, professor Pirjo Hiidenmaa,

In her closing remarks, MEP Therese Comodini-Cachia underlined that over the last months stakeholders have expressed their positions on the copyright reform and these have often proven to be quite polarised. She concluded that it was now up to the legislators to find a balanced approach, and she welcomed stakeholders who have come forward with solutions, while adding that she saw no reason why copyright should not work in the digital world as it does in the analogue.
Source: IFRRO News Volume 19 Number 01 – February 2017

EWC Board changes – November 2016

We have some important changes in the Board of the European Writers' Council made effective at our Annual General Assembly held on 27 and 28 November 2016 in Brussels.

We are very sorry that Mr. Nick Yapp (UK) has stepped down as President due to health reasons. We want to thank him for all the work done since he was elected in June 2015, and also also during the period (2013-2015) when he was a regular board member. We wish him the best.
Consequently, the EWC presidency was handed over to Ms. Malin Koch (Legal Counsel of the Swedish Writers’ Union), who was elected First Vice-President in June 2015, and who will be functioning as EWC’s President until the next elections, to be held in June 2017.
Moreover, the assembly welcomed Ms. Janne Rijkers (the Writers' Guild of the Netherlands to be re-named 'De Auteursbond’ from 01.01.2017) as a new regular board member.
Ms. Gerlinde Schermer-Rauwolf (Germany) continues as Vice-President, while Mr. Tiit Aleksejev (Estonia), Ms. Ružica Cindori (Croatia), and Ms. Tittamari Marttinen (Finland) continue their term as regular board members.

More details on each board member on our Board page.

European Commission issues proposals for two EU Directives and two EU Regulations to adapt the EU Copyright Rules

14/09/2016
 The European Commission has proposed two directives and two regulations to adapt the EU copyright rules to the realities of the Digital Single Market:
—Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on copyright in the Digital Single Market - COM(2016)593
—Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes - COM(2016)594

The Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market is available on the EC website:
https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/proposal-directive-european-parliament-and-council-copyright-digital-single-market

Related Documents:
Impact Assessment Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
Impact assessment – Executive Summary

The regulation and related documents are available here:
https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/proposal-regulation-laying-down-rules-exercise-copyright-and-related-rights-applicable-certain

The Marrakesh treaty for people with print disabilities will be implemented in EU law via a Directive and a Regulation:

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain permitted uses of works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled and amending Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society - COM(2016)596
https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/proposal-directive-permitted-uses-works-and-other-subject-matter-protected-copyright-and

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the cross-border exchange between the Union and third countries of accessible format copies of certain works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled - COM(2016)595
https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/proposed-regulation-cross-border-exchange-between-union-and-third-countries-accessible-format

 The proposals will be discussed by the European Parliament and the European Council in the next stages of the EU legislative process.

The Authors’ Group Welcomes the EU Directive Proposal on Copyright

ECSA, EFJ, EWC, FERA and FSE Press Release 14/09/2016

The European Commission presented on 14 September its proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. The Authors’ Group* – representing more than 500 000 authors, including writers, literary translators, composers, songwriters, journalists, photographers, film/TV directors and screenwriters in Europe – welcomes the directive, in particular the proposal to address the key issue of creators’ weak bargaining position in their contractual relationships and fair remuneration in contracts.

The Authors’ Group supports the European Commission’s commitment to address problems related to the forced transfer of rights of authors to publishers, producers and broadcasters. Achieving a well-functioning market-place for copyright must start with establishing a system that allows fair contractual practices for authors and performers, who are affected by a weak bargaining position when assigning their rights to publishers, producers and broadcasters.

The introduction of a mandatory reporting obligation detailing the revenues generated and remuneration due will create more transparency and is a prerequisite for authors and performers to adjust unfair contractual agreements. These new provisions will constitute, together with a dispute resolution mechanism, an indispensable first step in order to create more sustainable conditions for Europe’s creators, who are the origin of Europe’s cultural and creative industries. However, authors need further mechanisms against unfair copyright contracts and the undersigning organizations are looking forward to working with the European Parliament and Council in this respect.

The Authors’ Group also welcomes the provisions of the directive clarifying the liability of online platforms but considers that substantial work remains to be done with regards to proportionate remuneration of authors, particularly for the online exploitation of their works.
The Members of the Authors’ Group are ECSA (European Composer & Songwriter Alliance), EFJ (European Federation of Journalists), EWC (European Writers’ Council), FERA (Federation of Film Directors in Europe) and FSE (Federation of Screenwriters Europe).

EWC Statement on the Role of Publishers in the Copyright Value Chain

Following the European Commission’s public consultation on the role of publishers in the copyright value chain held from 23/03/2016 to 15/06/2016, the European Writers’ Council wishes to communicate the views of the European authors, namely, writers and literary translators, in the context of the EC’s aim to “achieve a well-functioning market place for copyright.”

Authors should be paid for online uses of their copyright protected works. An author’s right to receive compensation for secondary uses should be unwaivable and non-transferable, other than for the purposes of collective administration.

The EWC statement refers more specifically to the EC’s consideration of introducing a new neighbouring right for publishers.

EWC Statement  PDF