EANA: EU Copyright Law Should Incorporate Work of News Agencies

A still from the EANA conference in Bratislava (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 22 (TASR) – News agencies should form part of the group of entities creating artistic and journalistic work that the European Commission (EC) wants to protect more resolutely in terms of the illegitimate copying of their work on the internet, said Agence France-Presse (AFP) representative Christophe Watler Petit on Thursday at a conference held by the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) in Bratislava between September 21-23.

Petit noted that the proposed amendment to the EU copyright law submitted by EC president Jean-Claude Juncker has omitted news agencies from the entities that should be awarded protection. “Our agency has already alerted the EC to the fact that the planned proposal only refers to publishers and has forgotten about news agencies,” Petit told TASR.

AFP presented a legal mechanism at the conference that is called ‘droits voisins’ in France. “It’s an extension of the copyright law and allows artists to ban the dissemination of their work if it isn’t financially rewarded. This should include news agencies as well,” explained Petit, adding that this is a way of preventing internet platforms and browsers from illegally disseminating texts, photographs and video recordings produced by news agencies.

Another possible approach is to launch a legislative initiative at the national level that would amend the copyright law in a specific country. “The French Parliament has already received a proposal aimed at entitling news agencies to employ the ‘droits voisins’ mechanism,” said Petit.

EANA is also currently working towards this end. EANA Secretary General Eric Nylen said that the organisation wants to draft an analysis for the EC that would support the extension of its proposal to include news agencies as well.