EMMA and ENPA welcome the mobilisation of newspapers across Europe in the context of the ongoing EU copyright reform which would grant press publishers with an exclusive right.
Today, newspapers across Belgium, Poland and Slovakia have published an open letter (see below) calling upon European governments to support a publisher’s right as widely adopted by the European Parliament. This text represents a sensible and balanced approach that will promote investment in professional journalism.
As we are in the middle of ongoing discussions between governments and the European Parliament, such action demonstrates the importance of an effective publishers’ right for the future diversity and pluralism of Europe’s press.
The outcome of this reform is vital for the press as it would recognise the need to protect investment in content and would make copyright management fit for the digital world.
A publishers’ right as adopted in the European Parliament would secure fair practices in the online exploitation of news content and ensure a healthy, and diverse press to the benefit of European journalists, citizens and European democracy which is why a strong EU legislation is needed.
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The European Magazine Media Association (EMMA) is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms. EMMA represents 15,000 publishing houses, publishing 50,000 magazine titles across Europe in print and digital. See: www.magazinemedia.eu
European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) is the largest representative body of newspaper publishers across Europe. ENPA advocates for 16 national associations across 13 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union. See: www.enpa.eu
Open letter by Press Publishers to European governments
An EU copyright reform that could boost professional journalism by making it possible for press publishers, large and small, to monetize their valuable online content is currently being discussed by governments and the European Parliament.
If you want a sustainable future for our professional, independent press; if you want quality, fact-checked content; if you want publishers to be able to invest in professional journalism; if you are alarmed, as we are, by the prospect of blank pages; it is now the time to act and support the Publisher’s neighbouring Right (article 11) as widely adopted on September 12 in the European Parliament’s text. It is an essential step for the future diversity and pluralism of Europe’s press that underpins our democracy.
You are currently under pressure by digital monoliths, to water down the right for press publishers in a way that would effectively legitimise the very predatory practices it seeks to end. Certain search engines, news aggregators and other companies whose business models are founded on using press publishers’ valuable content without permission or remuneration, do not want EU regulators to adopt an effective Publisher’s Right.
The current reform has to address the existing imbalance of bargaining power between the press and platforms. The digital ecosystem needs to work fairly for everyone: the content creators, distributors and consumers, not just the few powerful and dominant internet giants.
Approving the Publisher’s Right as it stands in the European Parliament’s text would be your opportunity to promote investment in professional journalism and to secure the future of a free and independent press.
Europe cannot afford to give up its sovereignty by weakening the role of the press in the democratic debate.