EWC is grateful for the financial support provided by:

The Association of Finnish Non-Fiction Writers (Finland)
The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society-UK
The Swedish Writers’ Union
The Society of Swedish Authors in Finland
ProLitteris (Switzerland)
The Swedish Association for Educational Writers
Sanasto, the Finnish Authors’ Copyright Society 

News

The 2016 Creators’ Conference: a joint event of The Authors’ Group 31 May 2016

ECSA, in alliance with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Writers' Council (EWC), the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) and the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE), is delighted to announce the European Commission's Vice-President Andrus Ansip as keynote speaker of this year’s Creators’ Conference. Additional speakers who have confirmed are: MEP Pavel Svoboda (Chair of JURI), MEP Dietmar Köster, Maria Martin-Prat (EC Copyright Unit), Alfons Karabuda (Composer and ECSA President), Dan Clifton (Film-Director and Chairman of FERA), Bjørn Ingvaldsen (Writer), and Wally Badarou (Composer). The event will also feature screenwriters, journalists and other creators. 

The goal of the event is to create a forum where the needs and concerns of authors will be taken into account and where solutions will be presented in order to shape a digital future and ensure a vibrant cultural diversity.

The preliminary programme is as follows:
·         Artistic Freedom and Digital Opportunities
·         The Value of Creativity - Fair Contractual Practices for Creators
·         Sustainability in Digital Exploitation
·         Shaping the Future: A European, More Modern Copyright Law
·         Creators for Europe - Europe for Creativity 

The event will take place at the Residence Palace International Press Center in Brussels on 31 May 2016 and is organised with the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. 
For more information: http://creatorsconference.org/home

 

EU Prize for Literature Awards Ceremony - 31.05.2016

The Awards Ceremony of the 2016 European Union Prize for Literature will take place at Concert Noble, Rue d'Arlon 82, Brussels.

The 12 winning authors from the participating countries in 2016 will be presented an award by Mr. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, in the presence of Mrs. Silvia Costa, MEP and Chair of the Culture and Education Committee, and personalities from the fields of culture, literature and politics.

The selected countries in 2016:
Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The EU Prize celebrates the best books by emerging writers in fiction.

As the consortium selected by the European Commission to coordinate the initiative, the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), the European Writers' Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) are jointly responsible for the setting up of the national juries and the practical organisation of the award ceremony.
For more information: http://www.euprizeliterature.eu/

Committee of the Regions issues “OPINION” on the ‘Modernisation of the EU copyright rules’

At its Plenary Session of 7-8 April 2016, the Committee of the Regions adopted an Opinion on the "Modernisation of EU copyright rules". The rapporteur for this opinion was Arnoldas Abramavicius (LT/EPP), Member of Zarasai District Municipal Council.
As part of their preliminary analysis, on 19 January 2016, the CoR held a hearing with invited stakeholders, who answered many questions on different aspects of the EC Communication published in December 2015: “Towards a modern, more European copyright framework COM(2015) 626 – final”
The authors’ associations selected for the hearing were: EWC, EFJ, and ECSA. Additional organisations included consumer representatives, CMOs, SMEs’, Media companies, publishers, booksellers, cultural heritage institutions (libraries), and the Young Pirates.
The full text of the opinion will shortly be available in all EU language versions on the CoR.europa.eu website.

WIPO Conference on the Global Digital Content Market

April 20 – 22, 2016 (Geneva, Switzerland)
WIPO has announced an international conference to be held at their headquarters.
The aim is to “showcase the latest developments in the area of creative industries, in particular, the changes brought about by digital technologies, as well as to raise awareness on the opportunities and challenges provided by the global digital world for the creative industries.
The focus will be on the future of the creative industries in the context of the economic value chain.
For more information:  http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/2016/global_digital_conference.html

The European Authors’ Group - EWC, ECSA, FERA, EFJ and FSE – Statement in response to the EC Communication on the copyright framework

On 9 December 2015, the EU Commission published a Communication to the European Parliament and the Council entitled “Towards a modern, more European copyright framework”.
The Authors’ Group is the prime EU Authors’ network representing more than 500 000 authors, including writers, literary translators, composers, songwriters, journalists, film directors and screenwriters in Europe.
The Authors’ Group welcomes the EU Commission Communication, particularly as it addresses several problems in light of the digital environment. Thus, it understands that achieving a well-functioning market-place for copyright depends on establishing a system allowing fair remuneration for authors and performers, who are affected by a weak bargaining position when assigning their rights to publishers and producers.
The Authors’ Group calls upon the EU Commission to act to ensure at EU level a better protection of authors against unfair contracts. Achieving a modern, more European copyright framework fully depends on how authors are treated and remunerated in a highly competitive marketplace. The Authors’ Group is ready to work with the EU Commission and all interested parties to this end.

The undersigning organizations take note and support the EU Commission’s announcement of examining possible definitions of the ‘making available’ and ‘communication to the public’ rights with the objective that value be fairly shared when copyright protected works are exploited on online distribution channels and online platforms involving the commercial re-use or retransmission of copyright-protected content. Concerning the issue of providing an effective and balanced enforcement system, the Authors’ Group believes that the approach laid down by the Communication, especially with regards to the ‘follow-the-money’ and ‘notice and stay-down’ approaches, provides a sensible way in order to achieve the given objective.
The Authors’ Group also takes note of the EU Commission’s view to ensure that copyright-protected content is more easily accessed on a cross-border basis as well as more ‘portable’. Whilst not disclosed in greater detail how this objective can be achieved, the Authors’ Group wishes to emphasize that the principles of territoriality of copyright shall not be questioned. The authors’ future, especially in the audio-visual sector, fully depend on new productions, which rely largely on territorial licensing. In this context, the Authors’ Group encourages the EU Commission and the relevant stakeholders to join efforts in order to ensure that consumers can access author’s works as widely as possible throughout the EU.
Finally, the Authors’ Group wishes to emphasize that any discussion on further exceptions to the exclusive rights of authors must firstly contain an impact assessment of the potential loss of revenues for authors and other right holders. Author’s rights is a law dedicated to authors and their works of arts and it must be taken into consideration that weakening the exclusive rights will result in a loss of income to authors, less value for the cultural and creative industries and ultimately a diminishing European repertoire of cultural works of music, literature and film.

Signatories: The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) - The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) – The European Writers’ Council (EWC) - The Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) - The Federation of Screenwriters Europe (FSE).

EC consultation on a modernisation of the legal framework for the enforcement of IPR

Parallel to the Communication on "A More modern and European copyright framework" and a "Regulation" on online content portability, the EC launched a "public consultation on the evaluation and modernisation of the legal framework for the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR)”. With this consultation the Commission “seeks views from all interested parties, in particular  rightholders, the judiciary and legal profession, intermediaries, public authorities, consumers and civil society, on the question if the legal enforcement framework is still fit for purpose.”
The EC states further: “Among the concrete actions envisaged is the modernisation of IPR enforcement, focusing on commercial-scale infringements (the 'follow the money' approach) and its cross-border applicability.
The Single Market Strategy reiterates these objectives, emphasizing the Commission's horizontal approach to IPR enforcement and the need to strengthen the protection of all IPR. The consultation therefore aims to help assess the functioning of Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRED) in the online environment, with a view to identify the possible need for adapting such provisions and to propose corrective measures.”
The link to access the consultation:
http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/newsroom/cf/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8580

 

European Commission publishes Communication on copyright and Regulation on portability

The European Commission (EC) published its Communication on "A More modern and European copyright framework" and a Regulation on online content portability. This set of proposals, as part of the EC's Digital Single Market Strategy, is a first step in the review of EU copyright rules announced as one of the top ten priorities of the new European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker.
This Communication will be followed by a legislative proposal to implement the actions foreseen in the current document, to be released in the Spring 2016.
The press release, with a summary, as well as the Communication and the regulation are here:
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-6261_en.htm
There is also an important Memo with some key questions highlighted by the Commission:
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-6262_en.htm

 

A response to the letter addressed to Commissioner Oettinger by the Executive Director of Europeana and a number of librarians

Letter To Mr. Günther Oettinger, Member of the European Commission.
cc: Vice-President Andrus Ansip, Digital Single Market
cc: Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
cc: Europeana Chair
Brussels, 29th October 2015
Subject: A response to the letter addressed to Commissioner Oettinger by the Executive Director of Europeana and a number of librarians, 27.10.2015 “Open letter on copyright reform for online access to cultural heritage” referring to out-of-commerce works.
Authors, publishers and the collective rights management organisations (RRO for Reproduction Rights Organisations) appreciate that the signatories of the Europeana letter recognise the importance of copyright as a means to earn a living from creativity. We would also like to insist that authors' rights are not just economic rights, although an extremely important component of the exclusive rights. Moral rights are also an essential part of the authors' rights.
In 2012, facilitated by the European Commission, the European organisations representing authors, publishers, libraries, and IFRRO on behalf of the RROs, signed a MoU on out-of-commerce works that contains the necessary elements to allow libraries to digitise and make available, including on the Internet, out-of-commerce works, on agreed terms and conditions, and on the basis of collective licensing.
Signed by: The European Writers’ Council (EWC), the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO)

For the full statement you can access the PDF in “Statements”