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 

STATEMENTS - Letters

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.

Response to EC

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

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ECUADOR – Proposed Legislation including Changes to Copyright Law
To Mr. Anders Jessen, Head of Unit for Public Procurement and Intellectual Property, DG Trade

European Commission. Brussels, 14 July 2015
Subject: The letter is in conjunction with future interchanges between the EU and Ecuador on bilateral arrangements, to share our views on some key articles related to copyright in proposed new legislation in Ecuador. We also request your assistance in communicating our concerns to the Ecuadorian government.
Signatories: EWC, FEP, and IFRRO

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Letter on the plan by the Dutch government to eliminate the reduced rate of VAT for books
To Mr. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Minister of Finance, The Netherlands. Brusels, 22 June 2015.

The European Writers’ Council (EWC), the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), representing the interests of writers’ and literary translators’, booksellers’ and publishers’ national associations across the European Union and the European Economic Area, jointly express their utmost concern for the plan by the Dutch government to eliminate the reduced rate of VAT for books, thus increasing the applicable rate from 6 to 21%.
We are writing to you to invite you to maintain the possibility for books to enjoy a reduced rate of VAT in The Netherlands in the framework of the fiscal reforms that the country is undergoing. Raising the VAT rate on books in fact would soon lead to an increase of prices and as a consequence a decrease of readership, bringing about negative effects in cultural, social, civic and economic terms.

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Amendments to the draft report on the implementation of the 2001 Copyright Directive
To the Members of the European Parliament, JURI (Legal Affairs Committee) - 16 April 2015

Subject: In view of the fast-approaching vote in JURI, we are writing to express our concern about Ms Reda draft report on the implementation of the 2001/29 Copyright Directive which if not completely amended, would severely weaken the position of European authors who need to be placed at the heart of the EU copyright policy. We are also very worried by those additional amendments, which if adopted would severely harm the cultural sectors which authors evolve in, by attacking the principle of territoriality and the flexible system of optional copyright exceptions and limitations.

The following European organisations were the co-signatories:
ECSA  – The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance; EFJ – The European Federation of Journalists; EVA – The European Visual Artists; EWC –The European Writers’ Council; FERA – The  Federation of European Film Directors; FSE – The Federation of Screenwriters in Europe; GESAC – The European Grouping of Societies of Authors; SAA – The Society of Audiovisual Authors; UNI Global Union – Media Entertainment & Arts.

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The point of view of authors”, Myriam Diocaretz, Secretary-General, European Writers' Council (EWC)
Statement delivered upon invitation from the Committee on Legal Affairs Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright Reform, European Parliament, Strasbourg.Meeting of Thursday 12 February 2015, European Parliament, Strasbourg. Theme 3. Exchange of views on publishing and copyright issues in the digital environment.

Subject: The EWC statement addresses the following key points: Copyright and Remuneration. The weaker negotiating position in contractual agreements affecting authors in Europe. The regular decrease in the number of professional writers. Arguments to prove why unfair clauses in publishing contracts need to be banned at EU level.Excerpts: “Authors are more than eager to have their works made available: they write for the public: their readers (also called consumers).”
“If copyright has been the enabler by giving an incentive for the creation of new works, for many writers, unfortunately, the digital age is escaping them. Therefore, in order for them to benefit from the full potential of the digital market-place, some measures are necessary. Remuneration is directly related to primary and exclusive rights, and very often it is determined by the contractual relation between author and publisher. Until now the EU legal framework has not intervened in this area. The Directive 2001/29/EC (InfoSoc Directive) did not include a provision to ensure balanced contractual terms. We have evidence that this has not worked.”

“The data on the authors’ generally weaker negotiating position is still incomplete. Yet the evidence so far demonstrates additionally that in several if not the majority of Members States writing as a main profession is becoming increasingly difficult, and that there is a regular decrease in the number of professional writers. This social phenomenon should be worrying not only in terms of the job market but also because it impoverishes the European landscape of culture and language diversity. 

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Joint Creators and Performers Statement regarding CJEU proceedings on the Spanish private copying compensation system – Case C-470/14
Letter to the Minister of Culture, Spain. Brussels, 8 January 2015

Subject: The proceedings of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the Spanish law on private copying introduced in 2012 – Case C-470/14.
The following European organisations were the co-signatories:
AEPO-ARTIS, ECA, ECSA, FERA, EuroFIA, FIM, FSE, GESAC and UNI Global Union 

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Ten European federations, including the European Writers’ Council, issued a joint statement on behalf of creators' organisations and trades unions representing over a million authors, performers, artists, technicians and other creative workers regarding the forthcoming vote on MEP M. Gallo’s Report on enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market (2009/2178(INI))  3 June 2010.

September 10, 2010
Dear Members of the European Parliament,
We write to you on behalf of creators' organisations and trade unions representing over a million authors, performers, artists, technicians and other creative workers regarding the forthcoming vote on the Gallo report.
We believe that this report represents a good compromise between the different political groups. We equally appreciate the fact that it advocates a balanced and fair approach to illegal file sharing, with an emphasis on educational and awareness raising measures rather than repressive provisions, as it has been often inaccurately reported. We fully acknowledge the need to create a favourable environment enabling consumers to access creative and in-copyright works of high quality. We look forward to further initiatives promoting employment, better remuneration for creators in the sector and the value of intellectual property as a tool to sustain cultural diversity in Europe.
Throughout the debate on the report, we have all been active in drawing your attention to the need for an effective protection of creative contents on the Internet, in the interest of creators, technicians and all other workers in the media and entertainment industries. Such protection is also essential to a sustainable creative economy as well as to the diversity of cultural expressions, to the benefit of all EU citizens. The drastic change of paradigm introduced by the Alternative Resolution, which by contrast simply endorses behaviours aiming at escaping lawful and legitimate payments for creative contents and services, would endanger the work and remuneration of our members. We believe that the proposed compensation systems cannot satisfactorily replace existing remuneration schemes.
Illegal file sharing, even on a non-commercial basis, unfairly competes with new business models, thus undermining investments in the creative industries and threatening jobs in the sector. The Alternative Resolution doesn’t bring any evidence that it could substitute the existing copyright/authors’ rights regime without heavy collateral damages to the whole creative chain, from creators to consumers.
Respect for intellectual property rights, including author's rights, is a pre-requisite for authors, creators and technicians to contribute with their work to the European cultural wealth and economy. For these reasons, we urge you to support the Gallo report at your forthcoming plenary meeting next week.Yours sincerely,
European Council of Artists (ECA); European Federation of Journalists (EFJ); European Visual Artists (EVA); European Writers’ Council (EWC); Federation of European Film Directors (FERA); International Federation of Actors (FIA); International Federation of Musicians (FIM); Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE); UNI MEI – Global Union for Media, Entertainment and Arts; Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA)
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JOINT STATEMENT of the European Writers’ Council, European Visual Artists, European Federation of Journalists, Society of Audiovisual Authors, Federation of European Film Directors, and European Council of Artists
On the REPORT on enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Internal Market (2009/2178(INI))  3 June 2010, Committee on Legal Affairs, Rapporteur: Marielle Gallo and the Alternative Resolution. Motion for a European Parliament Resolution on enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market (2009/2178(INI)).
The EWC, EVA, EFJ, SAA, FERA, and ECA, together represent the professional interests and authors’ rights of more than 680.000 authors and creators in over thirty two countries of Europe and abroad, including writers, journalists, playwrights, screenwriters, literary  translators, visual artists, film and TV directors, illustrators, photographers, artists, performers, composers, stage directors, and designers.
In this joint statement the six authors’ and creators’ federations address the Members of the European Parliament in order to express their support of the report of the Legal Affairs Committee on “Enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market” prepared by MEP Marielle Gallo and adopted by the Legal Affairs Committee in its meeting on 1 June 2010 due for vote in the plenary session in September 2010. They also found it necessary to refer to the “Alternative Resolution. Motion for a European Parliament Resolution on enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market (2009/2178(INI))”.
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Brussels, 1st July 2010. Dear Members of the European Parliament,
EWC, EVA, EFJ, SAA, FERA, and ECA are six European federations of national and transnational associations, and together they represent the professional interests and authors’ rights of more than 680.000 authors and creators in over thirty two countries of Europe and abroad, including writers, journalists, playwrights, screenwriters, literary translators, visual artists, film and TV directors, illustrators, photographers, artists and performers.
EWC, EVA, EFJ, SAA, FERA, and ECA would like to draw your attention to the report of the Legal Affairs Committee on “Enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market” prepared by MEP Marielle Gallo and adopted by the Legal Affairs Committee in its meeting on 1st June 2010 due for vote in the plenary session in the week of 5 July 2010. We also find it necessary to refer to the “Alternative Resolution. Motion for a European Parliament Resolution on enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market (2009/2178(INI))”.

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I. REPORT on enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Internal Market (2009/2178(INI)) Committee on Legal Affairs, Rapporteur: Marielle Gallo
EWC, EVA, EFJ, SAA, FERA, and ECA welcome the report adopted by the Legal Affairs Committee because it recognises the added value of creativity, and the need to protect the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of the creative sector. This basic line was rightfully extended by the Committee introducing additional elements that emphasise the economic importance of the cultural sector that deserves full support.  Furthermore, it brings to light the need to address the gap in the legal framework for handling authors’ rights and online piracy, and calls for IPR enforcement as it stresses the negative impact of IPR infringements not only on the overall economy, but specifically on creators and consumers. The undersigning organisations appreciate the reference made to the international context in IPR that the European Institutions have endorsed during the last decades, in particular TRIPS and the two WIPO Treaties, WCT and WPPT. These Treaties apply within the EU and set important legal standards, including in relation to third countries. Equally important, the report favours an in-depth stakeholders’ dialogue to find balanced solutions, and proposes to develop consumer awareness campaigns and education for young people on the value of IPR. We fully support the need to create a favourable environment to provide access for consumers to creative and in-copyright works of high quality, both on-line and in analogue contexts. We welcome the new business models for commercial use that will ensure an appropriate remuneration for the uses of creators’ works. We welcome the fact that the report also recognises that multi-territory licensing is possible under the present legislation and acknowledges its existence in various areas, such as in the text- and image-based sector.

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