US authors organisations the National Writers Union (NWU) and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have released a joint statement raising concerns about the implementation of the EU Copyright Directive. As the joint release and supporting statements set out, the Copyright Directive includes a range of measures that are positive for authors. However, some concerns are held over the mechanisms by which authors will be able to opt-out of new measures for use of “out-of-commerce” and “orphan” works.
The measures for “out-of-commerce” works are of particular concern to journalists who are likely to exploit their copyrighted works by means that may not be recognised by criteria focused on traditional formats of publication. For example, a journalist may make their work available on websites they receive advertising revenues from, after a publication it was included in has gone out of print.
IAF hopes that the EU Intellectual Property Office will be able to ensure that mechanisms for handling “out-of-commerce” works give authors as much control over their works as possible, as easily as possible. It is possible to ensure these systems achieve the benefits of availability, licensing and authors’ control over their work. This should be done through consultation with organisations representing the many authors whose work will be affected by the Copyright Directive.
See the statement from the IFJ, NWU and SFWA here.