European media organizations call on Merkel, Macron to protect rights of news agencies

European media organizations call on Merkel, Macron to protect rights of news agencies

Europe's leading media organizations have called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emanuel Macron to support a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market that will protect the rights of news agencies.

This is stated in an open letter to the leaders of the two states from the presidents of a number of media institutions representing the interests of tens of thousands of news brands, newspapers, magazines, news agencies and journalists across the EU.

"We respectfully urge you to take action now and to reach a timely agreement on the copyright directive in order not to put at risk a reform that is key to ensure the sustainability of a free and independent press which is at the heart of our democracies," the document reads.

Media organizations are deeply concerned that the failure by Germany and France to reach an agreement in the coming days would jeopardize the whole EU's copyright reform.

The issue concerns the legal protection of the interests of publishers and news agencies whose content is used without permission, in particular, by online platforms that generate advertising revenues, whereas news providers themselves do not receive any compensation. This puts the sustainability of independent press and professional journalism at risk.

Last September, an overwhelming majority of the European Parliament voted for a strong neighboring right for press publishers, journalists and news agencies by guaranteeing the protection of very short excerpts of press publications.

The signatories of the appeal are the presidents of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA), the European Newspaper Publishers' Association (ENPA), the European Publishers Council (EPC), the News Media Coalition (NMC), and News Media Europe (NME).

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