HomeInsightsEuropean Commission publishes study on remuneration paid to authors in the print sector.


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The study looks at the remuneration paid to authors in the print sector in 10 EU countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Hungary and Denmark).  The study was conducted to support policy-making in the area of copyright.  The Commission is looking for evidence on whether, and to what extent, the differences that exist amongst the Member States’ legislative frameworks affect levels of remuneration and the functioning of the internal market.

The study compares, from legal and economic perspectives, the existing national systems affecting the remuneration for authors and performers and identifies the relative advantages and disadvantages of those systems for them.  Key findings include:

  • Obligations on the scope of transfer: the protective measure that has the greatest positive effect on the contractual position and the remuneration of authors is the obligation imposed on those to whom rights are transferred to specify the scope of the transfer (in geographical terms, duration and modes of exploitation) together with the corresponding remuneration. This ensures greater transparency, strengthens the position of the author and promotes more effective competition.
  • Formalities, obligations and corrective measures: an array of other measures exist in the laws of Member States that relate either to the requirement of formalities at the time the contract is entered into, or to obligations regarding its execution (e.g. “best-seller” clauses) and termination. These measures also contribute to strengthening the position of authors in their contractual relationships.
  • Model contracts and collective bargaining agreements: the use of model contracts developed as a result of negotiations between representatives and collective bargaining agreements was also identified as having a potentially significant impact on remuneration.

The study outlines a series of policy options where intervention at EU or national level may be effective:

  • introducing binding, legal requirements such as the requirement for written contracts, specifying which rights and modes of exploitation are being transferred, the level and type of remuneration attached to each mode of exploitation and a reporting obligation vis-à-vis the author;
  • limiting the scope for transferring rights for future modes of exploitation and future works; and
  • possibly allowing economically dependent freelancers to claim employee status and rights.

To access the study, click here.