The European Union is getting ready to amend its legislation on reproducing radio and television broadcasts. The issue is whether the collective system that governs the reproduction of musical recordings should apply to this type of product.

The European Commission also envisages applying this system to press agency dispatches. This was requested by the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) notably with respect GoogleNews. However the European Parliament is opposed to this because it would require extending the system to encompass every article published on the net and then republished on other sites.

It is important to recall that the collective management of copyright benefits the most important authors to the detriment of the little fish. In practise, small authors never pocket the rights that they should obtain when their musical recordings are reproduced because these are diverted to the accounts of the largest fish.

In a communiqué, the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) reminds us that, since its member agencies have not been able to survive from advertising alone, they are demanding that a system of collective remuneration, whereby funds are deducted from research engines revenues, is set up. But the thirty agencies that are members of this alliance are public companies or private-public partnerships. Thus all that is happening is that copyright will be harnessed as a vehicle to benefit States.

Anoosha Boralessa