At the critical moment when the future fate of the European press sector is being decided in Strasbourg by EU negotiators, Semmy Ketz, publishes a moving and heartfelt op-ed (EN, FR, DE, ES, RO) calling on the negotiators to agree on a meaningful Copyright Directive which will include a new right for press publishers.
Copyright: failure is not an option
For nearly a year now, I have been fighting at your side for a European copyright directive. I am returning today from Syria where just hours ago journalists were wounded as they stood witness to the tragedy that has afflicted the country over the past eight years.
So I implore you: failure is not an option. A failure in your talks risks condemning hundreds of media outlets. The latest news for our industry is alarming, as you know. On both sides of the Atlantic, redundancies are multiplying and thousands of people are being laid off even at the internet-born news sites we had once thought invincible.
The reality is that these media have no chance because of the lopsided distribution of advertising revenue in favour of internet giants.
We are almost at the end of a long struggle. We have a duty, an obligation, to succeed, to agree on a text that has not been gutted of its meaning. We must not miss this historic chance. It will not come again.
We do not want to leave a world informed by false testimony, fabricated news, and campaigns of disinformation and disparagement that only the press has the power to confront.
Sammy Ketz, award-winning AFP foreign correspondent in the Middle East, author of open letters to European copyright negotiators that have been supported by the signatures of more than 100 leading correspondents around the world.